Studio recording engineer, Richard ‘Digby’ Smith tells tales of his years of experience behind the glass with many of the music greats.

January 1st, 1970. Richard ‘Digby’ Smith, aged nineteen, joins the team at Island Records in West London as a staff engineer. This independent record label developed the careers of some of Britain’s leading artists of the day and the studio doors were open to many of the leading musicians of the period.

One, Two, Three, Four charts Digby’s eclectic and extensive repertoire after spending almost fifty years behind the glass in London, Los Angeles and around the world. Alongside his tales of recording experiences, this book gives an insight into life in Los Angeles during the early 70s, mingling with the Hollywood elite, his battle with drug and alcohol addiction, through to his return to the UK in the mid 80s.

During his career he has played an instrumental role in making Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Robert Palmer and The London Symphony Orchestra sound even better. For a two-week period in the late 90s he was the most successful recording engineer on the planet with number one albums simultaneously in the UK and the Far East.

“It’s many years ago now, from 1970, when I was in Island Studios in Basing Street producing the band with Digs. He was responsible for pressing the record button on many gems from Led Zeppelin...” Jimmy Page, Lead Guitarist with Led Zeppelin.

“Digby is a born musical sound engineer and a true-life force... His enthusiasm for music and life comes through on the page as it does in the studio...” Muff Windwood, Senior/Former A+R Executive (Island and Sony Records)

Richard Digby Smith lives in Torquay, Devon. He says, “After many years of reciting anecdotes relating to my eventful recording studio life to family and friends, I was encouraged to commit them to print, if only to reduce the possibility of continued repetition. My writings began as simple listings of these extraordinary tales, many of them amusing, some very sad. The more I explored and engaged with the process of writing, the more it became apparent that the background had to be detailed – this book was then formed.”

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