Hurricane Smith Artist Biography

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Name: Hurricane Smith
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Published/Updated: 30 Nov 2006, 07:02

Biography: Norman Smith aka Hurricane Smith (22 February 1923 – 3 March 2008) was an English musician and record producer.

He was the engineer on all of the recordings by The Beatles up until 1965 when EMI promoted him from engineer to producer. The last Beatles album he recorded was Rubber Soul.

In early 1967, he began working with a new group, Pink Floyd, producing their first three studio albums The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, A Saucerful of Secrets, and Ummagumma. During the sessions for the song "Remember a Day", drummer Nick Mason became agitated that he couldn't come up with the right drum part for the song. Smith, however, knew what he wanted with the drums, so he played the part himself. Still, Pink Floyd outgrew their producer somewhat, referring to him as "Normal" instead of Norman, although numerous books quote John Lennon as having come up with the nickname.

In 1968, Smith produced one of the first rock concept albums, The Pretty Things' S.F. Sorrow.

In 1971, Smith, as a recording artist under the name of Hurricane Smith, had a UK hit with Don't Let It Die. In 1972 he enjoyed a transatlantic hit with Oh Babe What Would You Say?, which became a US # 3 hit. This recording was a demo of a song that he had written for a different artist to record. When he played it for record producer Mickie Most, Mickie was impressed enough to tell him to release it as it was.

Also from Smith's self-titled debut album was a second hit single, a cover of Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Who Was It?".

Some minor hits followed, like My Mother Was Her Name (1972), Beautiful Day, Beautiful Night (1973) and To Make You My Baby (1974). However, his subsequent attempts at producing successful recordings proved elusive.

In 2004, Smith released a new CD, From Me To You (SFMCD030), which is freely available, and includes new recordings of his biggest self-penned hits, "Don't Let It Die" and "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?", and includes messages in the sleeve notes from Sir Paul McCartney and members of Pink Floyd. Interviews on the disc can be cited to confirm the information given above.

Norman Smith has written a book, The Sound Of The Beatles, published in June 2006.

Smith wrote a memoir, entitled John Lennon Called Me Normal. It debuted on 16 March 2007 as a limited edition at The Fest for Beatles Fans in Secaucus, New Jersey. There, Smith appeared and sang "Oh Babe". The book contains never before published pictures, newly revealed historical facts about the Beatles and Pink Floyd at Abbey Road Studios, as well as details of Smith's life as an RAF glider pilot.

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