Joe Meek

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About Joe Meek

A visionary songwriter, producer, and engineer, Joe Meek shaped the sound of pop music in the '60s and for decades to come. He pioneered overdubbing, spring reverb, compression, sound separation, and close miking, which became industry standards; his experiments with tape loops, sampling, and handcrafted electronics paved the way for hip-hop and electronic music artists. Meek used the studio as an instrument on 1960's I Hear a New World: An Outer Space Fantasy and in his work with other artists, including the Tornados' 1962 hit "Telstar." The first single by a British rock group to top the U.S. charts, it defined Meek's signature sound: half driving and dirty, half eerie and futuristic. Despite his troubles -- his status as a gay man when sexual acts between men were illegal in the U.K., his untreated mental illnesses, and his legal and financial issues -- Meek's achievements make for an influential legacy.

Newent, Gloucestershire, England
April 5, 1929

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