Edwin H. “Eddie” Kramer (born 19 April 1942 in Cape Town, South Africa) is a recording producer and engineer. Kramer has collaborated with several artists now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, including the Beatles, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and Carlos Santana.
Kramer has engineered and/or produced records for other well-known artists in various genres. They include Anthrax, Joe Cocker, Loudness, Peter Frampton, John Mayall, Mott the Hoople, John Sebastian, Carly Simon, Dionne Warwick, Small Faces and Whitesnake.
Kramer’s film soundtrack credits include Blue Wild Angel: Live at the Isle of Wight, Festival Express, Jimi Plays Monterey, Jimi Plays Berkeley, Live at the Fillmore East, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, The Pursuit of Happiness, Rainbow Bridge, The Song Remains the Same, and Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More. Kramer was interviewed extensively in Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train a Comin’, a two-hour American Masters documentary which debuted in November 2013.
He is also a photographer who has exhibited a number of his intimate images of performers, particularly Hendrix, with whom he worked on Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, Electric Ladyland, Band of Gypsys, and The Cry of Love, as well as the posthumous Valleys of Neptune, People, Hell and Angels, Miami Pop Festival, and other releases produced through Experience Hendrix, the organization formed by Hendrix’s heirs. Kramer was born to art and music-loving parents Sonny and Minna Kramer, active opponents of apartheid who moved from South Africa to London in the early 1960s for political reasons. At age four he began studying the piano. That instrument remained his first love, but he also dabbled with the violin and the cello. He studied classical piano at the South African College of Music. During these studies he became fascinated with jazz and rock, much to his father’s chagrin. Kramer moved to London at age 19, some six months after his parents’ relocating there. There he recorded jazz groups in a home studio with primitive recording equipment, installed hi-fi equipment in antique furniture, and installed album playback systems for the Soho Record Centre, the preeminent London record store chain of the day.
Kramer got his first industry job in 1962 at Advision Studios. A year later he was hired by Pye Studios, where he assisted on mobile recordings of classical works. He also assisted on Pye Studios recordings by the Kinks, the Searchers, the Undertakers, Petula Clark, and Sammy Davis Jr. In 1964 he founded KPS Studios, a mono- and two-track facility which was acquired in 1965 by Regent Sound, where the Rolling Stones had recorded their first album. Regent then tasked Kramer to help build and run their new four-track studio. The Beatles had recorded “Fixing a Hole” there, later to be featured on their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Kramer engineered two Beatles hit singles which appeared on Magical Mystery Tour—”All You Need Is Love” and “Baby You’re a Rich Man“. The two songs were recorded at Olympic Studios, where, in 1967, Kramer engineered albums for the Rolling Stones, Small Faces, Traffic, and Jimi Hendrix. Kramer became a permanent part of Hendrix’s creative process, collaborating on the four albums which Hendrix released before his death in 1970.
In 1968 Kramer relocated to New York, primarily to continue working with Hendrix. Headquartered first at The Record Plant and later working as an independent producer and engineer, Kramer produced the first Johnny Winter album and engineered a sequence of five Led Zeppelin albums, beginning with Led Zeppelin II.
Kramer and his crew attended the 1969 Woodstock Festival; they recorded the entire festival in a harried, sleepless, three-day binge. It required vitamin B shots for stamina, and was interspersed with brilliant performances from several of rock’s then-reigning acts, as documented in both the film, Woodstock, and the three-disc album Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More.
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