Remembering Legendary Mastering and Archive Engineer Jack Adams

29th April 2021

We are deeply saddened to hear that Abbey Road’s beloved Jack Adams has passed away.

Jack was an integral part of the Abbey Road family and will be fondly remembered for his immense warmth and remarkable contribution to music. His mastering can be heard on records from David Bowie, Elvis Presley and Lou Reed to Depeche Mode, Groove Armada and Jean Michel Jarre to name but a few.

From starting as a Tape Op at Command Studios in the mid-'70s, to working as a mastering engineer at some of London’s top flight mastering rooms including Townhouse, The Hit Factory and Alchemy, Jack joined Abbey Road as Senior Archive Engineer in 2015 and we were incredibly honoured to have him as part of the team.

Below, we hear from some of his closest friends and colleagues who share their memories of Jack.

 
 

Remembering Jack


Geoff Pesche - Abbey Road Mastering Engineer

Jacko began his career as a Tape Op at Command Studios in the West End in the mid-'70s. Deciding that the long nights at work in recording studios were not for him, he joined his brother, Ralph, at Phonodisc in Walthamstow as a trainee cutting engineer, now called Mastering Engineers.

This was when every major label had a factory and a disc cutting room on the same site. Soon he was good enough to move back into town and join RCA off Tottenham Court Rd. Tape One soon came calling and that’s where we met and forged a friendship circa 1979.

After this, there were spells at various top-flight London mastering rooms including: The Hit Factory, Townhouse, Masterpiece, Tape To Tape and Alchemy. Most music fans over the age of 30 will have a CD or record in their collection mastered by Jacko.

I consider the Abbey Road Archive very lucky to have had the benefit of his experience.
 

Jared Hawkes - Abbey Road Transfer & Copying Manager

I’ll always remember the first time I met Jack. It was during the recruitment phase for the then-new White Hart Triangle facility in Thamesmead and he’d come in for an interview. Within 2 minutes I’d decided he’d got the job.

It wasn’t that he’d had a prolific and highly successful career as a mastering engineer, whose impressive array of credits stretch all the way back to the early ’80s that had convinced me.

It was a simple fact that I liked him, really liked him, almost immediately.

 Jack had a happy disposition. His ability to cheer me up and make me laugh was second to none and it made life at White Hart Triangle all the more pleasurable.

 As they say, life goes on. But for me, there will always be a Jack-shaped void in my heart and mind.

 

Paul Alger - VP - Asset & Archive Management

Jack Adams' legacy on music is literally written on the tapes in our archives. He dedicated his talents so that the music he touched can be heard forever. He loved this industry, and the feeling was mutual.
 

Lucy Launder - Abbey Road's Head of Mastering

Jack, once met never forgotten. A true professional who loved his music and brought such enthusiasm to everything he did. I will miss him very much.
 

Bill Foster - Co-owner of Tape One Studios

Jack was not only a highly talented mastering engineer, who contributed enormously to Tape One’s enviable reputation, he was a truly unique individual. We will all miss his eternal optimism and larger-than-life personality; the world won’t be the same without him.
 

John Rooke

Jack’s music career took him from the crazy ’70s and '80s right through to today’s vinyl revival. He was old school, he had a great ear and an infectious personality. He made people laugh. He will be greatly missed. Someone once said a man is not dead all the time his name is still spoken.

I will always remember Jack with great affection.
 

Our thoughts and sincerest condolences are with his friends, family, and the community to whom he will be sorely missed.