Norman Smith (born 22 February 1923) is a 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.
Smith, on 17 June 1965 (nickname 'Normal', & '2 dB's Smith') while working with the Beatles was once offered 15,000 UKP by the band's music publishing company (Dick James Music) to buy outright a song he had written, which he offered to finalise the track line-up of the Help! LP.
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 could not 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 U.S. # 1 Cashbox hit. This recording was a demo of a song that he had written for a different artist to record. When he played it for fellow record producer Mickie Most, Most was impressed enough to tell him to release it as it was.
Also from Smith's self-titled debut album was a third 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), including 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 liner 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, his memoirs, entitled John Lennon Called Me Normal. It debuted on 16 March 2007 as a strictly limited first edition, at The Fest for Beatles Fans in Secaucus, New Jersey, at which Smith appeared live and sang "Oh Babe" to a packed, cheering ballroom of fans. An expanded market edition of the book is due for worldwide release in summer 2007. The book contains never-before-published pictures, newly revealed historical facts about the Beatles and Pink Floyd at Abbey Road Studios, as well as the fascinating details of Smith's life as an RAF Glider Pilot, family man and "British Invasion" renaissance man.