AN EDMONTON-born music producer who was in charge of The Beatles' first-ever session at Abbey Road has died at the age of 85.

Norman 'Hurricane' Smith was an engineer on every Beatles recording between 1962 and 1965. He then went on to sign Pink Floyd for EMI and produce their first three albums.

Smith also enjoyed Top Ten success in his own right, and just last year published a memoir about his life in the music business.

A former RAF glider pilot, Smith started working for EMI in the late 50s, and three years later was in charge of The Beatles' first-ever session at Abbey Road in the absence of regular producer George Martin.

He worked as an engineer on the Fab Four's first six UK studio albums, his last being Rubber Soul in 1965, and coupled with EPs and US albums, was behind around 180 of the Liverpool band's songs.

Smith was appointed as a producer by the record label in 1966 and the following year signed Pink Floyd to EMI. He produced three of their first four studio albums before turning the tables and releasing a single 'Don't Let It Die' under the name Hurricane Smith in 1971.

That reached the top ten in the UK, with 1972's 'Oh Babe What Would You Say?' achieving Transatlantic success.

Smith released 'From Me To You' in 2004, including new versions of both songs, and last March released a memoir John Lennon Called Me Normal, after the nickname handed to him by the Beatle.

Born on February 22, 1923, Smith died at the age of 85 on Monday, March 3.