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    Post George Martin

    Beatles Producer George Martin Dead at 90
    By Andy Greene March 9, 2016

    George Martin, who produced much of the Beatles' classic catalog, has died. The cause of death has not yet been released. He was 90.

    Ringo Starr reported the news on Twitter. "God bless George Martin," he wrote late Tuesday night. "Peace and love to Judy and his family, love Ringo and Barbara. George will be missed." In another post, accompanied by a photo of Martin with the Beatles, Starr wrote, "Thank you for all your love and kindness."

    Over the decades, many people have claimed to be the "fifth Beatle." But the only person who can credibly hold that title was Martin. The producer not only signed the Beatles to their first record contract in 1962 but went on to work extensively with them on the vast majority of music they recorded over the next eight years, from "Love Me Do" to the majestic suite that wrapped up Abbey Road.

    "George Martin made us what we were in the studio," John Lennon said in 1971. "He helped us develop a language to talk to other musicians."

    Martin was born January 3rd, 1926 in Highbury, London. He began playing piano at a young age, and in 1943 he joined the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. After World War II, he worked in the BBC's Classical Music Department and then moved on to EMI. Much of his time was spent producing records for British comedians like Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore and Bernard Cribbins.

    Martin met the Beatles in early 1962. At the time, they had a cult following in parts of England, but little success in landing a recording deal. The group's manager, Brian Epstein, approached the producer, who worked for EMI records, and got him to agree to give their demo tape a listen.


    "The recording, to put it kindly, was by no means a knockout," Martin wrote in his 1979 memoir, All You Need Is Ears. "I could well understand that people had turned it down. But there was an unusual quality of sound, a certain roughness that I hadn't encountered before. There was also the fact that more than one person was singing.

    He called the Beatles into Abbey Road Studios on June 6th, 1962 for a test session. The band was overjoyed to have a chance to record their material, which at the time already included "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You." There was a clear cultural gap between the clean-cut, older Martin and the scruffy lads. When Martin asked the Beatles if they had any problems with the session, George Harrison shot back, "Well, there's your tie, for a start." But they nevertheless respected Martin. When he suggested that drummer Pete Best wasn't cutting it, they agreed to fire him.

    Weeks later, Martin offered the Beatles their first recording contract. When they returned with new drummer Ringo Starr to cut "Love Me Do," Martin didn't feel like taking chances and insisted the new drummer play tambourine while session ace Andy White sat behind the kit. When it was clear Ringo was extremely hurt, he let him play on another take of the song. Both versions were eventually released.

    When "Love Me Do" became a hit, Martin felt pressure to record an entire record with the band quickly, and from that point on he became their go-to producer. "There seemed to be a bottomless well of songs," Martin once said. "And people asked me where that well was dug. Who knows?"

    The Beatles recorded their debut LP, 1963's Please Please Me, during the course of a single day in February of that year. But as the music became more complex, the sessions grew significantly longer. Early on, Martin's contributions were relatively minor. With 1965's "Yesterday," however, he left an indelible mark on their music by adding orchestration to the song. It's something he'd explore deeper in the following year. "My approach [to the strings on 'Eleanor Rigby'] was greatly influenced by Bernard Herrmann and his film score for Psycho," Martin said in a 2012 interview. "He had a way of making violins sound fierce. That inspired me to have the strings play short notes forcefully, giving the song a nice punch. If you listen to the two, you'll hear the connection."

    Martin also played on some Beatles songs, including the piano on "In My Life." "I couldn't play the piano at the speed it needed to be played, the way I'd written the part," he said in another 2012 interview. "I wasn't that good a pianist, but if you had had a really good pianist, he could do it. I couldn't get all the notes in. One night I was by myself and played the notes at half speed but an octave lower on the piano, recording at 15 inches per second. When I ran the tape back at 30 inches per second, the notes were at the right speed and in the correct octave."

    By the time of 1966's Revolver, he introduced the band to the concept of creating new songs by playing tape machines backwards, an approach they used on "Tomorrow Never Knows." "I introduced that to John, and he was knocked out," Martin told Rolling Stone in 1976. "They would come in and bring me tapes of all the looks and we would just play them for a giggle. When we made 'Tomorrow Never Knows,' that was all the tapes that they had made at home, made into loops."

    Martin's age and cultural distance from the Beatles became an advantage as their music became increasingly psychedelic. "Drugs certainly affected the music," he said in the same interview. "But it didn't affect the record production because I was producing. ... I saw the music growing, but I rather saw it like Salvador Dalí's paintings. I didn't think the reason for it was drugs. I thought it was because they wanted to go into an impressionistic way."

    Toward the end of 1966, the group played "Strawberry Fields Forever" as both a traditional rock tune and a lush, orchestral rendition with brass. Lennon couldn't pick between the two, so he suggested they somehow combine them, despite Martin telling him they were in different keys and in different tempos. "You can do something about it," Lennon said. "You can fix it." Martin took up the challenge, speeding up one version, slowing down the others and using a variable-control tape machine to combine them. The end result was one of his favorite Beatles recordings.

    One of the many remarkable things about Martin is that he managed to produce highly complex, layered pieces of music like Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band, using a mere four-track recorder. "I felt that was the album which turned the Beatles from being just an ordinary rock & roll group into being significant contributors to the history of artistic performance," Martin wrote in his memoir. "It was the watershed which changed the recording art from something which will stand the test of time as a valid art form: sculpture in music, if you like."

    By the time of the Let It Be sessions in 1969, the group felt it was time for a change. "They were going through an anti-production thing," Martin said in 1976. "John said, 'I don't want any production gimmicks on this.'" The sessions became extremely laborious and eventually the group handed the tapes over the Phil Spector. "I was shocked when Phil overdubbed heavenly choirs and lush strings and harps and things," Martin said. "I thought we were through then. I wasn't happy and I didn't want to go on."
    Sidebar
    Rolling Stone Poll: Top 10 Beatles Albums »

    Much to his surprise, they called him back to produce Abbey Road. "They said, 'Let's try and get back to the way were in the old days, and will you really produce the next album for us?'" Martin said. "We were really amicable and really friendly. We really did try to work together." The only problem was that McCartney loved Martin's idea of creating a pop music symphony and Lennon wanted a more traditional collection of songs. "It was a compromise," Martin said. "Side one was a collection of individual songs and side two was a continual work."

    Throughout the 1970s, there was tremendous pressure on the Beatles to re-form, but Martin never felt it was a good idea. "It would be a terrible mistake for them ever to go into the studio together," he said in 1976. "The Beatles existed years ago; they don't exist today. And if the four men came back together, it wouldn't be the Beatles."

    He did continue to work with the members of the group on their solo projects, producing McCartney's 1973 hit "Live and Let Die" and his early 1980's LPs Tug of War, Pipes of Peace and Give My Regards to Broad Street, as well as Ringo Starr's 1970 album Sentimental Journey. Martin also oversaw the soundtrack to the 1978 movie Sgt. Pepper Lonely Heart's Club Band, the Beatles' 1995 Anthology collection and, in 2006, the Beatles Las Vegas show, Love.

    Although his name will always be closely connected to the Beatles, he also produced albums for Gerry and the Pacemakers, Kenny Rogers, Cheap Trick, Jeff Beck and Celine Dion. In 1997, he produced Elton John's new version of "Candle in the Wind" to honor the late Princess Diana. It became one of the best-selling singles of all time.

    His work began slowing down considerably in the late 1990s as his hearing deteriorated. By that point, his son, Giles Martin, began assisting him. They worked closely on the Love project, mashing up Beatles songs and turning them into brand new works.

    In 2011, Martin looked back fondly on his time with the Beatles. "I think they're so damn good they'll be with us for generations, into the middle of the next century," he said. "They're just great musicians and great writers, like Gershwin or Rodgers and Hammerstein. They are there in history, and the Beatles are there in history, too. They'll be there in 100 years, too. But I won't be."

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    Default Paul McCartney on George Martin

    March 9, 2016 paulmccartney.com

    I’m so sad to hear the news of the passing of dear George Martin. I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever. He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family. If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George. From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.

    It’s hard to choose favourite memories of my time with George, there are so many but one that comes to mind was the time I brought the song 'Yesterday’ to a recording session and the guys in the band suggested that I sang it solo and accompany myself on guitar. After I had done this George Martin said to me, "Paul I have an idea of putting a string quartet on the record". I said, “Oh no George, we are a rock and roll band and I don’t think it’s a good idea”. With the gentle bedside manner of a great producer he said to me, "Let us try it and if it doesn’t work we won’t use it and we’ll go with your solo version". I agreed to this and went round to his house the next day to work on the arrangement.

    He took my chords that I showed him and spread the notes out across the piano, putting the cello in the low octave and the first violin in a high octave and gave me my first lesson in how strings were voiced for a quartet. When we recorded the string quartet at Abbey Road, it was so thrilling to know his idea was so correct that I went round telling people about it for weeks. His idea obviously worked because the song subsequently became one of the most recorded songs ever with versions by Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and thousands more.

    This is just one of the many memories I have of George who went on to help me with arrangements on 'Eleanor Rigby', 'Live and Let Die' and many other songs of mine.

    I am proud to have known such a fine gentleman with such a keen sense of humour, who had the ability to poke fun at himself. Even when he was Knighted by the Queen there was never the slightest trace of snobbery about him.

    My family and I, to whom he was a dear friend, will miss him greatly and send our love to his wife Judy and their kids Giles and Lucy, and the grandkids.

    The world has lost a truly great man who left an indelible mark on my soul and the history of British music.

    God bless you George and all who sail in you!

    Paul

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    Default America ~ Daisy Jane

    George produced a few of America's albums, including this song which became the basis of Let's Wait Awhile by Janet Jackson

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    Default Re: George Martin






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    Default Ringo




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    Default Quincy Jones Talks George Martin

    By Jason Newman March 10, 2016

    John Lubbock, John Kurlander, George Martin, Quincy Jones, Jeremy Lubbock, Tony McAnany

    In 1963, after a successful stint as a trumpeter and record label executive, legendary hitmaker Quincy Jones produced Lesley Gore's Number One song "It's My Party," the first of numerous successful collaborations with the teenage singer. While on tour with Gore and pop singer Trini Lopez, Jones met George Martin, the influential Beatles producer who died Tuesday at the age of 90.

    "We had common interests and like minds," Jones tells Rolling Stone of that first meeting. "That's what friends are all about. We liked the same food, same wine, same women. Anybody that's involved in orchestration knows each other's language already. It's another language. Frank Gehry always said, 'If architecture is frozen music, then music must be liquid architecture,' and in a way, it is."

    That meeting would start a friendship that lasted more than 50 years, with the two producers always remaining close friends more than rival competitors. "We thought on the same path," Jones says. "Producers come from many places; from singers to songwriters to engineers. But everyone has a different kind of discipline. But oh hells no, we weren't competitive. Not even close, man. Not even close. When you're friends, you don't go through that shit, man. He is who he is and I am who I am so we didn't have anything to prove." In the liner notes to Michael Jackson's Jones-produced album Thriller, Martin, who worked on "The Girl Is Mine," is affectionately credited as "George 'Be Natural' Martin."

    But decades before Thriller, Jones was marveling at Martin's technical ability and classical influence; skills that would dramatically affect countless Beatles recordings. "I thought [the Beatles] were the most incredible songwriters that ever lived. It had nothing to do with rock & roll. They're classic songs," Jones says. "But George added everything. Everything, man. Do you think it was their idea to come up with a string quartet on 'Eleanor Rigby' or a symphony orchestra on 'A Day in the Life'? I don't think so. That's very forward-thinking stuff. And that could have only come from an orchestrator like George. He provided that canvas and that's why he's the 'Fifth Beatle.'"

    The two producers last saw each other at the 2006 premiere of the Beatles' Cirque du Soleil show Love — "It was wonderful. It was the most time we've spent together in a long time," he says. But Jones recalled his 80th birthday party in Las Vegas in 2013 as a poignant harbinger. "Michael Caine and I are celestial twins; born in the same year, month, day and hour," Jones says. "On our 80th birthday, he said, 'Quincy, we have to be careful because God is bowling in our alley now.' It's true, man. Every day, man. It's just frightening. It just tore my heart out [when I heard about Martin's death].

    "George could handle anything," adds Jones. "What's the cat's name that's in jail now? [Phil] Spector? An orchestrator really knows what the Wall of Sound is all about. That was just an expression they used back then, but orchestrators and arrangers [like George] know what's that about and know how to create it."

    Asked where he would rank Martin among contemporary music producers, Jones' answer is swift and resolute: "Number One. The top. He was an amazing guy."

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    Default Re: George Martin

    It interesting that GM is seen as a aid rather that a true important figure in the success of the Beatles by many. But QJ is seen that way.
    Last edited by Psychoniff; 23-04-2016 at 03:36 PM.

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    Default Re: George Martin

    I've read a lot of really great articles this week about George Martin and his importance to the Beatles music. A lot of them dissecting the songs and how they were created. What he brought to them or how he changed them. Almost like a biology class in music.
    Unbelievably creative. Yet, always thought of them as the geniuses. Made me think of Quincy with every article.
    Also noted his work with the Beatles cirque show. (First time I thought Quincy did have a case.)
    Anyway, it's been most interesting how those songs evolved.

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    Default Re: George Martin

    Tribute to George that was posted on The Beatles YouTube channel.



    I remember freezing for a few seconds when I read the news on Facebook, my love for The Beatles is on par with MJ and I would legit say that George Martin is my favourite music producer (And it's sad that I feel the need to say this, but no, I'm not saying this because he just passed. If you asked me a week ago I would've given the same answer).

    Rest in Peace

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    Default David Bowie, George Michael, and George Martin added to the National Biography

    by Far Out Staff January 9, 2020

    Sir George Martin, David Bowie and George Michael were all added to The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, a document of the life and stories of some of the most influential members of British history.

    The Fifth Beatle was added to the list alongside Bowie and the ‘Careless Whisper’ singer as part of the 228 new additions into the book’s newest edition. With the legendary actor Alan Rickman and iconic broadcaster Terry Wogan also being added.

    The list of contemporaries can only be added after their deaths with all of this year’s additions all having passed away in 2016. The number of additions to the book are up to a healthy 61,411 covering the lives of 63.693 Britons.
    NME reports that Bowie’s entry reads “arguably, his greatest legacy was in challenging and transgressing the gendered boundaries of his youth.”

    The legendary producer Martin is noted as a“musical giant,” Michael is noted for his “phenomenally successful pop group Wham!,” and for “a solo career which saw him top the UK singles and album charts seven times each and sell more than 80 million records worldwide.”

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