George Martin is best known as the mastermind behind The Beatles. He was born in Liverpool, England on June 18th, 1926 and died at his home on March 8th 2018. His work has sold over 1 billion copies worldwide since 1963 with “A Day In The Life” selling 550 thousand copies by itself.
George Martin is a British songwriter and producer who has written many songs for artists such as the Beatles, Wings, and Queen. He was born on November 25th, 1917. His full name is George Henry Martin. He died on March 8th, 2016 at age 90.
George Martin is well recognized for producing the majority of the Beatles’ recordings between 1962 and 1969. His real credits were varied, including performers such as Humphrey Lyttleton, Peter Sellers, and Michael Bentine, renowned singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, and rock groups such as Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas, America, Peter Gabriel, and Celine Dion, among others.
He became the most well-known and profitable record producer in the history of popular music simply because of his connection with the Beatles. That distinction may have gotten him a notice in certain trade publications during his professional peak. He was knighted and the focus of a 151-song, six-CD collection dedicated to his career as a music director, with over a billion copies of recordings and songs he oversaw sold (and they are still selling, with billions of pounds and dollars spent on them). In terms of affecting the form and direction of music, only a few record producers — John Hammond Sr., Sam Phillips, Leonard Chess, and Willie Dixon — could compare.
George Martin was born in London in the year 1926. Martin got interested in the piano at the age of eight, despite his family’s lack of musical interests, and taught himself a lot about the instrument. The economic crisis that plagued England in the 1930s, as well as the advent of war, interrupted his schooling. Martin was interested in architecture and design, as well as aeronautics, and contemplated becoming an aircraft designer at one time. However, no chances arose, and he was further frustrated when his application to join the Royal Air Force, where he hoped to train to fly, was turned down. Instead, he joined the Fleet Air Arm, the Royal Navy’s aviation arm, where he was ultimately trained and commissioned as a flying lieutenant, although he did not see any combat before the war’s sudden conclusion in August 1945. Martin remained in uniform for another year, following which he joined the Guildhall School of Music, where he studied composing, directing, orchestration, and theory, as well as taking up the oboe as a secondary instrument.
Martin was offered a position as an assistant to Oscar Preuss, the head of Parlophone Records, in the autumn of 1950, after a brief stint categorizing music for the BBC. The Parlophone label was part of the EMI group at the time, although it had nothing in common with labels like Columbia (the British imprint, not the American corporation) and HMV Records. The finest of Parlophone’s roster in popular and classical music had been parceled out to the other two firms during the war years’ austerity, leaving Parlophone with secondary and provincial performers. As Preuss’ assistant for the following six years, he learnt about the recording process and how to manage it, as well as how to deal with a wide range of performers, from solo pianists to dance bands to symphony orchestras.
The label’s main performers during the early 1950s were Scottish dance music sensation Jimmy Shand, Roberto Inglez, a Scotsman (actual name Bob Ingles) who specialized in Latin music, conductor Karl Haas, and the London Baroque Ensemble, who produced recordings in every genre from classical to “race” (i.e., R&B). None of these artists, no matter how deserving and well-known they were in their professions, were going to conquer the globe. When compared to its rivals HMV and Columbia U.K., the label eked out a profit working around the edges of low production budgets and emaciated promotional budgets; it only seemed to have a leg up on Regal Zonophone, the EMI imprint that, by the mid- to late-’50s, had been given over entirely to Salvation Army Band recordings.
Martin entered the record business at a critical juncture in its evolution, from 78s to LPs and 45s (a process that EMI was reluctant to embrace due to a certain ossified character in its management) and to magnetic tape as a recording medium. He was ahead of his peers in recognizing the significance of these inventions, particularly magnetic tape, and what they might imply for the recording process. He recorded Peter Ustinov in a satirical composition called Mock Mozart in 1955, using overdubbed recordings of his own voice and instruments — that release might be regarded the distant ancestor of such works as the Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band albums.
When Preuss resigned in 1955, Martin was chosen to replace him as the head of Parlophone Records, making him the company’s youngest label boss ever at the age of 29. He was able to start putting his own stamp on the label within the limitations of his finances. He was outbid for most of the country’s best music talent, so he only had a few opportunities to work with anything approaching the era’s top musicians; instead, he focused on non-musical acts and tapped into a tiny but lucrative niche in comedy albums. Ustinov was one of his triumphs, but Peter Sellers, an up-and-coming comedic performer and would-be actor at the time, was his true star. During the second part of the 1950s, Sellers, who was best known as a member of the Goons, a famous comedy group, became a staple of Parlophone’s roster of performers. Martin also brought in the Temperence Seven, a trad-jazz/nostalgia group who gave the producer his first UK number one hit with “You’re Driving Me Crazy” in 1961; future Broadway star Jim Dale; and Australian vocalist Rolf Harris to the company’s roster.
Martin missed out on signing Tommy Steele during the early rock & roll boom of 1956-1958, but he did sign the Vipers Skiffle Group, led by Wally Whytton, who had a Top Ten hit with “Don’t You Rock Me, Daddy-O” and cut numerous successful records (even getting a release of their work in the United States) between 1957 and 1961. However, until the spring of 1962, when he had the opportunity to meet Brian Epstein, a Liverpool-based manager, about a quartet that the latter was representing, he didn’t see much in the way of youth-oriented groups. Martin, Parlophone, EMI, and popular music were permanently changed as a result of his signing of the Beatles that summer, despite the fact that it did not seem to be an auspicious event at the time.
He proved to be exactly the kind of producer they needed, in that he chose to communicate with and understand his artists — those years of nurturing Parlophone’s rather sparse roster of performers served him well, where other producers, even at EMI, maintained much more formal and distant relations with their artists; he recognized their songwriting talent early on, and only worked with them when they were ready; he recognized their songwriting talent early on, and only worked with them when they were ready. Furthermore, he never attempted to make them sound something they weren’t. At HMV, his colleague Walter J. Ridley would communicate with acts such as Johnny Kidd & the Pirates by memo, rather than seeing them, and get the hard R&B-oriented group to record absurd pop songs like “The Birds & the Bees,” or get singers like Alma Cogan to do material that wasn’t suited to her taste or the direction she wanted to go in. Norrie Paramor, of Columbia U.K., began adding strings and a full orchestra to Cliff Richard’s songs early on; Martin, on the other hand, always made his singers sound like themselves, only better recorded.
Thus, with his assistance, “Please Please Me” developed from a slow, dramatic Roy Orbison-style lament (as John Lennon envisioned it) into a roaring rocker that swept everything before it. Martin embellished “Misery,” a brief ballad with a required break, on electronic piano, without altering the song’s essence. Paul McCartney enjoyed extremely melodic pop and show songs, but when the Beatles recorded “Till There Was You,” they performed it themselves rather than relying on an orchestra. Martin also allowed John Lennon’s throat-clenching single take of “Twist and Shout” to be released on their crucial debut album, when other producers would have chosen a gentler tune.
He was also sympathetic to the band’s desire to record their own music. With studio time expensive and teenage audiences perceived as unconcerned about who backed up the singer on a record, it was common practice in those days to bring in professional session players to play on recording sessions and leave concert work to the band (Herman’s Hermits was the extreme example of this). Martin only did this once, during the Beatles’ first sessions, when he brought in drummer Andy White since he was dubious of new member Ringo Starr’s skills at the moment.
Most importantly, by working with the band rather than just on their recordings, as many producers do, Martin educated them and started an evolutionary process in their thinking and writing that they would never have discovered working at the Cavern Club or any of the other venues they were performing at. The band as a whole, as well as songwriters Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison, responded to the challenge, and by the end of the year, they were composing more complex songs, thinking in more sophisticated tones, and producing music that allowed for more sophisticated elaboration. As a result, songs like “Yesterday,” “In My Life,” “For No One,” “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “Penny Lane,” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” were written and recorded, alongside hard-rocking tunes like “Ticket to Ride” and “Paperback Writer.” On “Misery,” where his piano solo embellished the break, he devised the string quartet accompaniment for Paul McCartney’s solo performance on “Yesterday,” composed the harpsichord part used on the break of “In My Life,” and devised the French horn part on “For No One,” while on the group’s purely psychedelic music — the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band — he composed the harps
All of this music was significant, not only as Beatles recordings, but also as recordings that literally pushed the boundaries of what rock & roll and popular music were about, expanding the range and type of sounds that defined the music — what the public would accept and what artists would concoct in order to appeal to that public. The Beatles, with George Martin directing their recordings, redefined popular music in much the same way that Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, and Bob Dylan (artists associated with producer John Hammond) and Howlin’ Wolf and Elvis Presley (artists associated with producer Sam Phillips) did. Artists like the Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, Who, and Kinks all crowded in around them, expanding the gap they’d created like an invading army pushing inland from a beachhead. Indeed, Martin and the nature of his work with the Beatles allowed artists like Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, and others to learn from them, both in terms of how they made music and how they recorded it. This was especially true of Simon & Garfunkel, who, in collaboration with engineer/producer Roy Halee (who was, in effect, their George Martin), mastered the use of reverb.
Following the Beatles, Martin’s musical triumphs included Gerry & the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas, and Cilla Black, the latter of which became a musical and entertainment institution in England. Martin’s recordings spent 37 weeks at the top of the UK charts in 1963, an incredible accomplishment for a producer who had just had his first chart-topper two years before. Add in the presence on Parlophone of the Hollies, who were produced by Martin’s assistant Ron Richards, and a slew of other top acts, and the volume of sales associated with Martin’s work was staggering by any measure — the Beatles and the Hollies alone had transformed Parlophone into EMI’s largest label. By 1964, he had become the most successful record producer of the decade, and was on his way to being the most successful record producer of all time, with the Beatles and their British counterparts smashing sales records in both America and England. Martin began going into the studio himself to record instrumental versions of the Beatles’ songs for the first time, and while those records were never hugely popular, they sold reasonably well, and their content also revealed little details behind the creation of the finished songs; on one of his LPs of Beatles covers, the tracks named “Scrambled Eggs” and “Anchorman” revealed little details behind the creation of the finished songs; on another, the tracks named “Scrambled Eggs” and “Anchorman
Most observers were unaware that Martin had disassociated himself from Parlophone and EMI after 1965, when they saw his name connected to the Beatles’ recordings up until Abbey Road. Martin’s absurdly low pay of 3,000 pounds (about 7,000 dollars) per year, which had been set when Parlophone was a tiny, moderately successful component of the EMI group, had remained unchanged despite his success over the preceding two years. Worse, corporate management had managed to deny him a Christmas bonus through some arcane interpretation of its rules; and when it came time to renegotiate his contract, and he’d requested a small producer’s royalty (a standard industry practice), they’d come up with a formula that could easily have resulted in his compensation being reduced. Martin co-founded AIR (Associated Independent Recording), their own production business, with Ron Richards, another EMI producer called John Burgess, and a former EMI producer named Peter Sullivan.
AIR might have become a record company, too, if it hadn’t been for the fact that it was under-capitalized. The combined expertise of its four founders was greater than most record labels have begun with. While the enterprise might have attracted well-heeled backers (today, the endeavor would be regarded the musical equal of Dreamworks as a film studio, attracting thousands of would-be investors and stock underwriters), the choice was taken to develop the firm gradually from the bottom up. Martin did discover and sign the Action, an excellent white Liverpool soul band, but their work was licensed to and issued by EMI — listening to their work from 1966 (all available from Edsel Records) is a reminder that, while he was busy assisting the Beatles in pushing the boundaries and meaning of popular music, Martin could also guide the creation of solid, unpretentious music. Even as he worked to establish AIR, he continued to produce the Beatles’ music through 1969, until the release of Abbey Road, though he was unable to work with them on the project that became known as Let It Be, which was eventually produced by Phil Spector (and is widely considered to be one of the group’s weakest creations).
Martin’s career and the variety of music he worked with expanded throughout the 1970s, thanks to the split of the Beatles, which liberated him from the final remnant of his previous connection with EMI. From America and Jimmy Webb to Jeff Beck and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, he collaborated with them all. After the Beatles broke up, he had a limited relationship with them; John Lennon and George Harrison went on to work with other producers, but Ringo Starr chose Martin to work on his album of ’30s pop standards, Sentimental Journey, and Paul McCartney reunited with Martin to work on the James Bond film’s soundtrack, Live and Let Die. Martin was brought in on the most significant of these projects, Live at the Hollywood Bowl and Rock & Roll Music, when EMI started reissuing Beatles material and releasing unreleased recordings from the vaults in the mid- to late 1970s. He also consented, though unwillingly, to create the music and soundtrack for Robert Stigwood’s film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; he despised the film and the manner it was to be made, but felt that if anybody else handled it, the music would suffer much more.
Martin finally received the acclaim and some of the financial benefits that his accomplishments deserved in the 1970s and 1980s. A storm and subsequent earthquake damaged an AIR studio on the West Indian island of Montserrat, but the firm survived and continued to operate far into the next century. He began the 1980s by producing two successful albums for Paul McCartney, Tug of War and Pipes of Peace, and by then he had established himself as a music elder statesman, giving graduation speeches and consulting gigs. Only the world’s best artists, like José Carreras, were contacting him at the time. The late-’80s reissue of the Beatles’ music on CD, as well as the 20th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, both reintroduced Martin to the public; however, the CDs sparked some controversy over his decision to use only the mono masters on the group’s first four albums, ignoring the stereo versions, which he considered to be aesthetically inferior.
Celine Dion and Kate Bush were among the performers with whom he collaborated in the 1990s. Martin earned another platinum record in 1993, this time for the cast recording of the Broadway musical Tommy, for which he and composer Pete Townshend both made many public appearances. Martin was knighted by the English monarch in 1996, the first member of his profession to do so, and his career was crowned in 1997 by Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind,” a British number one smash that went on to become the best-selling song in the history of popular music. Following the release of his album In My Life, an all-star production starring Celine Dion and Phil Collins, dedicated to songs of his choice, he declared his retirement in 1998. Martin was celebrated by EMI Records with the publication of a six-CD, 151-song box set in July 2001. A career-spanning overview of George Martin’s work, from Roberto Inglez to Celine Dion, produced by him. George Martin died in London in March 2016 at the age of 90.
The “george martin death” is a celebrity that has died. George Martin was an English musician, songwriter, and record producer who composed numerous hit songs for artists such as the Beatles. He also produced their albums.
Frequently Asked Questions
Did George Martin write a book about the Beatles?
A: George Martin co-wrote the book called The Beatles Anthology.
What did George Martin think of the Beatles?
A: George Martin was a British record producer who worked with the Beatles from 1963 until his death in 2016. He produced many of their greatest songs, including A Day In The Life, In My Life and several other singles that helped to make the band famous.
Did George Martin write the Beatles songs?
A: Yes, George Martin wrote all of the Beatles songs.
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