Beatles producer-arranger George Martin is dead at 90
March 8, 2016 10:08 PM   Subscribe

Ringo tweeted the sad news early this A.M. His accomplishments are too numerous to mention. But he signed them and believed in them, and made them sound so much better. What he helped create at Abbey Road Studios lives forever. R.I.P.
posted by Seekerofsplendor (152 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
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posted by Atom Eyes at 10:09 PM on March 8, 2016


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posted by figurant at 10:14 PM on March 8, 2016


And in the end, the love you take-

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posted by NorthernLite at 10:16 PM on March 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


He played the piano solo (which was then sped up) on "In My Life."

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posted by dhens at 10:18 PM on March 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


There's been a variety of names suggested over the years for the title of '5th Beatle'; I always thought Martin deserved the honor if anyone did. (He and John and George can now continue the discussion.) R.I.P. Sir George Martin.
posted by LeLiLo at 10:22 PM on March 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


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posted by little onion at 10:23 PM on March 8, 2016


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posted by pemberkins at 10:23 PM on March 8, 2016


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posted by mikelieman at 10:25 PM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


2016 just won't stop will it?
posted by Augenblick at 10:25 PM on March 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


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posted by LooseFilter at 10:27 PM on March 8, 2016


🐞
posted by clavdivs at 10:28 PM on March 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


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And another for his incredible and little-known work with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop on Waltz in Orbit. (SLYT)
posted by pipian at 10:29 PM on March 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


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posted by dorkydancer at 10:29 PM on March 8, 2016


good thing people were influenced by earlier music to continue to make great music or we'd be fucked.

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posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:35 PM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Just a genius.

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posted by stanf at 10:35 PM on March 8, 2016


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posted by TedW at 10:43 PM on March 8, 2016


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posted by Iridic at 10:46 PM on March 8, 2016


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posted by Ironmouth at 10:55 PM on March 8, 2016


Ah, well. He lived a long life and got a lot done.
posted by pracowity at 10:56 PM on March 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


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posted by brujita at 11:02 PM on March 8, 2016


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posted by Mister Bijou at 11:03 PM on March 8, 2016


It would be hard to overstate the effect Sir George Martin had on the Beatles. And it would be hard to think of any human being in the world who wasn't an actual rock musician, yet had a bigger impact on rock music, than George Martin.

George Martin wasn't just a great producer who happened to work with the greatest rock band of all time. There's a reason he's called the fifth Beatle, but even that honorific fails to capture what he really did. He didn't merely provide so many studio innovations that it's possible to pick out many Beatles songs where his effect on the finished product was at least as important as that of some of the actual Beatles. He radically challenged every preconception of what a rock band was supposed to be, in a way that didn't just change what the Beatles sounded like, but changed the next 50 years of music.

There have been so many volumes written about what George Martin added to the Beatles' recordings. I'll just point to one small example, remembering that there are dozens and dozens of things like this in the Beatles' oeuvre. This is an analysis of "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" by Ian MacDonald in his book Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties:
Lennon wandered into an antiques shop and picked up a Victorian circus poster advertising . . . a show put on by some travelling tumblers . . . in 1843. This appealed to his sense of the ridiculous and, when the new album [Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band] called for another composition from him, he hung the poster on the wall of his home studio and, playing his piano, sang phrases from it until he had a song. Taking it to Abbey Road, he asked George Martin for a 'fairground' production wherein one could smell the sawdust — which, while not in the narrowest sense a musical specification, was, by Lennon's standards, a clear and reasonable request. (He once asked Martin to make one of his songs sound like an orange.) While The Beatles' producer worked more naturally with the conventionally articulate McCartney, the challenges of catering to Lennon's intuitive approach generally spurred him to his more original arrangements, of which Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! is an outstanding example. Using harmonium, harmonicas, and a tape of Victorian steam organs and calliopes cut up and edited into a kaleidoscopic wash, he created a brilliantly whimsical impression of period burlesque, ideally complementing Lennon's dry nasal delivery. Few producers have displayed a tenth of the invention shown here.
posted by John Cohen at 11:09 PM on March 8, 2016 [63 favorites]


Damn
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posted by ridgerunner at 11:18 PM on March 8, 2016


🐞
posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 11:23 PM on March 8, 2016


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posted by andraste at 11:33 PM on March 8, 2016


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posted by colie at 11:33 PM on March 8, 2016


You know, it's a shame that all the people who were really responsible for making the Beatles special never got together. Brian Epstein, George Martin, Phil Spector: the Maharishi on drums. What a band that would have been!
posted by Segundus at 11:38 PM on March 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Another hero down. It's the middle of the night here, pouring rain, lightning & thunder keeping me awake, but not really coherent enough other than feel the damn wall of sadness again. Life is so beautiful & fragile.

Let's not forget that he also produced the incredible instrumental album by Jeff Beck, Blow By Blow, which, combined with some organic chemistry, changed my young mind forever for the better one night out under the stars, by a campfire, on loop in my friend's VW bus. It really is a spectacular work.

So much ink has been spilled about the Beatles & his part in their direction & maturation that I needn't repeat it here, but suffice it to say he will most certainly be missed.

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posted by Devils Rancher at 11:40 PM on March 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


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posted by lipsum at 11:48 PM on March 8, 2016


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posted by From Bklyn at 11:58 PM on March 8, 2016


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posted by Jansku at 12:04 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


The more I've learned about Martin across the years, the more impressive he has become to me. I'm not terribly familiar with much of his work apart from the Beatles (and there was plenty), but what he wrought with that band was enough for any lifetime.

He had a long and solid run, and his contributions to all our lives is difficult to measure. He will be missed.

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posted by hippybear at 12:06 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by riverlife at 12:14 AM on March 9, 2016


Fucking 2016.

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posted by vernondalhart at 12:26 AM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by trip and a half at 12:30 AM on March 9, 2016


"Strawberry Fields Forever"

"I Am the Walrus"

"Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite"

"A Day in the Life"

Unparalleled pop music creation and innovation. (I'm just realizing now that those are all John songs.)

Go with the gods. And THANK YOU.


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posted by fingers_of_fire at 1:01 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fucking 2016.

Spoiler alert: it just gets more and more like this, until you die.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:02 AM on March 9, 2016 [15 favorites]


(I'm just realizing now that those are all John songs.)

Martin's arrangements for Paul's Yesterday, Eleanor Rigby, Penny Lane and Fool on the Hill were all strikingly original and perfectly judged too.
posted by colie at 1:10 AM on March 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Listen to Martin's own composition in support of The Beatles -- Side B of Yellow Submarine.
posted by hippybear at 1:33 AM on March 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


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posted by billiebee at 1:42 AM on March 9, 2016


The comedy records he produced in the 50's are also notable for their quality and general hilarity.

R.I.P. Sir George
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:46 AM on March 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


According to The Guardian obit, he also produced Goldfinger. That is a thing I never knew.
posted by hippybear at 1:49 AM on March 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


George Martin, the phrase not a hashtag, is currently at the top of the twitter Worldwide Trends list. It makes me happy he is being discussed around the globe. And sad because of why. :(
posted by hippybear at 1:51 AM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]



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Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
posted by DigDoug at 1:55 AM on March 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


He was a fantastic composer, as well as a genius engineer. Thank you for helping craft some of the most important music in my life, Sir Martin. RIP

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posted by dbiedny at 2:09 AM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


So that it doesn't get drowned out by the (completely justified) admiration for Martin's monumental work with the Beatles, I'm just going to mention his pioneering work on one of my favourite comedy records of all, Peter Sellers' Songs for Swingin' Sellers (1959)+. The Fabs themselves were fans of Martin's comedy productions, which helped bond them in the early days. On one track in particular, "Wouldn't It Be Loverly", Martin masterminded the Indian orchestral sounds that would come in handy on later Beatle tracks.

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posted by rory at 2:21 AM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by bryon at 2:22 AM on March 9, 2016


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posted by jadepearl at 2:22 AM on March 9, 2016


"When war came, he moved with his family for safety to Bromley, in south-east London, where he attended the grammar school.

On leaving, he worked as a tea-boy at the War Office, and in his spare time began playing in a dance band, having started to teach himself the piano at the age of six. In 1943, he joined the Fleet Air Arm and trained as an observer, but the war came to an end before he could see active service."

Comprehensive obit in the UK's Daily Telegraph
posted by Mister Bijou at 2:31 AM on March 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wow. This is big. He really was the fifth Beatle. He was so instrumental in their amazing sound. RIP.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:31 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


He was brilliant. Watch a mini-doc on the making of Revolver, with photos and audio clips of George Martin and the Beatles: part one and part two (this clip also has video interviews). Listen to Martin talk about his production and arrangement for "Strawberry Fields Forever," with examples of mixes. And listen to George Martin and his Orchestra's "Theme One." RIP
posted by mountainpeak at 2:57 AM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


"Somehwere up in the sky, beyond the little white clouds, FIVE MAGICIANS study their mysterious maps and gaze into their magic telescope. They are casting WONDERFUL SPELLS."
posted by pyramid termite at 3:00 AM on March 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


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posted by On the Corner at 3:14 AM on March 9, 2016


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posted by wheek wheek wheek at 3:19 AM on March 9, 2016


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posted by fmoralesc at 3:28 AM on March 9, 2016


. I've been listening to a lot of Beatles music ever since they released the core albums on Google Play and I'm still so blown away at how great fifty year old recordings still sound. The man was a true genius and the Beatles would have been such a lesser band without him.
posted by octothorpe at 3:40 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by sallybrown at 4:22 AM on March 9, 2016


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And yes, I am very glad that you specified which George Martin died as R.R. would have had direct impact on my current reading list.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:23 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:24 AM on March 9, 2016


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posted by oceanjesse at 4:24 AM on March 9, 2016


I mean, shit, I'm sadder about this than when George Harrison died.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:27 AM on March 9, 2016


RIP Serge Orjmartin. Weird name but a hell of a fifth Beatle - probably in my top 20 fifth Beatles.

And that reminds me of that wise Native American saying: "Only when the last fifth Beatle dies will people realise that you can't eat Paul McCartney - he's a vegetarian".

Oh - and another thing: shut up quidnunc, you tedious fucking moron. Just shut up.

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posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:37 AM on March 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


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posted by Halloween Jack at 4:40 AM on March 9, 2016


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To my surprise, I cried out loud in the kitchen when I heard this on the radio. I hope his life has been full of happiness and love
posted by mumimor at 4:43 AM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


If scores are your thing, this book contains all the parts Martin notated for strings and horns, for 20 Beatles songs.
posted by colie at 4:55 AM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 4:59 AM on March 9, 2016


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posted by young_simba at 5:00 AM on March 9, 2016


George Martin is the one and only fifth Beatle. With all due respect to Stu Sutcliffe, Pete Best, Neil Aspinall, Mal Evans, Brian Epstein, Andy White, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, Allen Klein, Billy Preston, Phil Spector, and all the rest for whom the claim is made: the contributions of all of them combined pale in significance to what George Martin brought to the table.

Not to diminish what The Beatles themselves brought to the table. In an alternate history, The Beatles may very well have recorded and succeeded with another producer. But the fact remains that they recorded and succeeded with George Martin; and his musical DNA is all over those recordings.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:02 AM on March 9, 2016 [13 favorites]


Regarding dbiedny's fantastic composer link, I've seen Yellow Submarine so many times that I can picture what's happening as that music plays, like when the mayor of Pepperland's quartet becomes a trio and then a duo and a solo, sir. But I've never listened to that music by itself and it really is impressive. I'd never realized the Blue Meanie's arrival around 1:30 sounded so... funky. This freaky, angry-scary orchestral funk, like something from the original Planet of the Apes. And then it gets so lovely again.

Man, 2016 is a year with bloody murder in its heart.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:02 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


So much to say, but work awaits, so this will have to do:

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posted by pmurray63 at 5:12 AM on March 9, 2016


🎶
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posted by ogooglebar at 5:16 AM on March 9, 2016


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posted by Thorzdad at 5:33 AM on March 9, 2016


single sustained E-major chord
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:36 AM on March 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


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posted by radwolf76 at 5:37 AM on March 9, 2016


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posted by mubba at 5:38 AM on March 9, 2016


mountainpeak, those are great links, thank you.
My first single was Strawberry Hills/Penny Lane. When I was four, we immigrated from Denmark to England, and naturally there were months where I was lost, with no language nor friends. Someone gave me the amazing gift of a portable record player and a Beatles single. Whoever thought The Beatles' first psychedelic recording was a suitable gift for a sad 5yo is a whole other question, I suppose I had wished for it and nobody had researched what it was.
My first album was Rubber Soul.
We settled in North England and I became a happy English person, until we had to migrate back to Denmark for economic reasons. The prize for this life-shattering experience was a boot-leg (my family was broke) box of all Beatles recordings. It became the symbol of my dream of going home to England again (which never happened). And for decades, I was a Beatles nerd who rejoiced when it turned out the music teacher shared my interest, and he introduced me to the wonders of George Martin.

George Martin was not a god, but someone so important, the universe probably listened to his productions and revolved around them.
posted by mumimor at 5:39 AM on March 9, 2016 [14 favorites]


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posted by pianoblack at 5:43 AM on March 9, 2016


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posted by valetta at 5:45 AM on March 9, 2016


Such a genteel revolutionary. Godspeed, sir.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:53 AM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


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(And I have to wonder how many Game of Thrones fans are freaking out confusing George Martin with George R. R. Martin.)
posted by SansPoint at 6:02 AM on March 9, 2016


I read the news today oh boy.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:04 AM on March 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Listening to "A Day in the Life" right now and trying not to cry because it's just so beautiful and perfect. We'll never see anyone like George Martin again.
posted by entropicamericana at 6:06 AM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was thinking recently while listening to The Blue Album how astounding the combination of ambition and execution the production of those songs is. Martin and his engineer Geoff Emerick were working with such clunky and primitive technology and the montages and layering that they managed to pull off with equipment that unforgiving is kind of breathtaking.
posted by octothorpe at 6:14 AM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]



posted by ubiquity at 6:15 AM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


He can't die! I haven't met him yet! IMO he was 50% of The Beatles... and very, very handsome. Stunning, even.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 6:28 AM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


OK: what if there is a cursed version of Yellow Submarine, and if you listen to it then, seven days later, an unearthly, dark-haired Beatle crawls out of the phonograph horn and scares you to death? It's a Japanese Horror film called: "Ringo".
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:38 AM on March 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


Echoing the thought that 2016 just isn't being kind to music legends.

And yes, I am very glad that you specified which George Martin died as R.R. would have had direct impact on my current reading list.

I think more people are upset that George R. R. Martin doesn't impact their current reading list.
But yeah, I glanced at the headlines this morning and thought, "Paging Brandon Sanderson. Mr. Brandon Sanderson, please pick up the courtesy phone."
posted by dances with hamsters at 6:39 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


What an amazing man.


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posted by droplet at 6:42 AM on March 9, 2016


A marvelous man who gave us so very much.

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posted by blurker at 6:43 AM on March 9, 2016


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posted by Cash4Lead at 7:03 AM on March 9, 2016


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He now belongs to the ages.
posted by rdone at 7:10 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by tdismukes at 7:17 AM on March 9, 2016


If you discount every bit of his work with The Beatles, you still have a body of work almost unparalleled in the industry.

A brilliant man who spent his life making others brilliant.
posted by eriko at 7:18 AM on March 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


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posted by lester at 7:28 AM on March 9, 2016


There was nobody like George Martin. I was sitting here trying to think of any other producer who was so instrumental in the creation of so much great music. The nearest I can come up with is Tom Dowd, but even he wasn't as important as Martin. You'd have to combine Ahmet Ertegun, Tom Dowd and maybe Berry Gordy into one super-human producer to equal George Martin. I know Phil Spector has his fans but to me "Let It Be" is the proof of how essential Martin was to the Beatles sounding like the Beatles. An amazing life.

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posted by wabbittwax at 7:32 AM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


So long, George Martin. Along with those four childhood heroes of mine from Liverpool, you were responsible for blowing my 9-year-old mind with Tomorrow Never Knows, and my 12-year-old mind with A Day in the Life. Not to mention all those songs before and after, which filled my senses and sparked my imagination and made me want to be a musician. I am eternally grateful. You were a true musical visionary and a brilliantly humble behind-the-scenes enabler. And a true gentleman. Farewell, and thank you.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:38 AM on March 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


RIP Sir George. He lead a long and glorious life, changed the way music is created, and helped ignite a cultural revolution. Boomers like me owe him everything.
posted by Ber at 7:51 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Beatles mash-up Love produced by George Martin and his son in 2006 is fucking amazing. I listen to that CD more than any other Beatles album. Although it is basically a 26-song CD, it blends together elements from 130 different songs, as many as four at a time, according to my ears. A beautiful demonstration of his mastery of sound.
posted by kozad at 7:54 AM on March 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


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posted by infini at 8:04 AM on March 9, 2016


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posted by pt68 at 8:06 AM on March 9, 2016


The Today programme on BBC Radio 4 ended this morning with one of the anchors reading out some reactions to his death over a bed of Day In The Life, then faded that up on "I read the news today, oh boy" and let it play - with the last echos of the final chord seguing directly into the pips for the 9 AM news.

Glad I caught that. And glad I can say - I shared a planet with George Martin.

Let the fanfare play.
posted by Devonian at 8:20 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]



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posted by Herodios at 8:20 AM on March 9, 2016


It's a Japanese Horror film called: "Ringo".

Which means "Apple" in Japanese. I'm sure you knew that.

I really don't have anything to add on the subject of Mr Martin. He had a bloody good innings and used it well.

It does feel like they're going round stacking chairs on tables and turning out the lights for the music world as we knew it, though.
posted by Grangousier at 8:20 AM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hard to imagine modern music without his influence.


posted by tommasz at 8:35 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by /\/\/\/ at 9:39 AM on March 9, 2016


They [The Beatles] didn’t mean anything to me. So it was a bit one-sided when we first met, but they had that idiotic sense of humour that I love too, and that made me want to be with them. If you haven’t got a good sense of humour, life’s not worth living.
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One of the true Greats.

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I agree, it's hard not to see it as the lights going out in the music industry. Is history really going to consider Lady Gaga and Kanye West of the same magnitude as, say, David Bowie or the Beatles? (And the financial collapse of the music industry - double-digit percentage decreases in revenue for a decade - also contributes to this morbidity in my mind.)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:41 AM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


I was sitting here trying to think of any other producer who was so instrumental in the creation of so much great music.

The American version of him would be Quincy Jones, with Michael Jackson as his 'Beatles.' But, as eriko says, even without the Beatles Martin would have been a legend. (I was surprised to see that he was knighted earlier than Paul McCartney.)
posted by LeLiLo at 9:51 AM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Remember kids, when you're adding that 18th track on your ProTools project, George Martin did St. Pepper with a 4 track.

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posted by vibrotronica at 9:58 AM on March 9, 2016 [11 favorites]


Also remember he was getting workingman's wages the whole time the lads were eating up the world. Nothing from his pal Dick James, nothing from the shirts at EMI. Should we renew his contract ehhh anyone could win with The Beatles . . . Only after The Beatles did he make any money. That's kind of outrageous but true, and it shows the kind of decent guy he was. Oh also he was the epitome of a record producer at arguably the most important nexus of popular music in history and he crushed it. Every. Time.

Goodbye Sir George, we love you.

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posted by petebest at 10:06 AM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Paul has just said George Martin was like a second father to him, and that definitely was part of the magic mixture. Martin was already in his late 30s when he first met them and his Brylcreemed background of RAF service followed by the BBC made him a gentle embodiment of the British class system that the Beatles/60s were about to challenge. But with Martin and Brian Epstein allowed to join their gang as associate members, the Beatles did it with charm and wit. For the first half of the 60s it felt like it was the Beatles' job to have fun, our job to watch them having it, and Martin's to make sure they stopped horsing around just long enough to get the records done.
posted by colie at 10:06 AM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by zenhob at 10:17 AM on March 9, 2016


Not to dive headlong into this silly argument but Bowie<>Kanye isn't the worst analogy. Though obviously he's got some years to go to match in output and also he's one of the only candidates for a close comparison (because of what's happened to the music industry).
posted by atoxyl at 10:22 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by glhaynes at 10:22 AM on March 9, 2016


The Bridge


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posted by parm=serial at 10:42 AM on March 9, 2016


If you can get a hold of the box set Produced by George Martin, it really shows off, over six CDs, just how wide and deep his involvement with recorded sound was.

I can't imagine The Beatles without his hand on the wheel. A brilliant, self-effacing man—two qualities in short enough supply in the industry, not to mention their scarcity in tandem.

Thanks for all the fantastic music, Sir George.

aav

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posted by the sobsister at 10:58 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


/You know, it's a shame that all the people who were really responsible for making the Beatles special never got together. Brian Epstein, George Martin, Phil Spector: the Maharishi on drums. What a band that would have been!

With respect Segundus, wabbitwax has it right. The Spector mixes of Let It Be only go to show Martin's brilliance. If anyone hasn't heard the '...Naked'-Martin mixes you should do that. Removing the schmaltz and bombast allows the heart of tunes like Let It Be, Long and Winding Road & Across the Universe to come through more clearly and more intimately. This lack of 'show' is also what gives Eleanor Rigby a certain detachment and prim formality that magnifies and multiplies the loneliness of the lyric. Again, if you don't buy it, compare with the string arrangement on She's Leaving Home which, while good (and better than Wall-of-Spector) does not have the same measured quality.
posted by stanf at 11:13 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Producer's shrewd yet selfless approach helped Beatles reshape pop
-- Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone
It was a radical gesture of faith on [George Martin's part to let the Beatles] sing their own songs . . . select their own cover versions . . . play their own instruments . . . keep their working-class Northern accents . . . permit the band not to have a frontman . . .

No other producer in the business would have been insane enough to just put the Beatles in front of their amps and let them play live, straight to two-track.

He didn't even have the common sense to help himself to a slice of their writing credits. . . . which would have been standard practice at the time. The failure of George Martin to rip them off remains one of the inexplicable elements of their story.
posted by Herodios at 11:17 AM on March 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


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posted by NailsTheCat at 11:27 AM on March 9, 2016


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posted by El Brendano at 12:15 PM on March 9, 2016


Above I wrote "Strawberry Hills" I have no idea why. Maybe some auto-correct thing. I'm sorry. I was literally listening to Strawberry Fields Forever as I posted.
posted by mumimor at 1:02 PM on March 9, 2016


For what it's worth, I have huge affection for his score to Live and Let Die, easily for me the best non-John Barry Bond soundtrack and at times certainly in the same league. I never really understood why he didn't do more; just nine credits according to IMDb, presumably by choice. Just phenomenally, phenomenally talented.
posted by specialbrew at 1:27 PM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Apparently it is being reported that one time when the Queen was talking to Nick Clegg, she said that George Martin was "just another of the talentless parasites who managed to latch on to the Beatles through a combination of astonishing good luck and an ability - often only barely adequate - to avoid fucking things up through dim-witted interference."

Clegg says this is nonsense, however, and my understanding is that HM was always more of a Stones girl anyway.
posted by Segundus at 1:34 PM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Beatles demo tape had been turned down by every record company in Britain (31 I think) before Epstein shopped it at EMI (an old) record company. That was the luckiest thing that happened to them.

Thank you Sir, Thank you Sir.
posted by Twang at 1:50 PM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


🎼 🎻 🎵 😢
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:06 PM on March 9, 2016



posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:46 PM on March 9, 2016


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posted by Empty Planet at 3:07 PM on March 9, 2016


Above I wrote "Strawberry Hills" I have no idea why.

Day after day
Alone on the fields
The man with the foolish grin is keeping
Perfectly stields

Perfectly stields,
Forever . . .

ai berried mumimor
posted by Herodios at 3:22 PM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]



Remember kids, when you're adding that 18th track on your ProTools project, George Martin did St. Pepper with a 4 track.


But kids, also remember that they bounced tracks like crazy, made lots of sub-mixes during the recording process, which is certainly not always ideal. Had they had more than four tracks, they would've used them! So go ahead and add that nineteenth track, kids! Heck, go all the way to... gasp! TWENTY FOUR! They've been doing that since the 70s, you know!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:30 PM on March 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


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posted by Lynsey at 4:02 PM on March 9, 2016


I was just watching this the other day, George Martin and George Harrison's son in the studio, listening to isolated tracks from Here Comes the Sun.

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posted by maggiemaggie at 4:36 PM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ah, it frustrates me to no end that this technology exists but is inaccessible to all but a few. What I would give to be able to sit there with those multi-tracks and just toy with the sliders all day (all week! all month!), uncovering all the layers.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 4:48 PM on March 9, 2016


For what it's worth, I have huge affection for his score to Live and Let Die...

I saw Live and Let Die in the theatre first-run when I was young. I knew Paul sang the song, but I didn't know who made that intense swirling pulsating soundscape around it back then.
posted by ovvl at 5:35 PM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have Live and Let Die on LP.
Thank you Mr. Martin. You trained me to listen and then gave me good things to hear.

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(sound of a piano lid creakly closing )
posted by djrock3k at 6:19 PM on March 9, 2016


How many times can I re-listen to "Strawberry Fields Forever" or "Tomorrow Never Knows" and instantly be transported to another dimension, a dreamworld -- and not only that, wish that the 4:05 and 2:58 they last could go on in a loop forever? Takes me back: sitting in the public library, listening to the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix LPs on headphones (couldn't afford my own LPs), narcotically whisked away from the crushing workaday horror of my shitty adolescence ...... I can without any risk of exaggeration say that Sir George saved my life many times over, because why would I have wanted to leave the world and never be able to hear those songs again?
posted by blucevalo at 10:47 AM on March 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


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posted by kuppajava at 1:51 PM on March 10, 2016


Reading that Sgt Pepper was done on a 4track makes me even more in awe of the man. Thank you for everything, Sir George. We love you.

ps Headphone listening still rules!!!
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 8:45 PM on March 10, 2016


George Martin Tribute Video just put up on The Beatles YouTube channel.
posted by anastasiav at 10:01 AM on March 11, 2016


Ten John Lennon requests that George Martin took in his stride:

"Inject My Voice."
posted by colie at 10:05 AM on March 11, 2016


The descriptions I've been reading of the ways John Lennon talked about music makes me wonder if he had synesthesia.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:22 AM on March 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've always assumed it was more Lennon's art school background rather than any real synesthesia. He approached the world sideways in a lot of ways. Ever read any of his little books?
posted by hippybear at 10:40 AM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


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