Looking Back at the Work of George Martin

With the passing of George Martin, the music world has lost one of the most distinctive voices who ever created music from behind the scenes.

As a record producer, he was there from the very beginning of the Beatles, having them audition for him on June 6, 1962 at London's Abbey Road Studios and recording their first song, How Do You Do It, on September 4. Martin would be produce every Beatles record except for Let It Be which had Phil Spector helming. He would also arrange many of their hits including Yesterday, Penny Lane, I Am the Walrus, In My Life and A Day in the Life.

Martin also worked on The Beatles Anthology in the 90's, overseeing post-production and worked with his son Giles on the Cirque du Soleil production on Love.

Overall, Martin produced 205 different tracks for the band.

While his work with the Fab Four may have been his best known, Martin had an extensive list of productions and arranging that he did for other artists. Here's just a small selection of the other music on which he worked including what is considered the biggest selling song of all-time, Elton John's remake of Candle in the Wind for Princess Diana's funeral, with an estimated 37 million copies sold.
  • My Kind of Girl - Matt Monro
  • My Boomerang Won't Come Back - Charlie Drake
  • Little Children - Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas
  • Bad to Me - Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas
  • Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying - Gerry & the Pacemakers
  • You're My World - Cilla Black
  • How Do You Do It? - Gerry & the Pacemakers
  • I Like It - Gerry & the Pacemakers
  • Ferry Cross the Mersey - Gerry & the Pacemakers
  • Goldfinger - Shirley Bassey
  • You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry & the Pacemakers
  • Alfie - Cilla Black
  • Michelle - David & Jonathan
  • Live and Let Die - Paul McCartney & Wings
  • Tin Man - America
  • Lonely People - America
  • Sister Golden Hair - America
  • Oh! Darling - Robin Gibb
  • The Night Owls - Little River Band
  • Ebony and Ivory - Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder
  • Say Say Say - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
  • No More Lonely Nights - Paul McCartney
  • Candle in the Wind 1997 - Elton John
His 23 number 1 singles in the U.S., 19 by the Beatles and 1 each by America, Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson and Elton John, is the most of any producer with Martin four ahead of Max Martin and seven ahead of Dr. Luke and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. 

His album productions include major hits on both sides of the Atlantic. Among them:
  • Beyond the Fringe - Original Cast Recording with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore
  • That Was the Week That Was - David Frost and Millicent Martin
  • Sentimental Journey - Ringo Starr
  • Seatrain - Seatrain
  • Icarus - Paul Winter Consort
  • Apocalypse - Mahavishnu Orchestra
  • Holiday - America
  • Blow By Blow - Jeff Beck
  • Hearts - America
  • Hideaway - America
  • Wired - Jeff Beck
  • Harbor - America
  • A Song - Neil Sedaka
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Original Soundtrack Album
  • No More Fear of Flying - Gary Brooker
  • All Shook Up - Cheap Trick
  • No Place to Run - UFO
  • Time Exposure - Little River Band
  • Quartet - Ultravox
  • Tug of War - Paul McCartney
  • Pipes of Peace - Paul McCartney
  • Give My Regards to Wall Street - Paul McCartney
  • Tommy - Original Cast Recording (1993)
  • The Reason - Celine Dion
Then there were Martin's own recorded works, normally recorded with an orchestra. Among them:

  • A Hard Day's Night: Instrumental Versions of the Motion Picture Score (1965)
  • Help! (1965)
  • Yellow Submarine (1969, side B)
  • Live and Let Die (also composed score) (1973)
  • Beatles to Bond and Bach (1978)
  • In My Life (1998)
  • The Family Way (2003)
Martin has won six Grammy Awards, Best Contemporary Album and Album of the Year in 1967 for the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Arrangement in 1973 for Live and Let Die, Musical Show Album in 1993 for Tommy and Compilation Soundtrack Album and Surround Sound Album in 2007 for the Beatles' Love.

He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999) and the UK Music Hall of Fame (2006), 


1 comment

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