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)
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).
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