George Martin, The "Fifth Beatle" Dies At Age 90
In 1962 The Beatles were a raw rock and roll band that nobody in the music industry wanted to produce. But George Martin, a young producer at EMI Studios with a classical music and novelty record background, heard a creative spark he thought he could nurture. And over the next eight years he guided the lads from Liverpool from a raw vocal guitar band into a musical phenomenon, and arguably the most popular and influential band of all times.
It was George Martin who convinced Paul McCartney to add a string quartet to his song “Yesterday”, which in turn led to the beautiful strings only arrangement of “Eleanor Rigby.” George Martin added keyboard parts to many early songs and then went on to arrange and add other classical and orchestral instruments to the Beatles music. Imagine Penny Lane without its piccolo trumpet solo. He introduced The Beatles to tape loops and backwards tape recording and used multi-track recording and the recording studio itself as creative tools to create popular music that had never been imagined or heard before, resulting in the groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper album. The second side of the Beatles final record was a series of short musical “movements” inspired by classical composition. It was also George Martin’s idea. And above all he was a gentleman and nice person.
Goodbye George. Thanks for changing music. [George Martin 1926-2016]