RIP George Martin – Good Night

abbeyroad

George Martin has passed away at the great age of ninety. He was a record producer, composer, and arranger. But of course he was much more than that to music fans and history. He was not only the producer of the Beatles studio albums but he signed the band to EMI, changed the slow ballad “Please Please Me” into the #1 pop juggernaut we know it today, and launched a revolution. He was the man who, when John Lennon said he wanted “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” to sound like “sawdust”, made it so. How many record producers get knighted for their contribution to the world? Sir George did.

The Beatles came into the studio as raw talent. They were developing songwriting talents that burned but it was Martin that brought it into focus, sharpening their vision and widening their scope and penchant for experimentation. With another producer they may have still succeeded but they would have never scaled the heights they did without him. It was because of George Martin that they changed the way popular music is created and inspired a cultural revolution that is still reverberating today.

I’d post a version of “Good Night” but it’s impossible to find a decent YouTube video of it. So I recommend you pull out your old copy of the White Album and find that track. Sink into that lush bed of strings and remember one of the great gentlemen of rock n’ roll. There will never be another like him.

About jeroljohnson

I guess I'm the crying on the inside kind of clown
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3 Responses to RIP George Martin – Good Night

  1. People always want to give John Lennon credit for the backward tape thing that showed up on “Rain” and around the time of Revolver, when, in fact, that was completely George Martin’s idea and invention.

    The sound and space he created for the Beatles was amazing. I don’t think there are many producers who can create such a profound and important sound for a band and yet not get their fingerprints all over it (think: Phil Spector).

    I’m annoyed by those folks — session musicians, DJs, etc — who make their bones saying they were the “5th Beatle” (unless you were Stuart Sutcliffe, in which case you really WERE the 5th Beatle). But, if there was someone who deserved to be called the 5th Beatle, it was George Martin … and I always appreciated that he would always graciously say “no” when someone suggested he was.

    It IS a good day for the White Album.

  2. jeroljohnson says:

    Ever hear the “naked” version of the Let It Be album with all of Spector’s embellishments wiped out? It’s like a blast of cold, fresh air.

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