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George Martin RIP

Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the architects of modern recording. George Martin is best known as the producer who took a chance on a young band called The Beatles and helped shape them into one of the most influential bands in the history of rock music. His innovations in the studio and broad view of what could be done in popular music set the stage for nearly everything that happened in the second half of the 20th Century.

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-03-09

Martin heard The Beatles' demo tape in 1962 as they were trying without success to secure a record contract. Once Martin took them in at Parlophone, a musical revolution was in the making, as the band, with his close collaboration, started to incorporate sounds that had never been used in rock before. Whether it be string quartet, sitar and tablas, or new electronic developments, everything became fair game in the studio.

Paul McCartney, writing on his website, said:

He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family. If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George.

From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I've ever had the pleasure to know.

George Martin was knighted in 1996 and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. It's hard to imagine anyone who was not himself a recording artist who has had a greater influence on popular and progressive music.

Filed under: Obituaries

Related artist(s): The Beatles

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