Colloquially referred to as the fifth member of the Beatles, Martin auditioned the band in 1962 at Abbey Road studios and went on to produce virtually every one of the British band’s albums, including Help, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (The White Album), Abbey Road, and more. Famously, he used his classical background to enhance the tremendous talents of John, Paul, Ringo, and George.
Elements like the string quartet on “Yesterday,” the score for “Eleanor Rigby,” the harpsichord playing on “Fixing a Hole,” are things that we all instantly recall as poignant moments of Beatles songs. These are just a handful of Martin’s vast contributions to the most famous band in rock and roll history. It is no overstatement to say that without George Martin, we simply would not have the same Beatles recordings that generations so dutifully, proudly pass on to their kin.
Later in his career, Martin went on to work with Pete Townshend, Elton John, Dire Straits, and many more. Perhaps his proudest collaboration, however, was with his son Giles, with whom he remixed over an hour of original Beatles music for the Cirque du Soleil arena show, Love, which began in 2006.
RIP George, you will be sorely missed, but the music you helped realize to its fullest potential will live on.
Let’s celebrate George Martin by sharing our favorite Beatles songs in the comments below.