Along with the rest of music fans worldwide, today we mourn the loss of Sir George Martin, the prolific music producer who was also frequently known as “the fifth Beatle.”
Ringo Starr first acknowledged over Twitter last night that Martin had died at the age of 90. On his website, Paul McCartney wrote a remembrance that began, “I’m so sad to hear the news of the passing of dear George Martin. I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever. 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… he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.”
After hearing the Beatles’ demo tape in 1962, Martin signed the band to their first recording contract on the Parlophone label, and went on to produce 205 commercially-released Beatles songs, from their early efforts to their innovative psychedelic years through The Beatles Anthology post-production work in the ‘90s.
Martin also composed, arranged and produced film scores, and The Beatles often trusted him with arrangements, such as the strings on “Yesterday” and “Eleanor Rigby.” He produced more than 700 records in all, working with many artists such as Sting, Shirley Bassey and Celine Dion. In 1997, he co-produced with Sir Elton John a new version of “Candle In the Wind,” which went on to sell the most singles of all time: 37 million.
In Electronic Musician’s 2009 interview with Martin, the conversation covered his impressive career, his unique production perspectives and methods, working on live music and more.
For additional reading and videos on, the BBC has put up a nice Sir George Martin tribute page.