The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #169220 Message #4089797
Posted By: The Sandman
25-Jan-21 - 04:01 AM
Thread Name: George Martin and influence
Subject: RE: George Martin and influence
As an arranger
Abbey Road Studios, where Martin recorded Parlophone's artists
Martin's formal musical expertise helped fill the gaps between the Beatles' unrefined talent and the sound which distinguished them from other groups, which eventually made them successful. Most of the Beatles' orchestral arrangements and instrumentation were written or performed by Martin, as well as frequent keyboard parts on the early records, in collaboration with the less musically experienced band. It was Martin's idea to score a string quartet accompaniment for "Yesterday" against McCartney's initial reluctance. Martin played the song in the style of Bach to show McCartney the voicings that were available. Another example is the song "Penny Lane", which featured a piccolo trumpet solo that was requested by McCartney after hearing the instrument on a BBC broadcast. McCartney hummed the melody that he wanted, and Martin notated it for David Mason, the classically trained trumpeter.
Martin's work as an arranger was used for many Beatles recordings. For "Eleanor Rigby," he scored and conducted a strings-only accompaniment inspired by Bernard Herrmann. On a Canadian speaking tour in 2007, Martin said that his "Eleanor Rigby" score was influenced by Herrmann's score for the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Psycho. For "Strawberry Fields Forever", he and recording engineer Geoff Emerick turned two very different takes into a single master through careful use of vari-speed and editing. For "I Am the Walrus", he provided a quirky and original arrangement for brass, violins, cellos, and the Mike Sammes Singers vocal ensemble. On "In My Life", he played a speeded-up baroque piano solo. He worked with McCartney to implement the orchestral climax in "A Day in the Life", and he and McCartney shared conducting duties the day that it was recorded.
Martin contributed integral parts to other songs, including the piano in "Lovely Rita", the harpsichord in songs such as "Because" and "Fixing a Hole"; the old steam organ and tape loop arrangement that created the Pablo Fanque circus atmosphere that Lennon requested on "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" (both Martin and Lennon played steam organ parts for this song), and the orchestration in "Good Night". The first song that Martin did not arrange was "She's Leaving Home", as he had a prior engagement to produce a Cilla Black session, so McCartney contacted arranger Mike Leander to do it. Martin was reportedly hurt by this, but still produced the recording and conducted the orchestra himself. Martin was in demand as an independent arranger and producer by the time of the band's 1968 self-titled double album (also known as the "White Album"), so the Beatles were left to produce various tracks by themselves.
Martin composed and arranged the score for the Beatles' film Yellow Submarine and the James Bond film Live and Let Die, for which Paul McCartney wrote and sang the title song. He helped arrange Paul and Linda McCartney's American number 1 single "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey".
Paul McCartney once commended Martin by saying: "George Martin [was] quite experimental for who he was, a grown-up."