Andre Gardner

LAS VEGAS - MAY 24: Music directors Giles Martin (L) and Sir George Martin (R) speak at the media viewing of The Beatles "Love" by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage in Las Vegas on May 24, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Until the end of time, Sir George Martin will be remembered as The Beatles’ producer. Not That there’s anything wrong with that – it’s quite a legacy in perpetuity. But, like the Boys, Martin had to carve out a post-Beatles career of his own. As you will see below, on this anniversary of his birth, these 7 songs George Martin produced that AREN’T by The Beatles, he did quite well, thank you.

His Beatles Work

The work Martin did with The Beatles cannot be overstated in its greatness. I firmly believe The Beatles’ path would have taken a totally different term, had EMI assigned someone else to oversee their recordings. He was not only tolerant of their goings-on in the studio while they made their albums, he was also tolerant of their out-of-the-box song ideas. A corporate cookie-cutter producer might have dismissed “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite” or “Flying.” Instead, Sir George spoke fluent Beatles and was able to take their ideas from their heads to recording tape heads.

Martin the Businessman

Martin was not only a great producer, he was a smart businessman borne from necessity. Pre-Beatles he carved out an impressive resume of productions in classical and comedy recordings. In 1955, and just 29 years of age, EMI made him the head of their boutique record label, Parlophone. Incredibly, EMI, with whom he was employed, not only grossly underpaid him for his services over the years, but refused to give him royalties (“points”) on sales of recordings he produced. That would later become the norm in the industry, but it steamed Martin enough that he formed his own production company and left EMI. Of course, no one in their right minds at EMI would break up the Beatles-Martin team, so they brought him in as the first independent producer to do a session at Abbey Road Studios.

Post-Beatles Career

After the Beatles’ breakup, Martin became an in-demand producer, though he was careful to select the bands with whom he worked. To his credit, his post-Beatles producing discography is so varied, but I guess that’s not too surprising coming from the guy who used to produce classical and comedy recordings for EMI/Parlophone. Here are 5 examples of songs George Martin produced that aren’t by The Beatles

  • 13 Questions - Seatrain

    I remember first hearing this on WIBG back in 1970, and instantly falling in love with the song. When DJ John “Records” Landecker announced that it was by Seatrain, and that it was produced by George Martin, I couldn’t get to the record store fast enough to grab a copy. It’s still one of my favorites, and was Martin’s first post-Beatles “hit” here in the U.S.

  • Freeway Jam - Jeff Beck

    Ever the studio perfectionist, Jeff Beck worked beautifully with the very patient George Martin, and achieved his biggest solo success with the album Blow By Blow. Here’s a tasty example from that influential album:

  • Sister Golden Hair - America

    George scored his first post-Beatles #1 in the U.S. with this track from America’s Hearts album, one of five of their albums produced by Martin.

  • Come Together - Aerosmith

    In my view, the only good thing about that disastrous 1978 “Sgt. Pepper” movie were some of the songs.  They were produced by George Martin and there were a few real gems, like this Beatles cover by Aerosmith.  The band were, understandably, thrilled to work with Martin on this track.

  • Everything Works If You Let It - Cheap Trick

    Cheap Trick’s 1980 album All Shook Up was produced by George Martin, and a non-album single from the sessions was released on the soundtrack album for the movie “Roadie.” I love this song so much, I won an acetate of the recording on an ebay auction!

  • Take It Easy On Me - Little River Band

    BIG LRB fan here.  I was so psyched when George Martin produced their album “Time Exposure” in 1981.  The album yielded three top 20 hits, including this fine track.

  • Reap The Wild Wind - Ultravox

    A band that was huge in the U.K. but didn’t make much of a dent over here was Ultravox.  The biggest hit they did have in the U.S. was this one, produced by George Martin, and got a nice amount of play on MTV.  LOVE this song!

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