“Produced by George Martin” is the perfect name for the DVD documentary that came out in the U.S. on Tuesday.
The hourlong documentary takes an in-depth view at the music Sir George Martin has overseen during his years at Parlophone Records and after. The documentary includes his work with such artists as Peter Sellers, the Goon Show, Cilla Black and many more. A nice part of the DVD is the inclusion of audio musical clips, some that will be new to many viewers, of the wide variety of music to his credit.
Of course there’s also this group called the Beatles that’s central to the film. Both Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney appear with Sir George and reminisce about working with him. Martin tells how he became interested in rock ‘n’ roll because of a desire to beat the number of number 1 records held by fellow producer Norrie Paramor, who worked with Cliff Richard.
In another interesting comment, Paul McCartney notes that after learning they were to work with Martin, known for his comedy work with Parlophone, the Beatles wondered why they weren’t “working with the music guy.”
Not all the Beatles memories are happy. Martin bristles when he talks about how he was told he wasn’t needed for the “Let It Be” album by John Lennon because he didn’t want his “crap” on the album.
Martin’s family life is also detailed, including his marriage to Judy and his work with his son Giles, who has followed in his father’s footsteps and shared the Grammy Award for their work on the Beatles’ “Love” album.
The disc also has some added special features of extended interviews from the documentary. Most of the Beatles recording session tapes featured in the documentary seem to have been released, except for the interesting clip from a Fab Four Christmas fan club recording.
The Beatles were only one facet of his career and “Produced by George Martin,” which originally aired on the BBC’s “Arena” series, documents it all quite well.
For anyone looking for an audio collection of his career, a six-CD “Produced by George Martin” box set by the same name as the film issued over 10 years ago isn’t cheap, but a single disc version with 24 tracks is. It includes tracks by the Beatles, Paul McCartney, five Beatles covers by Billy J. Kramer, Peter Sellers, Billy Preston, Celine Dion and David and Jonathan, plus several other familiar tracks. It’s a great supplement to the film.
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