Elton John, "Candle in the Wind 1997" (1997)
The best-selling single George Martin ever produced wasn't a Beatles song. Immediately following Princess Diana's death, Elton John quickly reworked his 1973 song "Candle in the Wind," initially a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, to mourn the late royal. The recording would sell more than 33 million copies worldwide, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks. Though John might not have anticipated such massive sales, the single would clearly be a major pop event, so he contacted Martin to lend the precise air of gravitas he desired. They'd worked together just two years earlier on a track for John's Made in England album, which was recorded at Martin's AIR Studios in London. The elderly Martin arranged a string quartet for "Candle in the Wind 1997" and added an oboe as well. It would be the last hit Martin produced. K.H.