Jeff Beck, "Diamond Dust" (1975)
"A successful record has to be a real expression of everyone's talent," wrote Martin in All You Need Is Ears. "That was true when I recorded Ella Fitzgerald and it is true when I work with Jimmy Webb. And it is true when I made successful recordings with Jeff Beck." On paper, the team-up between Martin and Beck seemed unlikely; the former Beatles producer was known for his symphonic finesse and the former Yardbirds guitarist was known for his bluesy edge. But by the mid-Seventies, Beck had disbanded his celebrated power trio and began exploring more ambitious musical vistas, which led to enlisting Martin for Blow by Blow. On it, Beck and Martin find space to spotlight everything from Stevie Wonder's clavinet to lavish string arrangements – the latter appearing on the record's jazzy, eight-and-a-half-minute closer, "Diamond Dust," a cinematic sprawl and synergistic triumph. J.H.