George Martin: 20 Great Non-Beatles Productions

Cheap Trick, Elton John, James Bond and more

Load Previous

Ultravox, "Hymn" (1982)

"It was George Martin who smoothed everything over," recalled Ultravox singer Midge Ure in his autobiography If I Was…. During the recording of the band's 1982 album Quartet, the producer kept a musical disagreement between band members from reaching meltdown proportions. But "smoothed everything over" might as well have applied to the album itself — and in particular its hit single "Hymn." Ultravox had begun years earlier as a spiky, glam-and-punk-influenced outfit, but by '82 they had morphed into a synth-pop frontrunner. "Hymn" was the apex, a bombastic, elegantly frictionless anthem that made Ultravox's rivals sound like they were playing Speak & Spells. Twenty years after turning the edgy sound of rock into something manicured and mainstream, Martin did the same with synth-pop. J.H.

Back to Top