Home Music Music Lists

10 Great Beatles Moments We Owe to George Martin

Producer’s key contributions to Fab Four canon, from Baroque “In My Life” solo to radical “Strawberry Fields Forever” edit

The identity of the true “fifth Beatle” has been hotly debated for half a century, but the strongest case can be made for Sir George Martin. The band’s trusted and loyal producer, Martin served as expert and conspirator, taskmaster and mad scientist, friend and father figure throughout the band’s studio life. He shaped their songs in ways that are seldom appreciated but impossible to forget.

Unlike most producers of his era, his creative daring fostered an environment where it was acceptable to explore and expand the realm of the possible. He played with the Beatles, in every sense of the word — by picking up an instrument, or merely indulging their curiosity and translating their abstract musical fantasies into reality. “He was always there for us to interpret our strangeness,” recalled George Harrison. It’s difficult, and frightening, to imagine the Beatles’ artistic trajectory had they been paired with anyone else. His role as a confidant, advocate and realizer cannot be overstated.

As we mourn his death at age 90, we remember his life and the incredible work he did with “the boys.” These are 10 of our favorite moments in the Beatles’ catalog that we owe to George Martin.

George Martin; Beatles; Song List

Mandatory Credit: Photo by DAVID MAGNUS/REX/Shutterstock (10678e) George Martin George Martin

David Magnus/REX/Shutterstock

“Happiness Is a Warm Gun” (1968)

The strangest title in the Beatles canon this side of "Octopus's Garden," this White Album track owes its name to George Martin, who brought a magazine into the studio one day. "He showed me a cover of a magazine that said 'Happiness Is a Warm Gun,'" Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1970. "It was a gun magazine. I just thought it was a fantastic, insane thing to say. A warm gun means you just shot something."

Show Comments