Conceived as a BBC TV documentary/profile and then sent out to the rest of the world as a DVD Produced By George Martin is a loving portrait that Beatles fans will want to see. There’s a day in the life aspect, watching Sir George Martin interact with family and friends and he sits down to talk through his fascinating life behind the records. Before The Beatles there were orchestral albums, TV soundtracks, incidental music, source music – there were comedy records, The Goons. And after The Beatles there were key albums too – Jeff Beck’s Blow By Blow being one of my favourite records ever; a fusion touchstone in the mid-70s.
Giles Martin, son and heir, is on hand to chat about his dad – and their Love collaboration.
But the real magic here is in seeing Martin, now 87, being able to essentially eulogise himself; in that humble way he has.
Were it not for The Beatles we wouldn’t know about Martin, despite his tireless work before he ever met the mop-tops.
And of course the incongruity of Martin the classical and comedy producer working with the rock’n’rollers is part of the magic we know now simply as history; musical and cultural history.
The first Beatles documentary I watched, The Compleat Beatles, a VHS tape that I watched over and over as a young teen, featured Martin’s talking head heavily. He was passionate, erudite, humble, astute, wise. He was so clearly aware that he was lucky to have worked with The Beatles and that they were lucky to have met him too – though he’d never actually say that. He understood the alchemy.
Here you hear more of that wisdom, passion and grace from one of pop music’s great guiding hands.