George Martin was the record producer for the Beatles at EMI from the very first day to the completion of their final album, Abbey Road. Their most famous collaboration, the peak of the band's creativity, was the LP they spent six months recording in the winter and spring of 1966, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band." In this book Martin, with the help of William Pearson, tells the story of the making of that record.
Martin moves from song to song and describes how they were put together, including the two that were held off the album to become a double A-side single, "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane." He talks about the instrumentation, the order that tracks were laid down, and the experiments and funny surprises that helped create the unique sound of "Sgt. Pepper."
But Martin's slim, 165-page account is not strictly limited to the making of that album. He recounts how he met the boys, provides his theory for why American blues became so popular in Liverpool and influenced them, and mentions some of his earlier innovations with the band, such as "Rain" and "Tomorrow Never Knows." This was also the period when the band's mentor and manager, Brian Epstein, with whom Martin had become fairly close, died of a drug overdose (accidental, Martin is convinced).
The producer who handled comedians like Peter Sellers and the Goons before the Beatles fell into his hands, and who went on to work with Jeff Beck, America, and Elton John, proves to be a charming host as he recounts his amazing memories of the 1960s' biggest musical (perhaps even social and fashion) phenomenon.
This report prepared by David Loftus