George Martin dead: 'Fifth Beatle' record producer dies aged 90

Sir George helped The Beatles achieve global success as the head of Parlophone Records

Sir George Martin obit

Sir George Martin, the record producer, dubbed the 'Fifth Beatle', has died aged 90.

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr announced the news on Twitter, writing: “God bless George Martin peace and love to Judy and his family love Ringo and Barbara. George will be missed.”

Sir George helped The Beatles achieve global success as the head of the Parlophone record label after hearing their demo tape in 1962.

He captioned a picture of the Fab Four and Sir George with the phrase: “Thank you for all your love and kindness George peace and love.”

Sean Ono Lennon, son of John and Yoko, also paid tribute, saying: "I'm so gutted I don't have many words."

Liam Gallagher tweeted: "Sir George Martin RIP LG x".

Singer Lenny Kravitz wrote on Twitter: “The legends are really going home! Visionary producer of TheBeatles, George Martin (1926-2016).”

Fellow music producer Quincy Jones, who is best known for co-producing several of Michael Jackson's albums, said he had been friends with Martin since 1964.

Singer Josh Groban said: “Every time I record at abbey road I geek out and play with the mics sir George Martin used. What an ear, what a life, what a legacy.”

DJ and producer, Mark Ronson called Martin the "greatest British record producer of all time" while Boy George said he was a "gentleman" and a "legend".

Sir Roger Moore credited Martin for making his first Bond film sound "brilliant". He was, of course, referring to Live and Let Die for which Martin wrote the score and composed the arrangement for Sir Paul McCartney's iconic title theme song.

Television presenter Piers Morgan said: “RIP Sir George Martin. The 5th Beatle, producer extraordinaire & a musical genius.”

Prime Minister David Cameron also paid tribute online, writing: “Sir George Martin was a giant of music - working with the Fab Four to create the world's most enduring pop music.”

In 1962, it was a phone call from music publisher Syd Coleman which changed the course of Sir George's life.

Coleman said he had met a man called Brian Epstein, who managed a new band called The Beatles, and would Martin be interested in hearing their demo?

When Martin heard the tape - which featured versions of “Besame Mucho” and “Three Cool Cat”s, as well as originals such as “Hello Little Girl” and “Like Dreamers Do” - and went on to meet them, he realised their potential.

“I liked them as people apart from anything else, and I was convinced that we had the makings of a hit group,” he said.

But he was not convinced they had songwriting ability.

“As composers, they didn't rate. They hadn't shown me that they could write anything at all,” he told Melody Maker. “'Love Me Do' I thought was pretty poor, but it was the best we could do.”


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