The hands of English record producer George Martin conducting, at Air Studios in London, 1986. Photo: Chalkie Davies/Getty Images
English record producer George Martin (1926 - 2016) at Air Studios in London, 1986. Photo: Chalkie Davies/Getty Images
English record producer George Martin (1926 - 2016) at a piano, circa 1968. Photo: Popperfoto/Getty Images
The Beatles in the studio during the recording session for the song 'The Fool On The Hill' at Studio 2, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London, September 25 1967. L-R Road manager Neil Aspinall, producer George Martin, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, George Harrison. Photo: Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images
1964, The Beatles, L-R: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, producer George Martin, John Lennon. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
English singer, songwriter and musician Paul McCartney in a studio to record 'The Family Way', November 1966. On the right is arranger and producer George Martin. Composed for the film of the same name, 'The Family Way' is considered by many to be the first Beatles solo album. A photoshoot for The Sunday Times. Photo: Dufy/Getty Images
The Beatles at a recording session for the Parlophone label with their producer George Martin, circa 1963. Photo: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
22nd May 1968: English pop singer Cilla Black in the studio with George Martin, recording the title song to her first film 'Work is a Four Letter Word'. Photo: Chris Ware/Keystone/Getty Images
Ringo Starr appearing with George Martin on Yorkshire TV Production 'With a Little Help from My Friends' presented by George Martin. Photo: Photoshot/Getty Images
The Beatles sign documents for music publisher Dick James in Studio 2 at Abbey Road in London recording the single 'She Loves You', 1st July 1963, L-R Dick James, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, producer George Martin (in background), John Lennon (writing) and Ringo Starr. Photo: Terry O'Neill/Getty Images
Joni Mitchell and George Martin in Osaka, 1994. Photo: Denis O'Regan/Getty Images
English singer, songwriter and musician Paul McCartney (left) in a studio to record 'The Family Way', November 1966. Centre, in a white shirt, is arranger and producer George Martin. Composed for the film of the same name, 'The Family Way' is considered by many to be the first Beatles solo album. A photoshoot for The Sunday Times. Photo: Dufy/Getty Images
Sir George Martin (R), known world-wide as the fifth Beatle from his collaborations with the famous musical group, shares a seat with a statue of John Lennon in a park of Havana, Cuba, 30 October, 2002. Martin made a visit to Cuba to ofer conferences on the Beatles and to participate in concerts with Cuban musicians. Photo: Adalberto Roque/AFP
The fifth Beatle: Remembering George Martin, architect of The Beatles
The Beatles are arguably the most iconic rock band in history. They're certainly the best-selling one. So it's no surprise that when John Lennon and George Harrison passed away it made headlines. But this weekend, George Martin, a man equally instrumental to the sound of The Beatles passed, but his passing was greeted with relative silence.
The band's producer, right from their first hit Love Me Do all the way through to their breakup, his musical input was so integral to the sound of Beatlemania that he was dubbed 'the fifth Beatle'. While he played down the moniker with trademark modesty, his contribution to the sound that came to represent the 60s, is undeniable.
The Beatles themselves are the first to admit it. John Lennon, who lashed out in spite against Martin post the band's breakup, had this to say once tempers had calmed, "George Martin made us what we were in the studio. He helped us develop a language to talk to other musicians."
And that's exactly what he did.
When he first decided to give The Beatles a recording contract, they were interesting but unrefined. It was Martin's classical music training that helped make the band's music more polished, introducing elements that turned good songs into iconic ones.
From the circus atmosphere-inducing arrangement on Being for the benefit of Mr. Kite to the string quartet approach to Harrison's Yesterday. So good was his ear that he scored the piccolo solo for Penny Lane based just on Harrison's humming. He even conducted the orchestral parts for dozens of Beatles' songs.
And that's just scratching the surface.
Most of the music you attribute to the fab four was inextricably tied into Martin's genius. He's gone now, permanently relegated to the shadows he spent his entire life working in. The music he helped create though, will always command the limelight.
Text by Ranjan Crasta