via National Review:
by Charles C.W. Cooke | March 9, 2016
For evidence that The Beatles would have been great without George Martin in tow, one need look no further than at the band’s first LP, Please Please Me, which was recorded in a single day with few of the producer’s magic touches added and which sparkles nevertheless. “One, two, three, FOUR,” Paul McCartney screams at the outset, and from that moment they are off. Listening fifty-three years later, one is struck by the energy exploding through the valves. This was a group that was always destined for glory.
But not, perhaps for the stratosphere. That would take collaboration, and, specifically, it would take George Martin. Paul McCartney was born a master craftsman with a perfectionist’s ear, and yet it is unlikely that he would have so effortlessly channeled the baroque without Martin there by his side. John Lennon’s foray into surrealism and magic was likely foreordained—the penchant for escapism that he exhibited in his early years tells us that much—and yet to make his trips down the rabbit hole sparkle and gleam he needed Martin’s technical adventurism and smorgasbord mind. When talking about The Beatles, “serendipity” is an overused word. But there really is none other that will suffice. If the fab four were Michelangelo, Martin was the paint. Presented with some of the finest songwriting in all of human history, he made it his life’s work to weaponize the recording studio in its favor. He was, in the modern parlance, an enabler. (Read More)
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