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The Beatles

The real fifth Beatle, Sir George Martin, turns 87

Since I haven't greet Sir George, a special tribute for him is I will give some information about Sir George Martin of the Beatles.. If there is one person in the world who can lay reasonable claim to the title of “the Fifth Beatle,” it has to be engineering wizard George Martin, CBE. Not only did he facilitate the Beatles’ first contract with EMI and provide input into the group’s early decision to fire original drummer Pete Best in favor of Ringo Starr, but his decision to record the Beatle’s first hit, “Please Please Me,” as an uptempo tune rather than a ballad probably helped to propel the song upwards on the charts. In addition to producing the Beatles’ very first single and their first number one hit, Martin engineered virtually all their albums, with the notable exception of “Let it Be.” He also composed, arranged and performed instrumental passages on numerous Beatles recordings, including many of the piano and organ parts. Unlike other popular bands at the time, the Beatles lacked an official keyboard player. Along with the imaginative keyboard playing of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, however, the Beatles benefited greatly from the keyboard skills of George Martin. This point alone accounts for the fact that many fans feel that he has earned his “Fifth Beatle” title fairly. In his long career with the Beatles and other artists, Martin amassed 30 number one hit singles in the UK and 23 in the US. Six times he has been awarded a Grammy. Martin, now 87 years old, suffers from permanent hearing loss as a result of hours of exposure to loud music. In a recent interview, he described rock and roll as the “domain of the young,” and noted that his days of producing it are over. But his statement to the Beatles as they played the last chord of “Please Please Me” in the studio reverberates to this day. “Gentlemen,” Martin announced from the console, “You have just made your first number one record.” As millions of Beatles fans can attest, it was not to be their last.  (Sep 19, 2013 | post #3)

The Beatles

Beatles 'Live at the BBC, Vol. 2' Coming in October

The follow-up to The Beatles' 1994 collection Live At The BBC has been announced. The Beatles: On Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2 cover artworkOn Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2 will be released on 11 November 2013 in a two-CD set and 180-gram vinyl packages. Both include a 48-page booklet with an introduction by Paul McCartney and liner notes by BBC producer Kevin Howlett. The album will contain 63 tracks, including 37 previously unreleased performances, and 23 excerpts of in-studio speech featuring the group and radio presenters Brian Matthew, Alan Freeman, Lee Peters and Rodney Burke. The 1994 album has also been remastered at Abbey Road Studios by Guy Massey and Alex Wharton, and will be reissued on the same date. Between 7 March 1962 and 20 May 1965, The Beatles gave 52 known musical performances on a variety of BBC radio shows, in addition to many more interviews and unscheduled news appearances, together or individually. The BBC releases coincide with a new book by Kevin Howlett. The Beatles: The BBC Archives: 1962-1970 is published in the UK by BBC Books on 10 October 2013 (29 October in the US), and will contain extensive information on the group's appearances for the corporation, as well as interview transcripts, photographs and archive documents.  (Sep 19, 2013 | post #15)

The Beatles

'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' turns 46: Huntsvi...

On The Beatles' final US tour in 1966, Paul McCartney was struck by the inventiveness of the West Coast hippy groups, with names such as Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, and Big Brother and the Holding Company. In November that year, on a post-holiday flight from Nairobi to England, he came up with the idea of an alter-ego for the band, which would perform an entire album before an audience. Some versions of events hold that Mal Evans came up with the name Sgt Pepper. It is believed to have been inspired by Evans asking McCartney what the letters S and P stood for on the salt and pepper sachets on their in-flight meal trays. Switching between straightforward rock verses and instrumental bridges featuring a French horn quartet, punctuated by three-part harmonies from McCartney, Lennon and Harrison, the song is more of an introduction to the Sgt Pepper concept than a rounded song.  (Sep 19, 2013 | post #58)