DVD Review: Produced By George Martin

Written by September 11th, 2012 at 11:54 am

Various Artists
Produced By George Martin
(Eagle Vision)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Like George Martin’s career, this 85 minute BBC documentary takes a little while to hit its stride. But when it does, about a half hour in as the Beatles and British pop music in general enter the picture, it’s a riveting examination of the complex, classy and enormously influential producer. Martin started working with light classical, jazz and comedy acts at Parlophone in the late 50s, but found his niche when he signed four Liverpool lads the world has come to know so well. For the next eight years, Martin helped expand the boundaries of where pop/rock could go, using primitive equipment and his classical music background to redefine the role of a record producer. He’s sadly going deaf now, but his easy camaraderie with both Ringo and Paul during recently recorded segments shows a side to all of them we rarely see. Those looking for lots of detailed Beatles recording information won’t find it here due to time constraints (although 50 minutes of extras are added), yet this is a beautifully constructed look at Martin’s entire career. Rare film footage, seldom seen photos and fascinating interview snippets with post-Beatles artists he worked with such as Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin, Jimmy Webb, America and others, along with charming discussions with his longtime wife Judy, complete the portrait of the most important and arguably the most humble pop music producer ever.

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