George Martin has died aged 90.
The Guardian reports that Ringo Starr broke the news earlier this morning on Twitter.
God bless George Martin peace and love to Judy and his family love Ringo and Barbara George will be missed xxx ?✌️??☮
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) March 9, 2016
C A Management, which represented Martin, issued a statement confirming his death:
“We can confirm that Sir George Martin passed away peacefully at home yesterday evening, Tuesday March 8th. The family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages of support.
“Sir George started producing records for EMI’s Parlophone label in 1950. He was noted for his comedy recordings with the likes of Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Beyond the Fringe and got his first Number 1 with The Temperance Seven in 1961. He signed The Beatles in 1962 and, with the band, helped revolutionise the art of popular music recording.
“In a career that spanned seven decades he was recognised globally as one of music’s most creative talents and a gentleman to the end.
“The family ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”
Interviewed in Uncut last year, Paul McCartney spoke at length about the qualities Martin brought to a recording session.
“He’s just the best,” McCartney told us. “I’d always admired him and loved what we’d done together with The Beatles. He was brilliant to work with. He was the grown-up in the room. We would all be the naughty little kids. When he would go out, we’d even try and sneak a take in. ‘We can do it without you!’ It was all that, you know. When The Beatles broke up, he got the short end of the stick. But we all knew he was the best. I used to say he had a great bedside manner. He was very clever, like a doctor when you’re ill. They have a way of not getting you angry. ‘Sure, let me just take your temperature.’ George was like that. I’d disagree with one of his ideas, and they were often very good ideas, and instead of having a barney about it, he’d say, ‘Maybe we could just try it and if you don’t like it, we’ll lose it.’ Then I’d go, ‘Oh, ok.’ He was clever that way. He’d get you to try things.
McCartney went on to praise Martin’s critical role in the recording of “Please, Please Me”.
“Originally, we brought it to him as a very slow Orbison-esque ballad. [Mimics Orbison] ‘Last night I said these words… Come on – doodoo – come on – doodoo…’ But George said, ‘It might be good a bit faster.’ We’d reply, ‘No.’ But he’d persuade us. ‘Oh, go on then, we’ll try it.’ So we did. [Starts singing] ‘Last night I said…’ He said, ‘There’s your first Number 1.’ So that, and a million times more that happened, that thing. I just knew he was very good. If you were going to do an album, he’ll give you good strong decisions; he’ll put it together well. You’re going to get a great sound quality. He’s a swot like that. He’s good at maths. He would know why something wasn’t working. Whereas I’d say, ‘It doesn’t sound good,’ he’d say, ‘It’s overloading because we put too much bass there and we need to just do this.'”
As well as The Beatles, Martin also produced artists including Jeff Beck, Elton John, Celine Dion, Kenny Rogers and Neil Sedaka, as well as two James Bond themes: “Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey and Paul McCartney and Wings’s “Live And Let Die”.
How very sad to wake to the news Sir George Martin has left us. He made my first Bond film sound brilliant!
— Sir Roger Moore (Legacy) (@sirrogermoore) March 9, 2016
Here’s a roundup of other Twitter tributes.
George Martin, my hero. So sad. The definitive record producer.. such a gentleman and was so kind to me. He did it all first.. and best.
— nigel godrich (@nigelgod) March 9, 2016
R.I.P. George Martin. I'm so gutted I don't have many words. Thinking of Judy and Giles and… https://t.co/3Nc8sCgRpN
— Sean Ono Lennon (@seanonolennon) March 9, 2016
RIP and thanks George Martin .. his presence is everywhere
— neil mullane finn (@NeilFinn) March 9, 2016
Sir George Martin. Gentleman and legend. R.I.P.
— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) March 9, 2016
Sir George Martin RIP LG x
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) March 9, 2016
RIP George Martin. There were two Beatles called George.
— Ian McMillan (@IMcMillan) March 9, 2016
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