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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 4 November 2000
Great. I initially only bought this because I was having an argument about who played the piccolo trumpet solo in "Penny Lane" (it was David Mason!) but having dealt with that I went on to read and enjoy the whole thing. There are a few daft mistakes (frets on a violin??) but a lot of great content. The stuff about the early days is absolutely riveting. Martin writes modestly and pleasantly about some very interesting musical events. It could do with an update maybe now - what about Air Monserrat and Air Lyndhurst??
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 August 2008
Sir George Martin writes as he talks, which is straightforward and with great knowledge of the record industry. So this book is awash with great little stories from his career, together with a lot of interesting information on the many artists he had produced at the time this book was written.

Obviously more time is spent on The Beatles, but he combines this discussion of the artists with quite a bit of technical information charting the history of recording techiques as they developed. Its here for me where the book probably loses a bit more than a star, as my interest (or perhaps lack of understanding) waned after I had read 2 or 3 pages on the advent of stereo.

That last comment is an important point. This book was written in the 1970's so anybody buying this to learn how a great record producer handles modern recording techniques will be sadly dissappointed.

However overall its an entertaining and mainly interesting read written by one of the best record producers (and certainly the most important) this country has ever produced.
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on 1 July 1998
For every music lover, its history is part of the pleasure. As we'll enter soon in the 21st Century, one must absolutely read the story of the man who, with The Beatles, changed the second half of the 20th century in helping them composed the most important opus of its time. This is a book about music, about people making music, this is a book about Sir George Martin, a humble man, a musician who was able to recognize that those youngs guys from Liverpool would, with a little help, change the course of music history and rise popular music to a higher livel, equal to the one normally reserved to the so-called "serious music". His life, his love, his work... Our pleasure.
And my greatest honour was to have my personal copy of this book autographed by Sir George Martin himself at EMI Abbey Road Studios in London...
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on 12 July 2014
A fascinating and well-written account of the life and work of one of Britain's most influential cultural figures of the post-war period. Reading it you can see that George Martin has had an enviable life, rubbing shoulders with the greatest comedians of the 50s and 60s and then, of course, the Beatles and many more. It is also evident that he got there by merit alone, starting at the bottom and working his way up through his talent and amiable personality The book has a lot of interesting technical knowledge about music, musical arranging, the recording practices of the pre-digital age and the ruthless nature of the record industry. It offers to any Beatles enthusiast a lot of insight into how they worked and the vast extent to which Martin was key to their success. If also offers interesting insight for any enthusiast of British post-war comedy.

Martin was only paid £15 to do the arrangement for All You Need is Love, and was then sued by Glenn Miller's estate for borrowing one of his tunes in the ending, and the record company insisted Martin should pay (they backed down in the end).

Paul McCartney told Martin he wanted "When I'm 64" to sound "Tooty" and Martin obliged with an arrangement for 3 clarinets.

The orchestra hired to play Martin's orchestration for Hey Jude wanted their fee doubling for having to clap and sing the melody.

...buy the book for more!
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on 28 January 2015
I found this to be an interesting read - particularly the insight into the Beatles early recording days.
It isn't just about the Beatles though, and it shows George Martin to be a very talented, and understated producer who, really, didn't receive the financial rewards his contributions deserve.
It shows that he wasn't always treated with the respect he should have had but he handled this in his usual polite, gentlemanly manner and definitely comes out on top in this respect.
It wanders off occasionally and in parts can be a little boring but in the main this book will be of interest to anyone involved in, or just a fan of, the music recording industry.
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on 6 April 1999
This is one of my favorite autobiographies because its author doesn't tell about just himself, he teaches you about orchestration, recording, and the history of the British recording business. (There are some amusing Beatle anecdotes as well. I particularly enjoyed John Lennon's trouble with saxophone notation.) My only quibble: It should called itself "All You Need ARE Ears", not just because verbs must agree with their subjects, but also--mostly--because a title that distances itself from its allusion is more graceful.
Also recommended: PENTATONIC SCALES FOR THE JAZZ-ROCK KEYBOARDIST by Jeff Burns.
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on 30 October 2014
Having read "Summer of Love" also by George Martin i was perhaps expecting a bit more but then again this book is older. It gives a very good description of what formed George Martin and how he got into the recording business and it is very interesting to read about the early years and the way they recorded. Wiewed from 2014 it seems like the Stone Age. I have a 32 track harddiscrecorder standing on my desk as i write this. The last parts of the book are VERY tecnical and perhaps a bit dated but all in all a good book.
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on 28 January 2010
An amazing part-autobiography and part history of the Beatles in the recording studio, this engaging book gives us the background to how the greatest pop group of all time produced their masterpieces. Without George Martin the Beatles would never have come to popular notice or gone on to write and play their greatest songs. A humble man worked his magic with the Fab Four and describes so eloquently how he did it - If you read this, it will make you want to play the songs again with renewed fascination, surely bringing yet more joy - I salute you George and the boys you cared for so well!
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on 30 September 2015
We all know everything about the Fab Four, but what do we know of Martin, the fifth Beatle? That's why this outstanding book should be essential reading. Written with much humour and self depreciation it details much of the creative recording processes that went on, not shunning some technical details every now and then. The book also paints an interesting picture of the post war recording industry and its many changes over the next decades.
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on 11 May 2016
A good and an informative read,although perhaps more information on his working methods and input with the Beatles would have you been interesting.
Of course Mr Martin was involved in lots more prior to this so the book as a whole was good.
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