Beatles Producer George Martin Played on 30+ Tracks

Next time you hear a Beatles tune — and you’ll hear a bunch today — there’s a decent chance you’re hearing the fifth Beatle, George Martin, their producer on some type of keyboard. A fine musician himself, here’s a list of the songs on which the just-turned-90 genius played.

Harmonium:

If I Needed Someone

The Word

A Day in the Life

Cry Baby

Organ:

Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely HCB

Across the Universe

Got To Get You Into My Life

Sun King

Piano:

Penny Lane

Lovely Rita

Rocky Raccoon

Misery

Baby It’s You

You Really Got A Hold On Me

Not A Second Time

Money

All You Need Is Love

Slow Down

Matchbox

Getting Better

Tomorrow Never Knows

Good Day Sunshine

In My Life

You Like Me Too Much

What You’re Doing

A Hard Day’s Night

No Reply

Rock & Roll Music

Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey

Tambourine:

Run For Your Life

georgemartinbeatles Beatles Producer George Martin Played on 30+ Tracks

8th April 1963: British pop group The Beatles holding their silver disc. Left to right are, Paul McCartney, George Harrison (1943 – 2001), Ringo Starr, George Martin of EMI and John Lennon (1940 – 1980). (Photo by Chris Ware/Keystone/Getty Images)

George Henry Martin was born January 3, 1926. Young George insisted on learning the piano but, after just eight lessons, insisted on quitting… preferring to teach himself. He says music was always in him – that, “like John (Lennon), I grew up feeling music and naturally making music.” George eventually received classical training on a veterans grant as a composition student after serving in the Royal Navy during World War II.

Sir Paul chats with Sir George about his pre-Beatles Navy time in this short clip from the 2012 documentary Produced by George Martin. (Ringo shows up momentarily.)

Martin signed the band while a young producer at EMI’s Parlophone label – recording jazz, cabaret, but mostly comedy and novelty records. Another reason why he was such the ideal fit for the Beatles. They’re nothing if not funny. In fact, their producer-to-be initially liked their wit more than their original songs.

3143623 Beatles Producer George Martin Played on 30+ Tracks

George Martin 1965 (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The future ‘Sir George’ played piano on a number of tracks from Please Please Me and dozens more as listed above. He suggested adding a string quartet to Yesterday and scored others, such as Eleanor Rigby and Penny Lane. He encouraged them to experiment. They, by nature, being experimenters… it was the perfect combo.

Martin writes in his memoir, All You Need Is Ears, that it was a colleague who made one of the better suggestions in human history:

“George. I don’t know if you’d be interested, but there’s a chap who’s come in with a tape of a group he runs. They haven’t got a recording contract, and I wonder if you’d like to see him and listen to what he’s got?”

“Certainly,” I said, “I’m willing to listen to anything. Ask him to come and see me.”

“O.K., I will. His name’s Brian Epstein…”

Happy birthday to the beloved George Martin! And many more.

115682558 Beatles Producer George Martin Played on 30+ Tracks

LAS VEGAS, NV – JUNE 08: Music producer Sir George Martin attends the fifth anniversary celebration of “The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil” show at The Mirage Hotel & Casino June 8, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Cirque Apple LLC)

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