Jan 032013

George and America Do Ringo

This post’s title pretty much asks all I want to ask: Excluding Beatles records, solo Beatles records, and for the sake of argument pre-Beatles records (eg, Goon Squad recordings), what’s the best single recording birthday boy George Martin, who turned 87 today, has produced? It doesn’t need to be an entire album; it can be a single song.

Is it Cheap Trick‘s “Dream Police” (the song) All Shook Up? Is it something by America? Is it Stackridge‘s “Pinafore Days”? Unless something is slipping my mind it may be—I can’t believe I’m typing this—Jeff Beck‘s groundbreaking fusion album, Blow by Blow.

Regardless of the seemingly tremendous gap between his work with the Beatles and any other record he produced after them, Happy Birthday! Your value as the Fifth Beatle far outweighed your contributions as the Fourth American.


  22 Responses to “Excluding Records Featuring Members of The Beatles, What’s the Best Single Recording Birthday Boy George Martin Has Produced?”

  1. “Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey.

  2. cliff sovinsanity

    I’m not sure if GM produced Dream Police. I’m a sucker for the subtle background harmonies on Sister Golden Hair. It’s a great single from a mediocre band.

  3. Easy for me, Sean Connery doing “In My Life”, brings tears every time I heard it that one time.

  4. Good call on this one. Seems he also produced From Russia With Love which I believe gives him 3 Bond film songs.

  5. I had no idea. That’s definitely in the lead.

  6. What do I know. It was All Shook Up that Martin produced.

  7. misterioso


  8. I’m voting for Sister Golden Hair. A pretty good single from a crap band.

  9. Is “Sister Golden Hair” that one with lines having to do with something on Mondays and having “got so damn depressed” and not being ready for the alter and stuff like that? “If you leave me in the middle, if you leave me in the end…” The song I’m hearing in my head is something I have attributed to the Eagles, meaning it annoys me as much as any other Eagles song.

  10. Ferry Cross the Mersey is a pretty decent runner-up.

  11. misterioso

    Blow by Blow, um, blows. Beck records after Beck-ola? It would take real effort for me to care less. The same could be said of most of George Martin’s non-Beatle productions. I have a soft spot for some of the other Merseybeat hits he produced but for this I would have to submit his work with The Action, a pretty decent little r & b combo, as Paul might say.

  12. misterioso

    Well, yeah. But a fine little pop song with bits of solo George and country Dylan.

  13. Cliff, I just gave you a high five because I realized I wrote almost the exact same thing as you about SGH.

  14. You have to listen through the crap.

  15. machinery

    don’t ask me how I know this one piece of trivia but I’ve always LOVED “Dont let the sun catch you crying” by Gerry and the Pacemakers which was produced by George Martin. My mom had this single back in the day. It’s a bit theatrical, but I love the arrangement.

  16. I forgot he produced the Action. That’s a keeper.

  17. I listened through that crap long enough, long ago. No thanks! It’s catchy, like crabs.

  18. I didn’t know he produced that one. OK, he did do some decent productions beside the Beatles after all.

    I DO know about your theatrical past. I will gladly produce your One-Man Show in 2013.

  19. I always think of America, along with Bread, as “bands that my friend’s big sister liked.” That “Horse With No Name” big hit is the song that I really can’t handle – George didn’t have anything to do with that I hope!

    I also remember reading about one of the band members complaining that the radio wouldn’t play their “new” songs — this was probably 10 years after that “You Can Do Magic” song. What a crybaby.

  20. cliff sovinsanity

    Gawd, I haven’t thought about that “Magic” song in a good long while. I always thought that song and “Eye In The Sky” by the APP were long lost twins separated at birth.

  21. trigmogigmo

    I may be one of the hall’s bigger Cheap Trick advocates, but All Shook Up qualifies as a merely good but not great album. The production is interesting, clear and crisp, neither too glossy nor muddy, so I will give Mr. Martin (and engineer Geoff Emerick) credit for that.

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