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With a Little Help from My Friends: The Making of Sgt. Pepper by George Martin

Telling the song-by-song story of one of the greatest albums in rock history, the producer who shaped the Beatles’ sound shows how each song developed and provides intimate portraits of the Beatles at their peak. 25,000 first printing.

 

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1962 George Martin reluctantly signed a young group called the Beatles to the EMI record label. Thus began his stint as record producer for one of the most groundbreaking bands in pop history. Martin, writing with freelancer Pearson, describes in detail the creative processes-both artistic and technical-that went into making one of the most acclaimed Beatles albums, the 1967 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, “a musical fragmentation grenade, exploding with a force that is still being felt.” Tracing each song on the record from its genesis in the mind of one of the Fab Four, Martin explains how each fragment or idea evolved, with input from the entire band and from the engineering team, into a final track, and how the album broke new ground. Fans hoping for an inside scoop on some of the more sensational aspects of the bandmembers’ lives will be disappointed, but admirers of the Beatles’ music and those who take an interest in the technical aspects of record production will find this book engrossing. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

There are many (probably too many) books on the Beatles already, but this one is by someone closer professionally to the group than anyone else–George Martin, producer of all the Beatles’ albums. With Pearson’s help, Martin focuses on the making of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the landmark 1967 album that–with its exotic instruments, innovative recording techniques, and sophisticated songwriting–opened new possibilities for rock music and also captured its era’s zeitgeist like few works of any kind before or since. Amid a detailed, song-by-song account of the recording of “the virtuoso music collage that is Pepper,” Martin recalls his first meeting with the Beatles at their 1962 audition, discusses the band’s musical influences, traces its members’ rapid progress from makers of simple pop songs to composers of intricate art music, and confirms or denies many established bits of Beatles lore. Until one of the surviving band members pens his own autobiography, this is as intimate and accurate a look at the Beatles phenomenon as fans are going to get. Gordon Flagg