Sound Pictures

The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, The Later Years, 1966-2016
Narrated by: Paul Woodson
Length: 23 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sound Pictures traces the story of the Beatles' breathtaking artistic trajectory after reaching the creative heights of Rubber Soul. As the bandmates engage in brash experimentation both inside and outside the studio, Martin toils along with manager Brian Epstein to consolidate the Beatles' fame in the face of growing sociocultural pressures, including the crisis associated with the "Beatles are more popular than Jesus" scandal.  

Meanwhile, he also struggles to make his way as an independent producer in the highly competitive world of mid-1960s rock 'n' roll. As Martin and the Beatles create one landmark album after another, including such masterworks as Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (The White Album), and Abbey Road, the internal stakes and interpersonal challenges become ever greater.  

During his post-Beatles years, Martin attempts to discover new vistas of sound recording with a host of acts, including Jeff Beck, America, Cheap Trick, Paul McCartney, and Elton John, his creative breakthroughs followed by unprecedented commercial success. Eventually, though, all roads bring Martin back to the Beatles, as the group seeks out new ways to memorialize their achievement under the supervision of the man who has come to be known as Sir George.

©2018 Kenneth Womack (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully told the story of one of the most important cultural figures of our time

The Beatles were the most important cultural influence during the last 60 years, and without George Martin, they would not have been what they ended up being. George Martin, with his quiet confidence, with and intelligence did much more than simply record the group well; he absolutely contributed to the compositions and added inspiration to the process. The story was wonderfully written, and the narrator was first class, often reading the quotations in the voice of the person quoted.

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Must reading for any musician that loves Beatles l

Must reading for any musician that loves Beatles. Masters functioning in a perfect storm of genius.

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Not recommended

Pretentious narrator with ridiculously imitated accents nearly ended my reading the book in the first hour. His accent for Martin actually sounds like Ringo - far from posh.
Few interesting chapter for rubber soul through abbey road but not enough to warrant a purchase

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great book about a towering music legend

the second installment in the story of a great man who was instrumental in bringing the music we all know and love to life ends with the rest of his accomplishments after the Beatles told in detail and gives you the complete picture of the life of one of the music world's best producers. Great book recommended to all who hold an interest in music and simply a great biography.

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  • Marc mcdermott
  • 01-27-19

What’s with the impressions??

All I wanted when I got this book was for a straight forward story about the great producers work? Instead however, I got 23hours of irritating rubbish English accents trying to be done by the narrator! Who happens to be American? 🥴

Really hard to listen to!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Venta
  • 03-23-19

Great on the making of Sgt Pepper

It's great on the making of Sgt Pepper. Full of detail, it chronicles the long sessions from a new song being brought in to the enormous amount of takes before it's finally signed off by the group (irritatingly referred to as 'the bandmates') and George Martin. Would they have been as good in 1967 without George Martin? It's hard to say probably not, they would have got there somehow, but the work at Abbey Road was undoubtedly groundbreaking. On 4 track recording machines which was all they had at the time.
Outside the making of Sgt Pepper it's a bit thin and feels a bit rushed and I don't feel as though I know much about the man.
The writing is rather uninviting, and, taken with the poor narration and execrable attempts at doing the accents, it sounds like an account by a solicitor or bookkeeper

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  • keith
  • 09-07-19

Great follow up

This book is like the first great biography of a great man love this great read

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  • J. Laing
  • 03-15-19

Really great book, explaining much!

This book is really inciting, it explains much of what went on in those last, sometimes awful, but nearly always brilliant, Beatles sessions/years. I am a Beatles tragic who thought I knew it all, however there were many things I learnt within this book. wonderfully read and very informative, and not just on the Beatles front. This os also a nice supplement to Geoff Emerick's fantastic book 'Here, There, and Everywhere, My Life Recording The Beatles'. That is a must read if you haven't as yet. May you rest in peace George Martin, what an amazing fellow, and thank you for your legacy!