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Music

Listen to 10 George Martin tunes that go beyond the Beatles

Tributes At Abbey Road Studios For Beatles Producer George Martin

A message in tribute to Beatles producer George Martin is seen on the wall of Abbey Road Studios on Wednesday in London. Martin, who produced the Beatles, passed away Tuesday at 90. 

(Carl Court / Getty Images)

“George Martin made the greatest band in history so much greater. And in the end, what he really produced was magic,” writer David Wild posted on Twitter late Tuesday after it was announced the producer, known for his groundbreaking collaboration with the Beatles, had died at the age of 90.

Wild’s words are just one of the countless tributes that have come in for Martin, and while his work with the Beatles is remarkable and universally beloved — he was, after all, often considered “the fifth Beatle” — it would be unfair to overlook his indelible contributions to pop that go beyond the Fab Four.

Here are ten tunes produced by Martin that are worth revisiting today:

“Say Say Say,” Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson

This hit collaboration between Martin’s longtime collaborator and an ascendant King of Pop appeared on McCartney’s 1983 album “Pipes of Peace.” The song sold more than 1 million copies.

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“Goldfinger,” Shirley Bassey

Composed by John Barry with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, this track from the 1964 film of the same name is maybe the signature track to open a Bond film.

“Stop This Game,” Cheap Trick

The power-pop band wore its Beatles influence on its sleeve with this single, which cracked the top 50 on the Billboard charts in 1980.

“The Reason,” Celine Dion

Released in 1997, this sweeping ballad was the other side to the single of Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.” It was co-written by Carole King and features orchestral flourishes.

“Candle in the Wind 1997,” Elton John

This song originally appeared on John’s 1973 album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” but Martin came on as producer of its 1997 re-release in a tribute to the late Princess Diana. The song went to No. 1. in the U.S. and U.K.

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“How Do You Do It?,” Gerry and the Pacemakers

This single went to No. 1 in the U.K. in 1963 for the Liverpool group. Martin was also interested in the Beatles releasing the song as a single, but it remained shelved until it was collected as part of the band’s “Anthology 1" set in 1995.

“Ebony and Ivory,” Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder

Another No. 1 single, this somewhat syrupy track from McCartney’s 1982 album “Tug of War” was nominated for a Grammy Award song of the year.

“Alfie,” Cilla Black

Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, this often-covered song was performed by U.K. vocalist -- and Brian Epstein client -- Cilla Black for the soundtrack for the 1966 film of the same name.

“The Man I Love,” Kate Bush and Larry Adler

Released in 1994, this song appeared on the compilation “The Glory of Gershwin,” which was produced by Martin in tribute to musician Larry Adler’s 80th birthday.

“Morning Desire,” Kenny Rogers

George Martin’s name isn’t often associated with country music, but he produced Rogers’ 1985 album, “The Heart of the Matter.” Both the album and this song went to No. 1 on the country charts.

 

gerrick.kennedy@latimes.com

For more music news follow me on Twitter: @gerrickkennedy

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