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George Martin, 90

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The “Fifth Beatle” took an interest in an unknown quartet, giving them their first record deal and paving the way for Beatlemania.

"I didn’t know them from Adam, they didn’t mean anything to me… but they had that idiotic sense of humour that I love too, and that made me want to be with them. If you haven’t got a good sense of humor, life’s not worth living."

- George Martin
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Martin met the Beatles in 1962, signing them to EMI’s Parlophone label later that year. He was their main producer and a creative influence, helping shape songs like “Please Please Me,” “Yesterday” and “Eleanor Rigby.” Here, Martin and the Beatles work in a recording session, circa 1963.

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Martin was an ace with a four-track recorder, using it to create layered sounds on albums like “Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The band split with Martin after the taping sessions for “Let It Be,” but they reunited for “Abbey Road.” Phil Spector ended up producing “Let It Be,” which was released as the Beatles’ final album in 1970.

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Martin also played on some Beatles songs, including the piano part of “In My Life.” After the Beatles broke up, Martin -- unlike many fans -- did not call for them to get back together, saying it wouldn’t be the same. He worked with John Lennon and Ringo Starr on their solo projects, as well as artists like Jeff Beck, Kenny Rogers and Cheap Trick, and oversaw the release of several archival Beatles recordings. He died in March.

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