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William C. Altreuter
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Friday, March 11, 2016

I wouldn't say that Sir George Martin's contributions were ever overlooked, but there are so many of them that it is mindblowing:
Be it a third-verse addition of handclaps or a change-up from off-beat to on-every-eighth shaking of the tambourine for a song's coda, the m.o. here was a subtle but profound one — to add to or alter a track's layering as it proceeds, thus negating, sometimes on a subliminal level, the prospect of the listener experience growing stale or predictable.
 Credit where it is due, Jeff Miers gets it right in his Buffalo News piece:
His desire for rational harmonic order meshed with McCartney’s similar tendencies, and tethered Lennon’s penchant for raw experimentalism, which is why songs like “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “A Day in the Life” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” are masterworks, and the Rolling Stones’ contemporaneous “Their Satanic Majesties Request” sounds like the work of a bunch of acid-heads run amok in the recording studio.
And I love this, about the orchestration on "A Day In the Life": 
Mr. Martin’s solution was to take a page out of the playbooks of classical composers like John Cage and Krzysztof Penderecki, who at the time were creating works in which chance played a role. Mr. Martin hired 40 symphonic musicians for a session on Feb. 10, and when they turned up, they found on their stands a 24-bar score that had the lowest notes on their instruments in the first bar, and an E major chord in the last. Between them, the musicians were instructed to slide slowly from their lowest to highest notes, taking care not to move at the same pace as the musicians around them.
13 albums and 22 singles with Beatles: less than 10 hours of music, and it changed the world.

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