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George Martin As A Vocal Producer
13 March 2016
Mr. Kite
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About a year and a half ago a thought popped into my head that I believe has some merit to it.

As many of us may know, Sir George began his career as a novelty and comedy record producer. Obviously he was always very talented and musical, but it may seem a big jump from comedy (almost) directly to the music of the greatest band of all time. But was it? The Beatles were marketed on their first record as a vocal group, and the beautiful vocal harmonies continued to be a very large aspect of their music. My thoughts were that maybe the skills George gathered in producing comedy records, skills that would include maintaining great vocal clarity and knowing just how to EQ a voice to get pleasant tonal qualities, were what made his production of The Beatles' vocals so great. Of course he grew along with the band, and they did some pretty amazing things together that demonstrate George's skills everywhere, but I believe the comedy records may have created a solid vocal foundation which greatly contributed to the band's sound.

I heard some conversation was needed around these parts. Thoughts? a-hard-days-night-george-10

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13 March 2016
Inside the beat
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Agreed, and I think the other ingredients of successful comedy were also important: timing, honing his voicing arrangements and understanding genre. Take the Temperance Seven for instance, 30s trad jazz with a crooner style of singing, check this out:

That's 1960. Ok I cheated, Peter Sellars is singing it, but still. He did an awful lot of novelty songs with Sellars, and you're spot on about the vocal clarity:

1960 too!

1956. George would have scored these arrangements as well.

One last Temperance Seven in 1962, illustrating vocal harmonies:

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