Kenneth Womack’s new book on George Martin
is the first of two volumes (the second comes out next year), and it seems to be the first biography of the Beatles producer, which is kind of surprising. That alone makes Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, The Early Years 1926-1966
a significant work in and of itself (although Martin himself wrote a pair of memoirs in the ’90s, the first of which—1994’s All You Need Is Ears
—Womack sources for insight into his early years).
Womack's book, perhaps unsurprisingly, is dominated by Martin’s working relationship with the Beatles, which began in 1962—quite late in the 40 years this first volume surveys—but takes up more than three quarters of the text. While Martin’s pre-Beatles years are covered more than adequately, it might have been fun to dive deeper into his groundbreaking work producing comedy records with the likes of Beyond the Fringe and Peter Sellers, much of which demanded wild creativity in the studio and stood him in good stead when the Beatles began to expand beyond their two-guitars-bass-and-drums sonic template. Britain’s “satire boom” of the early ’60s contributed a huge part to the Beatles’ DNA, something that often gets overlooked by critics and fans.
Source: Portland Mercury