Thursday 20 April 2023


Martin's list of credits grow by the day, and he's a high-profile champion of spatial audio.Giles Martin is a chip off the old block, a real rarity in the behind-closed-doors world that is the studio profession. The multiple Grammy Award-winning British producer, composer and arranger learned his way around the desk, initially as a sidekick to his late father, Sir George Martin, one of most famous producers of them all.

Every career has its sliding doors moment. Martin, like many who make a career in music, had youthful dreams of playing in a rock band, and pursued rugby union (cracking reserve grade, just behind the sport’s elite league). 

When health problems hit his father, and threatened to end his career prematurely, the son stepped up.

George Martin, so-often called the “fifth Beatle” for his extensive work with the Fab Four, endured debilitating hearing loss later on, a product of long-term exposure to loud noise.

“I just learned it from him? You know, actually, I didn’t want to do what he did. I didn’t want to be a producer,” Giles tells Billboard. “I was a songwriter and I was in bands. He was incredibly discouraging of me doing that.”

When Martin was a teen, his father’s condition began affecting his work. “He didn’t want to tell anyone because he needed to carry on working. He wasn’t a very wealthy man, my dad. He was worried about not being able to work. So I’d be his ears on sessions with Ultravox or, you know, these ‘80s bands, and then moving on. And most people just thought it was a pain in the ass and didn’t realize what I was actually doing.”

The Martins made a great team. “I would know what notes he couldn’t hear anymore,” he explains. “I’d know when the notes were running out for him. I could read them. And I learned a lot.”

Hearing loss, sadly, comes with the turf. George’s ears were ruined by speakers cranked, over many years. “He used to say Jeff Beck and the White Album killed them,” Giles explains. “There’s no rock star that I know that hasn’t got some sort of bad hearing loss.”

When George Martin died in 2016, at the age of 90, he held the record as the producer with the most No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with 23.

Giles has continued to learn and create. His list of credits grows by the day, and includes classic Beatles special editions, from Revolver, to Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Let It Be and others, all of which dropped with great fanfare in recent years, plus The Chemical Brothers’ latest cut “No Reason,” and catalog releases with INXS, The Rolling Stones and many more. 


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