With a Little Help From My Friends: The Making of Sgt. Pepper

Genre: Music, Memoir; Author: George Martin, William Pearson

The producer who signed the Beatles after just about every major label turned them down highlights the more than 700 hours of studio time devoted to Sgt. Pepper, the album he credits with launching the Summer of Love in 1967. Martin is smart to focus his Beatles career on the making of this album; it marked the time when his bright young boys outstripped his own musical vision, as well as the capabilities of EMI’s recording technology. His struggles to translate their revolutionary vision onto vinyl make for fascinating reading in With a Little Help From My Friends: The Making of Sgt. Pepper. Even more riveting is Martin’s polite diplomacy about the valuable contributions of each Beatle — although he takes swipes at John Lennon and lauds the many virtues of Paul McCartney (who Martin says was so loyal to the errant John that he took LSD so his dear friend wouldn’t have to trip alone). Paul’s fans will feel vindicated by this book; John’s will have a good giggle. B+

Originally posted May 26 1995 — 12:00 AM EDT

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