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Sound Pictures
Sound Pictures

Sound Pictures

The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, The Later Years, 1966–2016


560 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: PDF, Mobipocket, EPUB, Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $22.99 (US $22.99) (CA $30.99)

Publication Date: September 2019

ISBN 9781641602266

Rights: US & CA

Chicago Review Press (Sep 2019)


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A powerful glimpse into the mind, the music, and the man behind the sound of the Beatles

The second book of two, Sound Pictures traces the story of George Martin and the Beatles’ incredible artistic trajectory after reaching the creative heights of Rubber Soul. As the bandmates engage in brash experimentation both inside and outside of the studio, creating such masterworks as Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (The White Album), and Abbey Road, the internal stakes and interpersonal challenges become ever greater. During his post-Beatles years, Martin attempts to discover new vistas of sound recording with a host of acts, including Jeff Beck, America, Cheap Trick, Paul McCartney, and Elton John. Eventually, though, all roads lead Martin back to the Beatles.



“They seemed an unlikely partnership—the Beatles, who knew everything about rock and roll music, and their classically trained producer George Martin, who knew very little. But as Kenneth Womack uncovers in this engrossing and forensically detailed biography, the recording studio became a ‘magic workshop’ and George Martin a musical wizard when it came to the Beatles’ songs. A fascinating read.” —Ray Connolly, author of Being Elvis

"An authoritative account of pop-music history and the man who helped shape it." —Kirkus Reviews

"George Martin transformed the role of 'producer' as much as the Beatles transformed our idea of a 'band,' so Kenneth Womack's engaging account of Martin's life fills a major hole on pop music's shelf. For a rich, illuminating understanding of how the Beatles catalog transcends song, performance, and arrangement, jump through this hogshead of real fire: tonight, George Martin tops the bill." —Tim Riley, author of Tell Me Why and Lennon: Man, Myth, Music

"A marvelous magical mystery tour behind the wizard's curtain—one that leaves us with a deep understanding of one of the key architects of pop culture. Essential reading for anyone who's ever had a soundtrack to their dreams." —Vivek J. Tiwary, author of The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story

“The book contains enough fresh information and informed insight about the group’s early years to satisfy the most devout Beatlemaniac.”—ForeWord Reviews 

"Beatles fans will love this and look forward to Womack’s continuation of the Martin story." —Booklist Online

“Even though Paul McCartney dubbed him the ‘Fifth Beatle,’ George Martin was always more than the Beatles’ producer, and Kenneth Womack’s highly detailed and immensely readable second volume again captures the talent, determination, and warmth of one of popular music’s great innovators and true gentlemen.”—BRIAN SOUTHALL, author of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

“Through a generous helping of firsthand accounts and his insightful storytelling skills, Kenneth Womack brings to life the creative process by which the Beatles’ late music was presented to the world. Covering 1966 to the end of George Martin’s life, Sound Pictures captures the imagination, expertise, and humor in the Beatles’ partnership with their production and engineering team, connecting the dots with interpretations of Martin’s important side projects and post-Beatles work. Fascinating reading!”—WALTER EVERETT, author of The Beatles as Musicians

“Fulfilling the promise of his first volume, Kenneth Womack narrates the high season and post-Beatles portion of Martin’s career with enough engineering details to please sound geeks, framed inside inviting prose for the general reader. While the Fab Four dominated Martin’s work, his many outside projects ranged from soundtracks, arrangements, and arch professional diplomacy to inexplicably overlooked bands like the Action. In Womack’s telling, Martin emerges as something far more than a footnote in the Beatles’ story.”—TIM RILEY, author of Lennon

“Kenneth Womack’s engrossing biography of George Martin offers a fascinating and compelling look at the producer’s career—from his remarkable partnership with the Beatles to the pioneering work he composed and produced in the decades after the breakup. Womack celebrates Martin’s humor, talent, and genius, providing new insights into the man who exerted such a profound impact on music history. A must-read for musicians, producers, Beatles fans, and music lovers.”—SCOTT FREIMAN, filmmaker, Deconstructing the Beatles

"Complete the Martin set with this strong addition to Womack’s impressive list of Beatles books." —Booklist

"This book will reinforce readers' admiration for the Beatles and give them an appreciation for a producer's efforts." —Library Journal

Author Biography

Kenneth Womack’s books include Maximum VolumeLong and Winding Roads, The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles, The Beatles Encyclopedia, and New Critical Perspectives on the Beatles. Womack is dean of humanities and social sciences at Monmouth University, where he also serves as professor of English.