George Martin

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    • Although his influence on The Beatles ran the gamut from changing personnel (Ringo) to playing on song after song as far in as "Pepper" - and to scoring, arranging and/or producing almost every track they ever recorded - perhaps George Martin's most profound impact was in helping the boys get their first big hit. John and Paul had balked at Martin's suggested "How Do You Do It" for their first record, wanting only to release their own songs as singles - but, for all its success (and Brian Epstein's help), "Love Me Do" had peaked at #17 on the charts.
      John Lennon had originally conceived "Please Please Me" as a slow, dramatic Roy Orbison-type torch ballad, but Martin demurred, suggesting at the end of the "Love Me Do" session that they speed it up, add some harmonies and "have another go at it" next time. John and Paul added an Everly Brothers touch (as well as their own flair) and turned the slow ballad into a bluesy rocker loaded with pop hooks. After the final take, George told them "Congratulations, gentlemen, you've just made your first number one" - which it became on several charts, including Melody Maker and the BBC's "Pick of The Pops".