George Martin, who produced much of the Beatles‘ classic catalog, has died. The cause of death has not yet been released. He was 90.
Ringo Starr reported the news on Twitter. “God bless George Martin,” he wrote late Tuesday night. “Peace and love to Judy and his family, love Ringo and Barbara. George will be missed.” In another post, accompanied by a photo of Martin with the Beatles, Starr wrote, “Thank you for all your love and kindness.”
Over the decades, many people have claimed to be the “fifth Beatle.” But the only person who can credibly hold that title was Martin. The producer not only signed the Beatles to their first record contract in 1962 but went on to work extensively with them on the vast majority of music they recorded over the next eight years, from “Love Me Do” to the majestic suite that wrapped up Abbey Road.
“George Martin made us what we were in the studio,” John Lennon said in 1971. “He helped us develop a language to talk to other musicians.”