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  • Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin

  • The Early Years, 1926-1966
  • By: Kenneth Womack
  • Narrated by: Paul Woodson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (35 ratings)

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Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin cover art

Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin

By: Kenneth Womack
Narrated by: Paul Woodson
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Summary

Maximum Volume offers a glimpse into the mind, the music, and the man behind the sound of the Beatles. George Martin's working-class childhood and musical influences profoundly shaped his early career in the BBC's Classical Music department and as head of the EMI Group's Parlophone Records. Out of them flowed the genius behind his seven years producing the Beatles' incredible body of work, including such albums as Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Abbey Road.

The first book of two, Maximum Volume traces Martin's early years as a scratch pianist, his life in the Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War, and his groundbreaking work as the head of Parlophone Records, when Martin saved the company from ruin after making his name as a producer of comedy recordings. In its most dramatic moments, Maximum Volume narrates the story of Martin's unlikely discovery of the Beatles and his painstaking efforts to prepare their newfangled sound for the British music marketplace. As the story unfolds, Martin and the band craft numerous number one hits, progressing toward the landmark album Rubber Soul - all of which bear Martin's unmistakable musical signature.

©2017 Kenneth Womack (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin

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George

Brilliant book, about George and his life producing the Beatles. A wee tip if you’re listening to this book on normal speed it’s horrendous. I upped it to 1.7. You don’t really hear the accents he’s imitating.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Decent Early History

If you can push past the over-use of ‘the Brains Trust’ it’s a decent audiobook

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Captivating and Well Narrated

If you’re a Beatles or George Martin fan just buy it, it’s a great listen...

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A legend

What made the experience of listening to Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin the most enjoyable?

His early life story but love his time at parlophone as I know a lot of his productions

What was one of the most memorable moments of Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin?

His time at parlophone as he saved the label

What does Paul Woodson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Great

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Bring on Volume 2

This is an excellent book which gives an excellent perspective on the journey Air George Martin took from humble beginnings to the top. And of course there are the Beatles and for this reader, who never really understood really what they were about (other than a really good group) this helps makes sense. The narrator understandably is American and for the majority of the book he reads it well. However, as often with Audible, there’s an insistence in trying to distinguish a spoken quote by trying to impersonate the protagonist. I’m a Brit, not from the North West, and so I wouldn’t try to pull of the Liverpool accent. And J, P, G and R all had distinctively different to each other accents. An American has no chance, and goes very close in spoiling this listen. As another reviewer recommended, sped it up a bit and take a deep breadth for some of the most comically bad impersonations there are.
But it is worth hanging in there. Because Mr Womack had a ringside view and packs this book with so much. And if you were like me who knew a bit about our greatest band the chronology and this the evolution and then the inevitable frictions and fractures make more sense. I’ve read a number of books about this period in British pop and rock music and this is one of the very best. Bring on Volume 2!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

If you're English this audiobook will make you cry

The book itself is fantastic.

But an American author regularly reading quotes in a fake English accent - especially as he does a "cockney"-style accent, when every recording of George Martin's voice show that he had a clipped, "cut glass" (aka "posh") accent - makes this book unbearable to listen to

Unfortunately, it's so bad, I can't listen past 15 minutes.

But the book itself is definitely worth buying.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narration problem

I’m sorry to say the narration is not good. Pronunciation of many many words, esp. old world words (like environs), is just totally wrong. Also, ghastly strangulated accent esp. trying to do posh, scouse or basically any English accent. And the cadence of phrasing, notably on Beatles song titles, is way, way off. Great story but the narration is seriously grating.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narration howler

I never knew The Beatles were Scottish...at least, if you believe the accents spoken by the narrator, they were! The story, apart from a few historical inaccuracies, was okay but the narration spoilt the whole experience - it was truly awful.

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