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Giles Martin talks about A Hard Days Night in new Beatlefan
The newest issue of Beatlefan magazine, available now, celebrates 50 years of "A Hard Day's Night" and this summer's theatrical and DVD release with a special issue full of articles about the movie. In this issue, contributing Editor Jeff Slate talks with Giles Martin, son of Beatles producer George Martin, about producing the 5.1 surround sound and stereo audio restorations for the 50th anniversary reissue of the film.
Slate asked Giles Martin about his thinking behind the mix for the film, which he notes sounds like it has the band in the left and right channels, the vocal in the center with a bit of background band and percussion, and the rear fairly ambient sounding.
Giles replied, "I'm mixing for the film. I'm not mixing for some sort of crazy release. It's not like a 'LOVE' thing. I'm mixing for the film, so I want to make people feel like they're hearing the records that they know, but I want them to feel closer to them. That's my goal. I want them to feel what I feel when I listen to the tape in the studio. I want people to feel the energy. That's the other key thing to me. The Beatles weren't old when they recorded those songs. I want that to come out. Sometimes, if need be, to create ambient sound, we'd do something like put 'She Loves You' on playback in [Abbey Road] Studio 2, and then record the band in the room, if you like, to create surround that way."
Jeff also asked Giles, "You seem to have a sense of the mantle of the Beatles legacy at all times. How does that weigh on you or factor into your work?"
Martin replied, "When you're doing the work, you can't think about it all the time. Otherwise, you'd be paralyzed with doubt. You're working by yourself, with your engineer, and you've got concepts and ideas that might be wrong or might be right. But you try everything you can think of. Then you step back and think, 'OK, if I were a Beatles fan ... do I respect this?' It's now become their music as well. It's become music that belongs to the generations.
"The last thing that I want to do is to do any harm. It's funny, somebody said to me that 'LOVE' was their favorite Beatles album. It's not a Beatles album! It's them, but it's not. On one hand, if I can make people discuss things and listen to music - not just listen to it, but hear it - that's great. That's what drives me. If people don't like what I do, it's generally because they love the originals so much and they can't bear to hear anything else. I respect that. I listen and respect what people have to say. You have to. You can't be distracted by it, but you have to honor it."
Completing Beatlefan's coverage of "A Hard Day's Night" 50th anniversary, Beatles author-historian Bruce Spizer looks back at all the record releases generated on both sides of the Atlantic by The Beatles' first feature film, and Ken Orth tells how photographer Robert Freeman's assignment to come up with a closing credit sequence for Dick Lester's movie morphed into a multi-photo motif used in varying ways on the U.K. and U.S. "A Hard Day's Night" album covers and the original movie poster.
Also in this new issue of Beatlefan is an excerpt from Jim Berkenstadt's book "The Beatle Who Vanished," telling how Jimmie Nicol suddenly became a temporary Beatle for the start of the band's 1964 world tour. And Tom Frangione examines Paul McCartney's solo tour set lists from the past 25 years, looking at fan questions about some of the choices he's made. Plus, reviews of new Beatles-related books and recordings, along with lots of Beatles news, including the launching of Ringo's latest tour and word of his upcoming projects, a report on Paul's Latin American Out There! dates, and a detailed account of Macca's latest Japanese misadventure.
A sample issue of Beatlefan costs $7 in the U.S. or $10 abroad, be sure to specify #208. A year's subscription in the U.S. costs $31.50 for six issues or $36 if sent First Class Mail in an envelope. Canadian and Mexican subscriptions cost $41 per year. International subscriptions to all other countries around the globe are $52 (sent Air Mail) U.S. funds only. For credit card orders, you can call 404-713-6432, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail your order to P.O. Box 33515, Decatur GA 30033.
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Image of Giles Martin thanks to CA Management/RecordProduction.com
Published June 23, 2014