More from the Fab Four

Beatle­ma­nia is alive and well

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

T he Bea­tles may have bro­ken up in 1970, but the band’s mu­sic and leg­end has lived on ever since. The Ron Howard film Eight Days A Week, out cur­rently in se­lect UAE cin­e­mas, re­caps the of­ten­told story of how the Fab Four, Paul McCart­ney, John Len­non, Ge­orge Har­ri­son and Ringo Starr con­quered the world.

The film brings to life the band’s in­cred­i­ble live shows in that key pe­riod be­tween 1964 and 1966 when Beatle­ma­nia truly took off and the Brits stormed Amer­ica. While the ac­tion still looks in­cred­i­ble, recre­at­ing the mu­sic was not easy. Giles Martin (right), son of le­gendary Bea­tles pro­ducer Ge­orge, was the man tasked with the job.

He ex­plains: “I had a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to most pro­duc­ers of live al­bums in that, in­stead of try­ing to add things to a live per­for­mance to make it sound fuller, I was ac­tu­ally try­ing to take things away, to re­duce the noise and bring the band closer to the lis­tener.”

Martin knows a thing or two about live shows. He’s the man be­hind the Cirque du Soleil pro­duc­tion Love, which splices to­gether scores of Bea­tles songs. He’s con­fi­dent that the film is the near­est we will ever come to hear­ing the band play live. Given the noise in the are­nas they per­formed in, it will sound far bet­ter than ac­tu­ally be­ing at the con­certs. Don’t for­get, the Bea­tles weren’t just ground-break­ing in terms of mu­sic. They were the first band to un­der­take big con­certs, in­clud­ing the fa­mous Shea Sta­dium gig in New York. That was am­pli­fied us­ing the tan­noy sys­tem nor­mally used by the sta­dium an­nouncer.

Giles gives an ex­am­ple. He said: “The Bea­tles: Live At The Hol­ly­wood Bowl al­bum we’ve just done, is a re­ally hon­est rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the band play­ing live. Ge­orge, ap­par­ently, wasn’t so keen on the orig­i­nal re­lease be­cause there were mis­takes, but maybe that’s what live mu­sic should be. Live mu­sic isn’t sup­posed to be per­fect.

“We’re cap­tur­ing The Bea­tles at a cer­tain point in their life.

“It’s about ex­pe­ri­enc­ing The Bea­tles the best we can now.”

Martin is proud of the work he car­ries out – he was first brought in to work on An­thol­ogy, the ca­reer-span­ning vault-raid of out­takes, al­ter­na­tive takes and odd­i­ties.

He says: “This is im­por­tant mu­sic. That sounds very grandiose, I re­alise, but it is. We have to make sure a new gen­er­a­tion can come to it, with­out sac­ri­fic­ing any of the orig­i­nal spirit.

“It has to be rel­e­vant, and it has to be about keep­ing new lis­ten­ers com­ing to The Bea­tles. There are very few things in life that make you feel good that don't do you harm, and The Bea­tles are one of those things.”

THE LEG­END LIVES ON: Ge­orge Har­ri­son, Paul McCart­ney, John Len­non and Ringo Starr

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