At this point, I feel like Terry Gross and I are friends. I mean, we don’t see each other that often (OK ever), and I know she’s got a lot going on (that does not involve knitting), so I forgive her for not calling so much (OK ever). But man, she is so good at making pretty much any subject interesting. She’s one of the great conversationalists.
The other day, she got into it with a British music producer, Giles Martin, talking four-track recording techniques, getting a piano chord to sound GIANT, how to make a 60-piece orchestra act wierd—yes, she was talking with Giles about the making of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
It’s just the BEST. Giles is the son of legendary producer George Martin, a hero of mine for his work producing the Beatles back in the day. Giles has just finished work on a remix of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on the 50th anniversary of its launch.
It’s not even my favorite Beatles record. (I shift between Rubber Soul and Revolver depending on what day it is.) But I’ll never get tired of hearing how the Beatles did what they did. Here’s Terry Gross’s Fresh Air interview with Giles Martin—including glorious bits of these most famous of famous songs, caught in early takes and acoustic versions.
“Strawberry Fields” in particular is a totally different song here, with only John Lennon’s vocal and acoustic instruments.