It was sad news when legendary music producer and key Beatles affiliate George Martin died last week, but today brings an opportunity to feel close to him once more and possibly get a little closure. Before he succumbed to health concerns, Martin, his son Giles, and PBS collaborated to produce a new documentary series called Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music, a chronicle of 20th-century recording across genres and scenes. Martin dug deep in his Rolodex to assemble a staggering array of big names from the music biz to provide insight on their process, the nuts and bolts of making the magic, and wider rhapsodizing on the spiritual, nearly holy power the music wields over those who immerse themselves in it.
A newly released trailer gives but a small sampling of the high-wattage guest list for Soundbreaking, featuring everyone from Elton John to modern rock goddess Annie Clark (of St. Vincent fame) to Don Was, one-time producer for Bonnie Raitt and The Rolling Stones, other-time frontman for weirdo funk group Was (Not Was), and current-time president of jazz label Blue Note records. Rolling Stone released the trailer this morning, along with a tantalizing outline of the topics that will be tackled over the miniseries’ eight installments, including Martin’s fruitful partnership with the Fab Four, Phil Spector’s seminal work with The Wrecking Crew and their signature wall of sound, the heritage of sampling in hip-hop, how Marvin Gaye and Miles Davis blew the pre-conceived notions of what an LP could be wide open, and Giorgio Moroder’s indelible impact on dance music. (Without Italo-disco master Moroder, Skrillex would be flipping burgers right now.) The final episode will break into the present day, tracking the creation of Adele’s smash “Rolling in the Deep” from end to end. The series sounds nothing short of fascinating, and will undoubtedly be required viewing for any self-respect music geek. And with that, I leave you to go put on your favorite record.
(Via Rolling Stone)