Maximum Volume (Hardcover)

The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, The Early Years, 1926–1966

By Kenneth Womack

Chicago Review Press, 9781613731895, 368pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2017

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (9/3/2019)
MP3 CD (9/1/2017)
Compact Disc (9/1/2017)

List Price: 30.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Foreword Magazine IndieFab Book of the Year's Gold for Biography 2017

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.

About the Author

Kenneth Womack’s books include Sound Pictures, Long and Winding Roads, The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles, The Beatles Encyclopedia, and New Critical Perspectives on the Beatles. He delivers some fifty invited Beatles talks a year to audiences across the nation, while sharing his insights with media of all stripes, including National Public Radio, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Voice of America.

Praise For Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, The Early Years, 1926–1966

“They seemed an unlikely partnership—the Beatles, who knew everything about rock and roll music, and their classically trained producer George Martin, who knew very little. But as Kenneth Womack uncovers in this engrossing and forensically detailed biography, the recording studio became a ‘magic workshop’ and George Martin a musical wizard when it came to the Beatles’ songs. A fascinating read.” —Ray Connolly, author of Being Elvis

"An authoritative account of pop-music history and the man who helped shape it." —Kirkus Reviews

"George Martin transformed the role of 'producer' as much as the Beatles transformed our idea of a 'band,' so Kenneth Womack's engaging account of Martin's life fills a major hole on pop music's shelf. For a rich, illuminating understanding of how the Beatles catalog transcends song, performance, and arrangement, jump through this hogshead of real fire: tonight, George Martin tops the bill." —Tim Riley, author of Tell Me Why and Lennon: Man, Myth, Music

"A marvelous magical mystery tour behind the wizard's curtain—one that leaves us with a deep understanding of one of the key architects of pop culture. Essential reading for anyone who's ever had a soundtrack to their dreams." —Vivek J. Tiwary, author of The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story

“The book contains enough fresh information and informed insight about the group’s early years to satisfy the most devout Beatlemaniac.”—ForeWord Reviews 

"Beatles fans will love this and look forward to Womack’s continuation of the Martin story." —Booklist Online

"Maximum Volume...provides close inspection of George Martin's immense contributions to not just the Beatles' popularity, but to pop music evolution in particular, and is a highly recommended title for any definitive Beatles reader."—Midwest Book Review

“This is an excellent book and one that needed to be written. I will be reading the next volume because I am excited to learn more about George Martin’s accomplishments.”—Meet the Beatles for Real