Martin’s Christmas present to Martin was a complete set of the Beatles’ remastered LPs. Two years ago the Westlakes went to Liverpool and were treated to a guided tour of all of the Fab Four’s haunts by a local guide. This tour, which included a visit to the place where John and Paul first met, sparked a serious reading up on their history, and now George Martin’s cover notes to the remastered disks add further information. I remain fascinated by the way in which two such musical geniuses (that’s not to do down George) met up in the way that they did, leading to such a prolific partnership, with each drawing so much from the other. It wasn’t just that they were prolific (though they were – they could come back from an intensive tour and write all the songs for a new LP in a few weeks). They were also so professional, both as musicians and as singers (including all those distinctive harmonies). As their music and popularity progressed, George Martin’s notes show how they went from being slaves to being masters of the music industry. Their first album, Please Please Me, was recorded in just nine and three-quarter hours (including a song they didn’t use), and they had to work in the EMI studios to the bureaucrats’ rhythm (from 10.00 till 13.00 and from 14.30 till 17.30). The fourteen songs on With The Beatles, their next LP, were recorded in just 28 hours, spread over six days. By contrast, Rubber Soul took over a hundred hours. By then, morning studio sessions had been abandoned and afternoon sessions could go on all night long. Revolver, recorded just three years after Please Please Me took an unprecedented 300 hours. George Martin’s notes also explain well how the Beatles persistently explored the technological frontiers of the recording industry. Those who were there on Saturday, 6 July 1957, prosaically, at the Garden Rose Queen fête at St. Peter’s Church in Woolton, and witnessed John’s first meeting with Paul could hardly have imagined what would happen next.