The Best Beatles Books

Stephen Thomas Erlewine at Pitchfork chooses the ten best books about the Beatles, from Philip Norman’s Shout! to Rob Sheffield’s wonderful Dreaming the Beatles. M.I.A. (fully cognizant of the fact that there are probably 25-30 “best” books on the Beatles): Mark Shipper’s Paperback Writer (cf. the back and forth email chat between Richard Riegel and myself on this) Tim Riley’s Tell Me Why (listen to … Continue reading The Best Beatles Books

Beatles Invade American Newspapers, Feb 1964

Beatles Welcomed to US by 2,000 Screaming Fans (The Milwaukee Journal – Feb 7, 1964) ‘Yeah, Yeah,’ Fans Screech as Beatles Hit the Beach (St. Petersburg Times – Feb 17, 1964) Home Lauds Beatles Aid: Calls It New Kind of Diplomacy (Toledo Blade – Feb 16, 1964) Rockin’ Beatles Roll In Today (The Miami News – Feb 13, 1964) Beatle Hater Fighting for Past (The … Continue reading Beatles Invade American Newspapers, Feb 1964

Silly Wars Cool Down

…it may well be true that Sgt. Pepper is more bound to a moment than in a lot of the Beatles’ earlier music. The postadolescent philosophizing and premusicianly jamming of some of this music sounds silly now. But if the energy of early rock and roll is bound up in the realization of personal autonomy, this music is about beginning to discover that autonomy carries … Continue reading Silly Wars Cool Down

Critical Collage: Sgt. Pepper

Seven months ago it was 45 years ago today. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – “Like an overattended child, this album is spoiled. It reeks of horns and harps, harmonica quartets, assorted animal noises, and a 41-piece orchestra.” – Richard Goldstein, review of Sgt. … Continue reading Critical Collage: Sgt. Pepper

And in the End

The Beatles: For 15 Minutes, Tremendous Nice–Nik Cohn reviews Abbey Road in The New York Times, Oct. 1969. After praising the medley on side two (“there are maybe 15 tunes in as many minutes — all of them instantly hummable, all of them potential hits”), Cohn laces into the rest of the disc: “…the words are limp-wristed [er, ouch–Ed.], pompous and fake. Clearly, the Beatles … Continue reading And in the End

Andrew Sarris R.I.P.

“I must say I enjoyed even the music enormously, possibly because I have not yet been traumatized by transistors into open rebellion against the ‘top 40′ and such. (I just heard ‘Hello, Dolly’ for the first time the other day, and the lyrics had been changed to ‘Hello, Lyndon.’) Nevertheless I think there is a tendency to underrate rock ‘n’ roll because the lyrics look … Continue reading Andrew Sarris R.I.P.

McLuhan @100: Bless the Beatles

– Marshall McLuhan and Harley Parker, Counterblast (2011 marks the centenary of my all-time favourite Canadian, Marshall McLuhan. I’m going to mark the occasion here over the next few weeks by posting various McLuhan-related items, including though not necessarily limited to some of the intersections between McLuhan and pop music. I once half-jokingly suggested somewhere that McLuhan was “the world’s first rock critic.” This is … Continue reading McLuhan @100: Bless the Beatles

Writers Wanted for Beatles Book

Sean Egen writes: Hello, I may soon be editing an anthology of writing about the Beatles. Have you had published any articles on the Beatles or related subjects (e.g., post-Beatle activities of former Beatles)? If so, I would be interested in seeing them with a view to publishing them. The subject can be anything to do with the Fab Four: their music, their films, their … Continue reading Writers Wanted for Beatles Book