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McCartney Kindle Edition

3.1 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Length: 448 pages

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

McCartney's success has long affronted rock aesthetes as proof that facile talent and showmanship trump soulfulness, an opinion that will be complicated, but not reversed, by this serviceable biography. Sandford, a music journalist and biographer of Kurt Cobain and other rock stars, considers McCartney the Beatles' true visionary, the driving force behind Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and other artistic milestones and a perennially interesting pop innovator throughout his Wings period and recent solo efforts. In contrast, Sandford's unremittingly negative portrait of John Lennon paints the deep one as a musical philistine as well as a morose, spiteful personality, regularly drunk, stoned or strung out on heroin. Nonetheless, McCartney feels far less compelling than his music. He emerges as an ambitious, disciplined artist, a hardheaded businessman and "a genuinely nice, down-to-earth fellow," but his Mozartean gift for melody seems unrooted in any profundity of character. The author has trouble imparting an arc to his story, and the post-Beatles narrative devolves into a busy but aimless routine of record releases, tours, reunion rumors, minor marijuana busts and an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of lawsuits pitting various Beatles against each other and assorted managers, publishers, record companies, memorabilia vendors and copyright violators. Sandford offers more of a comprehensive chronicle than a coherent character study. (Feb. 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Terrific stuff If you only read one book about our Paul and the Beatles, this is it." Angie McCartney

Product Details

  • File Size: 4341 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; annotated edition edition (March 25, 2009)
  • Publication Date: March 25, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,327,986 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most poorly-written books about a Beatle that has even been published. A major McCartney fan, I was sorely disappointed in it. The writer tries to be hip by using British idioms and inside jokes that few Americans will even understand. He skips over, with merely a sentence, major portion's of Sir Paul's life or explanations of what happened. He teases you with just a small portion of a story, with inadequate detail. It seems to contain few, if any interviews or original documentation; it's all excerpts of previously written stuff. If I hadn't read other bios, I wouldn't have a clue what he was talking about half the time. Almost any book out there will give you a much better picture of this musical genius than Sandford's, which seems to be no more than an extended article in a cheap magazine. He's more interested in style, than in providing the proper biography that Paul deserves.
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Format: Hardcover
The genius of the Beatles is that all 4 contributed to their success -- it needed Lennon but it needed McCartney too. It needed Harrison and it needed Ringo -- Pete Best wouldn't have worked. But time has a way of sorting out the survival of the fittest. And it is Paul McCartney -- genius songwriter, versatile singer, creative bass player, great piano player, guitarist and drummer, and innovative production and marketing man. Founding rock'n'roller and show biz ballad writer/singer. The first Beatle to get his girlfriend pregnant (way back in 1962); the last bachelor Beatle in swinging London; the Beatle who impressed Beat writer William Burroughs with his adaption of the 'cut-up technique' to music loops; the Beatle who hung out in the clubs with Keith Richards and Brian Jones, and turned Mick Jagger on to marijuana; the Beatle who was into the artsy crowd while his fellow Beatles, including John Lennon, led a suburban life; the Beatle who Yoko Ono approached first with her work; the Beatle who in 1969 conceived the notion of the famous band hitting the clubs under an assumed name and blowing everyone's mind; and the first rock star who in 1965 both experienced and embraced stadium rock when the Beatles played Shae Stadium. This book fills in a lot of the gaps in the story of McCartney and the helped to convince me that McCartney was an much a music innovator as Lennon ever was. Takes us through the 70s (when McCartney hosted parties with Dean Martin and Led Zepplin and Bob Dylan in attendance) through the 80s through the 90s to 2005 when Paul played the Super Bowl half-time. As a Beatle fan from 1964 who has read every biography on them (including Lennon's)...... A great book worth getting.
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Format: Hardcover
The editorial review for this book points out Paul McCartney's Mozartean gift for melody. A pity then it didn't also point out two other Mozartean traits that McCartney shares; a preference for expressing his feelings in music rather than words, and a great love of performing for an audience. Much like this review, Christopher Sandford patronises his subject by failing to understand the essence of McCartney's character leaving him vulnerable to accusations of superficiality. He has gathered together an assortment of acquaintances and associates from the Beatles and post-Beatles era whose embellished recollections are no more reliable than those of the Beatles themselves. True, Paul McCartney can be gauche; he may well lack the middle class sensibilities of a Lennon or a Dylan if that is important to people. But Sandford, like so many before him, never really grasps that it is for these very reasons that McCartney has had such an impact on so many people. The music itself resonates because it doesn't rely on easy words to tell his story and because he refuses to package his numerous personal tragedies into some commodity to be enjoyed. McCartney is no fool, it is to his credit that he won't pander to the pious gravitas expected of him by his detractors. For this, and to remain true to himself, he pays the price by having scorn and derision heaped upon him. The pleasant affable nature protects not only the intensely private man he is but also those close to him. This is a book, like most books on Paul McCartney, for those who want their opinions of a "showman" confirmed and who are not prepared to look any further.
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Format: Paperback
Paul McCartney is the enduring remnant of The Beatles. Surely the other three have assured legacies, but McCartney represents the continued flourishing of the Beatles' success story. Christopher Sandford's biography 'McCartney' is excellent for bringing The Beatles' (and McCartney's) legend thoroughly to the reader. After having read the groundbreaking 'Shout' by Philip Norman, an insider's account with Peter Brown's 'The Love You Make,' and John Swenson's primer 'The Beatles Yesterday and Today,' Sandford's story is still a find. The content is formidable, chock-full of quotes, accounts of bickering and reconciliation, his love life, and any backstage summations of touring and recording.

Taking some familiar paths, the author manages to break new ground mostly by being comprehensive and exhaustive with his research. The greatest merit of his book is his ability to vividly show McCartney's childhood and the historic meetings of the other three of the fab four. Sandford visually and almost audibly transports us to that primitive time and place before they were famous. His details of McCartney's musical father and his heartwarming mother are fascinating. To his credit even the familiar stories don't feel like retread. Later the format changes for most of the solo career. He gathers press conferences, anecdotes, and reviews to stock up his presentation. Overall, I believe he is fair to a point. He injects both enthusiasm and criticism for the superstar Beatle, but he always gives him his due. Even when the text gets highly critical, he cleverly lets others do most of the talking. (This is no small factor given the fact that most writers are hyper-critical of the most commercially successful Beatle.
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