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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on March 16, 2007
I bought this book solely because of the reviews below. Having read as much of the book as I can stomach, I must ask these reviewers, "What have you been smoking, dudes?!"

This book is a slap in the face to all the authors who came before and is harmful to any reader who expects the truth and nothing but the truth. Hollywood is famous for its fictionalized accounts of historical figures, but I don't like reading flights of fancy in a supposed non-fiction book.

For the past 35 years, I've read every book I could get my hands on about the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and music recording and production. And I've got lots of experience in the recording studio, much with my own bands. Reading some of the B.S. this author wrote made me (several times) throw the book down in disgust. For example, the author's explanation of "vocal doubling" and ADT in the George Martin section is embarrassingly wrong -- to the point of being hilarious, if not painful. It's quite apparent he has never sang any tracks and doesn't have a clue what doubling is, because he sure got in way over his head. Probably has never set foot in a studio. But he pretends to be an authority.

Another example out of many fallacies: In the Brian Wilson section, he claims Brian's deafness in one ear is the result of Brian's father whacking him with a 2x4. Where did he get this story? All the books I've read on the Beach Boys merely SUGGEST that Brian's deafness MAY be attributed to his father boxing his ears many times as a child.

This being a book about producers, the author tends to write the chapters as if the hits were all because of the producer. As if "Jumping Jack Flash" was great solely because of Jimmy Miller -- like the Stones just happened to be there when Miller created the hit. Yeh, right. And in one chapter about a guitarist who used lots of feedback, the author claims how the producer "heaped on the feedback". Sheesh! Every guitarist knows the feedback comes from the guitar amp, not some knob in the control room.

If all these errors and misinformation weren't enough, the author also writes in a florid, verbose style. He likes big words, some of which he doesn't understand, because he uses them wrong.

I'm something of a bookaholic, with a couple thousand books in my collection, and I've read every one all the way through -- some 3 or 4 times. This is the first book in my life I was unable to finish, the first book I ever threw in the garbage. If this book can be published, then you and I can be writers, too. All we need to do is make up stuff about famous people.

I hope this review saved you some money. Amazon offers many fine books about the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and recording and producing popular music. But this isn't one of them.
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on August 19, 2007
I couldn't read past the first chapter. Phil and George, Producers of hits at a similar point in time, yes. But beyond that, comparisons between the two - David toggles back and forth between the similarities and "connection" between them - well, there is really very little to compare. Each deserves his own section of a book.

Perhaps it's because I am a linear thinker - I like to process one thing at a time. Perhaps also it's because I am a recording engineer and have spent a lifetime in this biz, but people who have not spent time recording and mixing - as I suspect David has not - should not write about the technical aspects of recording without a technical editor at the ready.
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