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100 Best Beatles Songs: A Passionate Fan's Guide Paperback – October 10, 2009
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In sharp contrast, the backgrounders of Spignesi and Lewis in `100 Best Beatles Songs' illuminate without irritating. The co-authors allow themselves to get carried away by enthusiasm worthy of their joint `passionate fan' moniker. They're obviously musically knowledgable but they don't go over the top with it as do Macdonald and Riley. And there's even a bit of bantering disagreement between the two friends, whch certainly contrasts to the more dogmatic tone of Macdonald and Riley.
One only wishes that Spignesi and Lewis had doubled the book's length and covered the whole Beatles canon. Of course, then, by definition, they'd be examining all the Beatles songs that aren't their favourites and they might be as critical as Macdonald and Riley. Anyways, to fill out one's deep background knowledge of the rest of the Beatles' works, the Macdonald and Riley tomes ARE good to have kicking around as supplements.
One more thing on Spigesi and Lewis: Their book is a visual and organizational treat. For each track you get a relevant photo, a fitting quotation, an intro to the song, a `Why it made the top 100', a `What the song is all about', a `Did you know?Read more ›
Having said that, this is the book we would have written, if we'd thought about it. Steve is the music, Mike is the feel and the soul. Together they have carefully analyzed all of the group's original songs and somehow managed to rank them. For each of their top 100, they explain the reasons for their ranking; tell us what they think it means (No easy job in itself.); then provide some pertinent trivia, tidbits, and other fun stuff and follow that with recording details and their personal comments. Overall, it's a fun read for both new and old Beatle fans which also succeeds in imparting a fairly complete history of the group, controversies and all.
Brand new fans might find it something of an information overload, and those not intimate with The Beatles' music will probably need to read this book with CDs or digital music at the ready. But those like me who have this music burned into their consciousness will find it possible to read without having their stereos a'ready. Still, their were times when I ran to the music cabinet with a clear, "I've never heard that!"
Part of the fun is that there's plenty of room to quibble over the authors' choices. (What's the point if everyone agrees on everything from the start?) There are songs ("Rain," "Helter Skelter," "I Want You," "Within You, Without You," "Dear Prudence," and others) which I would have ranked much higher. And there are songs ("The Long and Winding Road," "Eight Days A Week," "This Boy," etc.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You will agree and disagree with some songs and rankings,
But will love the writing and the music trivia that we Beatles freaks just can't get enough of. Highly recommended
Any book of this type is designed to elicit passionate debate among fans as to what was and was not included, and how highly each song ranked. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jonathan Groner
see above review...I only got one, not sure why this one is herePublished 22 months ago by TxTornado4
Densely packed with inside info about each Beatle song it examines, including chord changes, lyrics explained, how many takes, who wrote what, supporting musicians, and internecine... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Red Robert
I love the Beatles and love reading just about anything about the Fab Four.
This book offers a lot of information about each song, maybe too much for someone like me who... Read more
there are a bunch of Beatles fans, this guy just tells the songs he likes. As a Beatle fan I laughed at the writers knowledge of what the songs were about. Read morePublished on December 28, 2013 by Ken
Very informative book. I have enjoyed reading it. Lots of technical information. Would recommend it to others particularly Beatles fans or anyone interested in learning more about... Read morePublished on August 13, 2013 by Ronald A. Guarnieri