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The Act You've Known for All These Years: A Year in the Life of Sgt. Pepper and Friends Hardcover – July 2, 2007
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"Clinton Heylin has done an extraordinary job of groundbreaking research on his subject and come up with complicated layers of fact as well as all the necessary paperwork to back these up. Written with humor and compassion in a non-academic style, this book is nonetheless authoritative and convincing." Peter Bogdanovich, director of The Last Picture Show and author of This is Orson Welles "Clear, engrossing... contentious" Mark Cousins "Drawing on extensive research, Heylin aims to obliterate any notion that Welles' wayward genius led him to sabotage his own career. Meticulosly reconstructing the conception, writing, shooting, editing and reception of each film, he sets out to show that Welles was undone by real people with real motives" Sunday Telegraph" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Clinton Heylin is the renowned author of the definitive biographies. He lives in Somerset. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Where the book falls flat on its arse is the over-abundant details on what the Beatles' contemporaries were up to before and after Pepper. This clutters the book and slows down the pace, and could have been kept to a minimum without sacrificing relevant information. For example, all details about Pink Floyd's "Piper" sessions and Brian Wilson's "Smile" are included. Unless you are an early Floyd fan or a Beach Boys maniac, this load of information is boring and tedious. The albums are important documents of the period's musical explosion, but should not have been given that much room in the book on Pepper.
The other thing that I personally hate about the book, is the author's obvious anti-Pepper and anti-Art Rock bias. He declares his Punk sensibilities early on in the book (I took a mental note of it - here we go, watch out for bias - and was right) and brings them out them later on with a vengeance. Pepper-bashing is given an entire chapter, where negative opinions of the critics (who the **** cares what critics say - don't fans make or break an album or band?), derogatory comments from band members and colleagues etc. are brought out to the forefront. As it were, here is proof positive that Pepper is a humbug, that it has no depth and that Art Rock is fake. Accessible pop and three-chord rock are the genuine article - this basically sums up the author's attitude. He blames Pepper for destroying other albums' chances of success (Smile, Piper etc). He only mentions in passing positive opinions of the critics who recognized the fact that Pepper changed the way people record music, listen to music, think about music and that it single-handedly separated Pop from rock, married rock and art. Hence "art-rock". He totally neglects to mention that Pepper launched a whole new genre of music in the decade to follow - there would be no King Crimson, ELP, Genesis or Yes without Pepper. Many progressive or art rock groups mention Pepper as their main influence. On the positive side, some entrenched Pepper myths are dispelled in a decisive manner, which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself.
To sum up - it's a frustrating and fascinating read at the same time, and certainly worth picking up at a bargain price, if possible. However beware of bias, smugness and a critic's main trait - arrogance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Clinton makes clear from the beggining that he's not a great Beatle fan.
He prefers Dylan and punk.Read more