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Let's Put the Beatles Back Together Again 1970-2010: How to Assemble & Appreciate the 2nd Half of the Beatles' Legacy Perfect Paperback – October 1, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is the most oddly compelling music book I have read in years, and if you have even a small interest in the Beatles or music from 1970 on, you owe it to yourself to get it. If you are a fan, run, don’t walk. It’s that interesting.
    The author conducts a nearly 500-page thought experiment: he imagines an alternative history after 1969 in which the Beatles didn’t stay together, but didn’t exactly split up either. They agreed to release the best of their solo efforts under the Beatles banner. So what he does, essentially, is kill off the weak stuff and the material that just wasn’t very ‘Beatle-y’ and turns what’s left into a series of Beatles albums.
    He makes a compelling argument for why a) this isn’t such a stretch b) doing it his way restores the post-breakup material to a place of honor.
    I got the book late yesterday and stayed up way too late reading.
    [Y]ou can do everything he does yourself, provided you have the music in your library. What I like best about it, so far, is that he finishes the Beatles story as it should have been finished--and even though his conceit is fanciful, his approach is solidly grounded in reality.
    Highly, highly recommended.”
--
New York State’s WWNY-TV news director Scott Atkinson

“[A Beatles 1970-2010] is what Walker has created, and I agree with him, that you’ll rarely listen to the individual solo albums again. I have a full set of his suggested compilations and they are superb. I suggest that you follow this train of thought, get into the background of each solo track, album and songwriter, and then make your own ‘Beatles’ albums. It’s well worth it. Go on, dig out your back catalogues and Put the Beatles Back Together Again.”
--
British Beatles Fan Club Magazine (David Bedford, author of Liddypool)

"[I]t's a pleasure to welcome [a Beatles book] that doesn't tread in the footsteps of what's gone before...[W]hat Walker is proposing...works well...He is both a good writer and a good researcher..."

--BBC Radio Merseyside's Spencer Leigh


"Very interesting new concept based on...the treasure trove of music from the solo Beatles."

-- 'The Fest for Beatles Fans' Mark Lapidos


"The author makes the Beatles breakup a way to revise their catalog...He puts a new spin on [the breakup]...The premise of the book is to replace Allen Klein (which will certainly get the book fans for that reason alone)...Walker's logic behind the [resulting] new albums makes for a 'what if' scenario that creates, at the least, something to consider. "

--Beatles Examiner's Steve Marinucci


“Wow, I’m really impressed. It’s so big and smart and well written...a very great unadulterated pleasure...[Walker’s] really done it.”

--‘Toronto Today Magazine’ editor-in-chief Eric McMillan

About the Author

Pop-culture analyst Jeff Walker's work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Financial Times of Canada, Frank, Piranha, Skeptical Inquirer, B.C Skeptic, Free Inquiry, Books in Canada, NeWest, Liberty, Humanist in Canada, Penthouse and Saturday Night. He has also written for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's 'Ideas' and for a pop-music radio station. He previously published The Ayn Rand Cult (Chicago: Open Court, 1999), favorably reviewed in newspapers, magazines and online zines in the the U.S., Canada, Germany and the U.K. The author resides in Toronto, Canada, with his spouse and their two children.
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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 543 pages
  • Publisher: SomethingNow; first edition (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0986708003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0986708008
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,178,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John P. Daly on October 21, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
I'm a musician. A song writer and I am that because as a young fellow I heard the Beatles. That's the truth. Because I love their music and have for decades I've read all the major biographical and autobiographical material that's available. That includes studies of why the Beatles made such an impression on an entire generation...

So I was skeptical, initially, about this new work. I could not imagine Jeff Walker finding a new angle from which to examine the group and their music. He's done the near-impossible, in my view. With his fascinating construct-the Beatle's Releasing Collective-Walker suggests an alternative history for the Fab Four; one in which they could grow as individuals and artists, make and sell their solo music, while maintaining a co-operative structure for marketing the best of that product. With the best of both worlds, Walker posits, the Beatles would have had less resistance to continuing to pool their talents and we, as listeners, would have been the beneficiaries.

And so Walker does what the cover of the book promises; he puts the Beatles back together, examines the music with a great deal of reverence, but also a great deal of pragmatism, and re-packages the music so that Beatle lovers might get to the best and leave the rest behind. Congratulations, Jeff Walker, on your contribution to a remarkable history.
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I usually have three or four books going at once- I very seldom read one straight through, without glancing at another, especially a book with as much material as this one. But Jeff Walker's book held me for hours each day, and as soon as I finished it I started looking up songs from the index. He's a compelling writer, and the story he's put together is both dramatic and rewarding.

I loved the Beatles as a group, but I was never fond of any of the solo work as albums. The chemistry was gone. Lennon's records were too acerbic, and McCartney's too sweet. My favorite of the solo records was "All Things Must Pass"; Ram had some material, and was beautifully produced; Lennon's first record was undeniably great, but I was seldom in the mood for it. After that I stopped listening, and I missed them.

Walker realized that the band's chemistry can be reconstituted over the course of an album by mixing the right solo songs, and the strength of this book is his complete commitment to this idea. His look at the post 1970 material is more thorough than any I've seen, and he's full of thoughts and little known facts about the four band members, especially Lennon.

George Harrison brought in Eric Clapton to play the solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", and introduced Billy Preston to the others during the "Let It Be" sessions. In the months before the Beatles' break-up Lennon remarked that he could see the various members each fronting his own version of the band, with different members. When rancor and business decisions split up the band Lennon's vision was delayed, but Walker's book puts it back on the table.
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Overall I really enjoyed this book. The author is extremely knowledgable about the Beatles solo material. But there are 3 things that I was disappointed with in the book.
The first part of the book he makes a very plausible argument for how this alternate reality of the Beatles recording solo but releasing their output collectively could happen.
The second part of the book is the first thing I was dissapointed with. He reconstructs the "Get Back" sessions that resulted in the Let It Be Album. I thought this was a book about the Beatles Solo output. Their actual history together needs no reconstucting.
The Rest of the book is spent going through the reconstructed albums. This is the second thing that realy disapointed me. He has the Beatles releasing new material only 4 times (6 if you count an all covers and a live album) in the 40 year span that the book covers. One in 1973, 1982, 2000 & 2010. Three of these sets are 3 disc sets and the other one a 2 disc set. There is no way that the Beatles would have waited so long to release their songs. In the decade of the 70's alone they had enough good material that I could see them easily releasing 6 albums (in 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1976 & 1979).I suspect that the author did not want to be forced to pick songs from such a limited time period of a year or two to construct these albums. His albums read more like a greatest hits collection rather than actual albums. Because of how they are constructed we sometimes have songs from more than 10 years apart apearing on the same album. Remember the Beatles only recorded together 8 years (1962-1969)and look how much their songs changed over that time. As solo artists the Beatles songs also changed dramatically over time.
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This Review is about: Let's Put the Beatles Back Together Again 1970-2010: How to Assemble & Appreciate the 2nd Half of the Beatles' Legacy (Perfect Paperback)
.
Today, December 8, is John Lennon Day. John Lennon, one of the greatest song writers of all time, promoted peace and love throughout the world. And here I am today enjoying Jeff Walker's new book about the Beatles. As a child of the sixties, I thought I'd heard almost everything about the Fab Four. But every page in this book contains a new interesting fact or story. Walker has done a hell of a lot of research here. Especially poignant to me are the stories that concern Lennon, written as backgrounds to the songs he wrote. For example, the song "Mother" reveals the Oedipal suggestion behind the line, "You had me, but I never had you." This song is a reason to delve into Lennon's youth - his complex and heartbreaking relationships with his mother, father, and Aunt Mimi. The background to Lennon's tribute to Yoko, "Woman," involves his first wife Cynthia, girlfriend May Pang, and, of course, Yoko.
.
Walker writes a background to almost every hit song recorded by John, Paul, George, and Ringo after 1970. I find these expositions interesting. "The Long and Winding Road" is a twisty road along Scotland's Mull of Kintyre peninsula that leads to Paul's farm. Ringo's hit 'Photograph' was inspired by real life drama. Walker tells us, "In late 1973 George Harrison not only shared a songwriting credit with Ringo for the number-one song "Photograph," he also shared the number-one woman in Ringo's life, Maureen." Speaking of George, he rescued financially the now classic Monty Python film Life of Brian, when EMI pulled out.
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