- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Touchstone (November 3, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416562095
- ISBN-13: 978-1416562092
- Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Paul McCartney: A Life Hardcover – November 3, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Despite the famous rumors of his death in 1969, Paul is alive and well in Carlin's hagiographic portrait of the creative genius behind the Beatles, the lead man of Wings and the brilliant though sometimes insecure solo artist still filling stadiums. Drawing on recent interviews with friends and McCartney's former band mates from Wings as well as on fresh research on the Liverpool lad, Carlin chronicles McCartney's life from his childhood love of music and his youthful entry into rock and roll with John Lennon in the Quarrymen to his meteoric rise to fame as one of the Beatles, his breakup with the band, his marriage to Linda Eastman and her death, and his recent marriage to and divorce from Heather Mills. Carlin rehearses the well-known story of the Beatles' breakup and Paul's disenchantment with Yoko Ono's role in leading the musical directions of the band. Feeling lost after the band dissolved, McCartney channeled his grief into his music, much as he did when his mother died when he was only 12, though critics both panned and praised his solo records. Since Barry Miles's definitive biography, Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now), goes only up to Linda's death in 1998, Carlin's study brings the musician's life to his most recent solo album, Electric Arguments (2008). McCartney emerges from Carlin's admiring biography as a brilliant musician who provided the creative direction for the Beatles, who taught John Lennon how to play the guitar and who continues to create new musical challenges for himself even now, when he's moving past 64. What's missing are interviews with McCartney himself. (Nov.)
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More than half of Carlin’s McCartney biography overlaps the Beatles’ story. Carlin recounts the highs and lows most Beatle fans know, including McCartney’s Liverpool childhood, his mother’s tragic death, meeting John Lennon, the Beatles’ rowdy Hamburg days, the first U.S. tour, the chaotic glory years in the 1960s, and abandoning touring for the security of the recording studio. He chronicles the lawsuits, the personal rivalries, and the various couplings, successful and failed. On beyond the Fab Four days, he discusses McCartney’s solo career up to the 2007 release of his latest album, Memory Almost Full, and examines McCartney’s complicated personal life, including his marriage to Linda Eastman, her subsequent death, and the short, ill-fated marriage to Heather Mills. Written in a conversational style that becomes almost novelistic in tone, Carlin’s book breaks no new ground. Yet Beatles aficionados, especially the completists among them, will want to read it anyhow. --June Sawyers
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Top Customer Reviews
However, it does share a few irritating features with the Sounes' bio: intrusive opinionating on Mac's works. And factual errors' such as: His account of George Harrison quitting the `Get Back' sessions is just plain wrong. And the final take of `Get Back' on the rooftop is not "sloppier, with John missing his guitar break..." A policeman orders Mal Evans to unplug John's amp but thankfully George has the presence of mind to plug it right back in again some seconds later. The interval nixes most of John's solo, but the band, led by Paul's electrifying vocals, rallies and goes on to create one of one of rock `n' roll's greatest recorded/filmed `live' performances. Also, Carlin knocks `Two of Us' for John's allegedly distancing himself from the song--but the recording is a gem with perfect harmony from John. What more do you want, Pete? Furthermore, Paul's single `Another Day' went to number one on the NME carts in Britain; Carlin claims it never got beyond #2.
And, uggghhh, he characterizes the merciless ornamentation on `The Long and Winding Road' as a case of Spectorization no worse than on `Across the Universe'. Hardly. For good reason Lennon liked the latter and McCartney loathed the former. And so on.
OK, enough with the nitpicks. This is a VERY GOOD medium-length read and perfect for those who believe that 563 pages of Mac bio a la Howard Sounes is `de trop'.