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Revolver How the Beatles Reimagined Rock'n'Roll Paperback – April 1, 2012
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First, the good: This is a clearly written and well organized book about "Revolver," dwelling first on the album's 1966 context (both in the career of the Beatles and in the pop world at the time), then on the songwriting, then the recording, and finally the reception of the album upon its release. Rodriguez knows his stuff - this is not one of those books by relatively clueless journalists who are coming to the Beatles in depth for the first time. A brief section on the question of whether and why Paul McCartney did not play on the track "She Said She Said" is the best and clearest summation of the issue I have ever read. There are many other carefully researched details, include the exact timing of Paul's motorbike accident which left him with a chipped tooth. The book is similarly good on the egregious machinations of record companies at the time, leading to different versions of the album appearing in Britain and America. And, to his credit, whenever Rodriguez ventures into the realm of criticism and opinion, he is careful to mention that what he is saying is subjective. (There are one or two minor self-contradictions, as when he holds up "Doctor Robert" as a song advocating drugs, then later recognizes it as a tongue-in-cheek song making fun of a drug pusher instead.)
As I say, my main problem comes near the end of the book where he compares the laudatory reception of "Sgt.Read more ›
1966 saw the band coming to the end of their touring life (it would later end with the "bigger than Jesus" comment and the chaos that was the Phillipines). However, what allowed the band to actually settle into the studio and create music without pressing time commitments was the lack of agreement of a third feature film, for which Brian Epstein had blocked out three whole months for shooting. Finding themselves without a script, they were left with the space they needed to create a masterpiece. John and Paul were at the exact mid-point states the author, before dominance in the group shifted from John to Paul. Also, this was a time when the members of the band happily experimented (Paul playing lead guitar on "Taxman" for example) without treading on each others toes.
This excellent book begins with what the Beatles were up to in early 1966 and what music their peers were creating, before looking at how the songs were written and then recorded. There is lots of the detail Beatle fans thrive on and examination of the revolutionary innovations used, such as Automatic Double Tracking and use of reversed tape.Read more ›
The book is basically divided into three parts: Pre-Revolver, the making of Revolver and post-Revolver. In the pre-Revolver chapters Mr. Rodriguez gives a clear picture of the musical, cultural, and social landscape of the day and he does this without patronizing a less than avid fan nor dumbing it down for the crazed fan (such as myself). He takes pains to establish the relationships the Beatles had with their peers, the public and their team behind the scenes (George Martin, Geoff Emerick, et al). In the making of Revolver section he gives us a careful analysis of each song both in the creation of the individual songs (whether writing and/or social context) and the recording of said songs. He does this with a sublime touch that's sure to keep all readers interested in the entire process. In the final section Mr. Rodriguez discusses the impact that the album had on the record buying public, the attempts made by peers to emulate the success of Revolver and the Beatles' attempt to top the remarkable effort (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band).
All in all this is an excellent book and a nice, post-contemporaneous, time capsule about the Beatles' remarkable album. It's well sourced and an enjoyable read. Robert Rodriguez easily and adroitly straddles the lines between fan, journalist and historian.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I looked through this book and it can't hold a candle to Every Sound There Is: The Beatles' Revolver and the Transformation of Rock and Roll, which won an award for being the best... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Russ Reising
Great in depth book about Beatles and the years that led up to Revolver and the year after. Beatles were not alone, the music was not produced in a vacuum. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
Some fans of the Beatles prefer the group's early albums and some thought that the Fab Four were at their best shortly before they broke up, but most fans (and rock critics) think... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Eric Mayforth
Robert has done it again! A fun, thorough and interesting read -- a must for all Beatles fans. A great book about my favorite Beatles album.Published 2 months ago by D. S. Kramer
Excellent Book with great details. I encourage anyone who loves the Beatles to go to Robert's Beatles Podcast. Best out there. It's called Something about the BeatlesPublished 3 months ago by HMak
I did learn some new facts despite my vast knowledge, but more importantly I gained context. The author did his homework. Such an amazing period for the Beatles. Read morePublished 4 months ago by A. Perer
Being a beatlemaniac for almost 30 years, I always had some doubts about which album was the most important both musically and historically, Revolver or Sgt. Pepper. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Alvaro Becerra
This is a wonderfully insightful tale of the Beatles' remarkable and revolutionary album, REVOLVER. Robert Rodriquez claims this is the Beatles' greatest album. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mark R. Brewer