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Yeah, yeah, yeah!

  • Feb 22, 2006
  • by
This is a huge doorstooper of a book, which could have been titled: "Everything you ever wanted to know about the Beatles, and much, much more!". Now don't get me wrong, I grew up in the Beatles era, and purchased all of their albums, and enjoyed them very much. Even so, I really didn't need to know John Lennon's great-grandfather's name, and when he came to England from Ireland, and such other trivia. The tale of the Beatles is story enough without all of that extraneous matter. I particularly liked the parts where the author explained how the Beatles, in the studio, were able to produce sopme of their extraordinary recordings, with new and quite innovative techniques. Also, the tale of the events leading to their breakup as a group are quite interesting. Yoko Ono appears to be the most responsible for that event, but neither Paul nor John escapes from their own culpability. It's really a good book, but just much, much too long!

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More The Beatles: The Biography reviews
Quick Tip by . June 02, 2011
A -3 and the reason it isn't lower is because I couldn't finish it. It is a self-indulgent vanity project written by a pretentious author who is more interested in being Dickens than in giving us the tale. Little, trivial details are dragged out - I don't give a shit who deflowered John - whole sections could easily have been discarded, and the book fails to explain the whole idea of how the band changed the world - an idea no music writer has sufficiently been able to explain.
review by . December 23, 2005
I confess that I rarely play the Beatles' music, having been a child born early in the 60s so having heard their songs constantly by osmosis. The best commendation for Spitz's massive biography is that it inspired me to listen again, with fresh ears and unjaded spirit, to their art. He pours seven years' labor into not so much analyzing the songs--which has been done admittedly by Mark Lewisohn, Ian MacDonald, and Tim Riley to name only a few--as the emotion that infused the tunes.     The …
review by . January 17, 2006
I was never a big fan of pop music or rock 'n roll in my now lost youth, which happened to coincide with the advent of the Beatles. I knew they were out there, listened to their music when it was on the radio, even watched one or more of their appearances on Ed Sullivan. But I wasn't a fan; wasn't a detractor.     Forty years later, through Bob Spitz's extraordinary group biography, I'm finding out that I missed not one, but two or three revoutions in popular music. It may sound …
review by . December 22, 2005
With over 500 books about John, Paul, George and Ringo, and the broad outlines of their story has been authoritatively established. Beatle fans won't learn any earth-shattering revelations. Instead, Bob Spitz creates a driving narrative that adds touches of details here and there, shaping the old stories with freshness and energy.    Spitz takes us back to the beginning and showing their background and ambition took root and thrived amid the grey times that followed Liverpool …
review by . November 14, 2005
I really enjoyed learning more about the Beatles, but this book made me sad to see how they went from innocence to drugs. It seems that that's too often the price one pays for fame at a young age; even older people have a hard time handling all the temptations thrust on celebrities.    Booklist summed it up best (above): "fresh, terrifically entertaining perspective on the world's most famous rock group." And that they were--and much, much more! They were cute! They were fun! …
About the reviewer
Frank J. Konopka ()
Ranked #89
I'm a small town general practice attorney in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. Books are my passion, andI read as many of them asI can. Being the President of the local library board for over … more
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Starred Review.With this massive opus, veteran music journalist Spitz (Dylan: A Biography) tells the definitive story of the band that sparked a cultural revolution. Calling on books, articles, radio programs and primary interviews, Spitz follows the band from each member's family origins in working-class Liverpool to the band's agonizing final days. Spitz's unflinching biography reveals that not only did the Beatles pioneer a new era of rock but they also were on the cutting edge of rock star excess, from their 1961 amphetamine-fueled sets in the clubs of Hamburg to their eventual appetites for stronger drugs, including marijuana, LSD, cocaine and, eventually for John Lennon, heroin. Sex was also part of the equation; in 1962, when the band cut its first audition for Sir George Martin, all four members had a venereal disease, and both John's and Paul McCartney's girlfriends were pregnant. Spitz details the tangled web of bad business deals that flowed from novice manager Brian Epstein (though the heavily conflicted Epstein can be forgiven since he was in uncharted territory). Although this is a hefty volume steeped in research, Spitz writes economically, and with flair, letting the facts and characters speak for themselves. In doing so, he captures an ironic sadness that accompanied the Beatles' runaway success—how their dreams of stardom, once realized, became a prison, forcing the band to spend large parts of their youth in hotel rooms to avoid mobs and to stage ...
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ISBN-10: 0316803529
ISBN-13: 978-0316803526
Author: Bob Spitz
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

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