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Posted January 18, 2000
rather a mish-mash, I'm afraid
One might read this book's title and think, 'Musicians? As opposed to what else?'. Then one might suppose the intent is to analyze the Beatles's music technically. Well, yes, there are Schenkerian sketches here, but the book talks about the Beatles as cultural icons, discusses recording studio minutiae, and worries about how much of 'Eleanor Rigby''s lyric was Paul McCartney's and how much John Lennon's, for example, just as much as it concerns itself with the Beatles's music. In other words, it is a compendium of Beatles ephemera. That would be fine if it were better organized and well-written--and if it weren't entitled 'The Beatles as Musicians'. In fact, the author seems to have done a lot of research and then fed us his notes. He hasn't made a nest of the twigs he's gathered together: he's left them in a heap and published that. Nevertheless, some of the twigs will be of particular interest to Beatles nuts (and berries) such as myself. I'm thinking especially of the musical reconstruction in score form of the orchestral segment of 'A Day in the Life'. (I recommend to those to whom this sounds intriguing George Martin's 'All You Need Is Ears' for its inclusion of fragments of his 'Eleanor Rigby' and 'I Am The Walrus' scores, and I eagerly await the day all these scores will be published in toto.)
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