Please Please Me: Sixties British Pop, Inside Out

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Overview


The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Who, and numerous other groups put Britain at the center of the modern musical map. Please Please Me offers an insider's view of the British pop-music recording industry during the seminal period of 1956 to 1968, based on personal recollections, contemporary accounts, and all relevant data that situate this scene in the economic, political, and social context of postwar Britain. Author Gordon Thompson weaves issues of class, age, professional status, gender, and ethnicity into his narrative, beginning with the rise of British beat groups and the emergence of teenagers as consumers in postwar Britain, and moving into the competition between performers and the recording industry for control over the music. He interviews musicians, songwriters, music directors, and producers and engineers who worked with the best-known performers of the era. Drawing his interpretation of the processes at work during this musical revolution into a wider context, Thompson unravels the musical change and innovation of the time with an eye on understanding what traces individuals leave in the musical and recording process.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An insiders peek at the British pop music recording industry from 1956 to 1968As history books go, this one is more engaging than most. The selected discography is a nice addition, and a song index (in addition to a general book index) makes it easy to find passages related to your favorite tunes."--Goldmine

"Please Please Me defines British pop in ways sparklingly accurate and brilliantly insightful. The author gets it all in order with quality writing and an endless quantity of resource material. Thompson does more for this music than anyone has yet to achieve. His study is the best of history and theory combined. In fact, no other book on this subject comes close."-Martin J. Rosenblum

"Gordon Thompson's Please Please Me is authoritative, comprehensive, and thoroughly engaging. With lots of information gathered from interviews with the creators themselves and not available elsewhere, Thompson contextualizes his topic with just the right amount of historical and cultural history. Please Please Me will be valuable for all those interested in twentieth-century popular music, music technology, and the British Invasion."--Walter Everett, University of Michigan

"Where other chroniclers have dug deep into the popular music world of the 1960s, Gordon Thompson has tunneled his way to the center of the earth. His observations coupled with his ability to identify with the artists, musicians, musical directors and producers of that era make for an enlightening, entertaining and educational book. Thompson has caught the camaraderie, excitement, stress, along with the expertise and experimentation that made the '60s a very special time."--Vic Flick, Guitarist www.vicflick.com

"The stories, the personalities, the attitudes, the secrets, the blunders are all here, exactly as they happened. Not only has the author elevated the history of '60s British Pop to an unprecedented level of excellence, but I have been reminded of just how bloody lucky we were to be part of it."--Mitch Murray, Hit Songwriter

"Gordon Thompson's Please Please Me is authoritative, comprehensive, and thoroughly engaging. With lots of information gathered from interviews with the creators themselves and not available elsewhere, Thompson contextualizes his topic with just the right amount of historical and cultural history. Please Please Me will be valuable for all those interested in twentieth-century popular music, music technology, and the British Invasion."--Walter Everett, University of Michigan

"Where other chroniclers have dug deep into the popular music world of the 1960s, Gordon Thompson has tunneled his way to the center of the earth. His observations coupled with his ability to identify with the artists, musicians, musical directors and producers of that era make for an enlightening, entertaining and educational book. Thompson has caught the camaraderie, excitement, stress, along with the expertise and experimentation that made the '60s a very special time."--Vic Flick, Guitarist www.vicflick.com

"Please, Please, Please Me is interesting if not wildly enjoyable."--Shindig-Magazine

"This is a remarkable book. Gordon Thompson's book stands alone in getting into the guts of the 1960s UK music scene."-Joe Moretti

"The stories, the personalities, the attitudes, the secrets, the blunders are all here, exactly as they happened. Not only has the author elevated the history of '60s British Pop to an unprecedented level of excellence, but I have been reminded of just how bloody lucky we were to be part of it."--Mitch Murray, Hit Songwriter

"Please Please Me is a well-informed, thoughtful commentary on the cultural factors and human relationships responsible for the worldwide prominence of British rock; I would recommend it to all scholars and students of the repertoire."--Christopher Doll, Journal of Popular Music Studies

"His carefully crafted study, grounded in a wide range of interviews..., provides a marvelously elegant construction of the process by which music was made, packaged, and sold."--Richard Coopey, Business History Review

"This work is highly original and adds significantly to our knowledge of the 1960s." --Dave Laing, Equinox Online

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195333251
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/10/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 989,103
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Gordon Thompson is Professor of Music at Skidmore College.

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Table of Contents


Credits     xi
Introduction: Approaches and Material     3
The Velvet Glove: The Art of Production     47
A Question of Balance: Engineering Art     105
Mediating Change: Setting Musical Directions     131
The Write Stuff: Songwriting and the Articulation of Change     167
Red-Light Fever: The Musician's Life     233
Please Please Me     269
Sixties London Recording Studios     279
Selected Discography     281
Bibliography     307
Song Index     315
General Index     319
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    IF YOU LOVE ROCK 'N' ROLL, DON'T MISS THIS ONE!

    Please, Please Me is an interesting 'insiders' view of British rock and roll in the sixties. I loved the anecdotes from band journeymen who played with the greats during this time. This book has new, well-researched material that brings to light much detail beyond the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. There are the influences of obscure bands (in the USA) that were very influential in Britain on the more well-known groups of the time. I only wish I could have gone to a website to pick up phrases of music that are referred to frequently. Mr Thompson has great insight to the musicological influences of the era and how they contributed to the phenomenal change the sixties represent. A great read.

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