Revolver: How the Beatles Re-Imagined Rock 'n' Rollby Robert Rodriguez
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(Book). Acquired wisdom has always put Sgt. Pepper at the head of the class, but it was Revolver that truly signaled The Beatles' sea change from a functional band to a studio-based ensemble. These changes began before Rubber Soul but came to fruition on Revolver , which took an astonishing 300 hours to produce, far more than any rock record before it. The making of Revolver hunkered down in Abbey Road with George Martin is in itself a great Beatles story, but would be nothing if the results weren't so impactful. More than even Sgt. Pepper and Pet Sounds , Revolver fed directly into the rock 'n' roll zeitgeist, and its influence could be heard everywhere: from the psychedelic San Francisco sound (Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead); to the first wave of post-blues hard rock (Sabbath, Zeppelin); through movie soundtracks and pretty much everything that followed it including every generation of guitar-based pop music and even heavy metal. More than any record before or after, Revolver was the game-changer, and this is, finally, the detailed telling of its storied recording and enormous impact.
- Hal Leonard Corporation
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Robert Rodriguez's Revolver: How the Beatles Reimagined Rock `N' Roll casts a wide net over a singular moment in the history of the Beatles and he does it well. Much as Mark Kurlansky did in 1968 Mr. Rodriguez weaves social, cultural and musical context in a wonderful tapestry that enlightens beyond the surface of the ostensible event. 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.
I was greatly disappointed trying to navigate through repeating text!