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Let Me Tell You How It Will Be: A Brief Introduction xi
Part I Spinning the Chamber
1 And the Band Begins to Play: Beatles '66 3
2 I Want You to Hear Me: The Beatles and Their Peers 29
3 Just a State of Mind: Chemical Influences 47
Part II Publling the Trigger
4 My Head Is Filled with Things to Say: Where the Songs Came From 63
5 Every Sound Three Is: Creating Revolver 97
Part III Bang!
6 Everything Was Right: Revolver's Reception 155
7 Taking My Time: "Strawberry Fields Forever" and Sgt. Pepper 189
8 There's Something There: Sgt. Pepper and the Legacy of Revolver 223
Selected Bibliography 259
Posted May 16, 2012
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.
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Posted January 4, 2014