Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of The Beatles' Solo Careers [NOOK Book]

Overview

As recommended by USA Today and excerpted on Rolling Stone.com!

More than forty years after breaking up, The Beatles remain the biggest-selling and most influential group in the history of popular music. Fans endlessly replay their songs, craving more, while thousands of cover versions of their songs have been recorded and performed. Band biographies, pop music histories, ...
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Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of The Beatles' Solo Careers

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Overview

As recommended by USA Today and excerpted on Rolling Stone.com!

More than forty years after breaking up, The Beatles remain the biggest-selling and most influential group in the history of popular music. Fans endlessly replay their songs, craving more, while thousands of cover versions of their songs have been recorded and performed. Band biographies, pop music histories, song books, and academic titles on the Fab Four clutter shelves. But never has there been a definitive guide to the finest songs of The Beatles after they called it quits.

Still the Greatest is a love song to the songwriting and recording achievements of Paul, John, George, and Ringo after each struck out on his own. In this creative history, Jackson selects the best songs in each solo career and organizes them into fantasy albums they might have formed had the legendary group stayed together. This romp through the post–Beatles history of each artist delves into the circumstances behind the composition, recording, and reception of each work, offering a refreshing take on how spectacular much of The Beatles’ second act truly is.

Jackson assesses the more than seventy albums and nine hundred songs the four collectively released, selecting the crème de la crème of their output. Still the Greatest brims with facts (release dates, writing and performing credits, and information about production techniques) and insightful analyses of the music and lyrics. In telling the stories behind the songs, Jackson recounts the remarkable influence the Post Fab Four continued to have long after the big split. Both a handy reference and an engrossing cover-to-cover read, Still the Greatest is an invaluable companion for those who thought it all ended with the 1970 album Let It Be.
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Editorial Reviews

Larry Kane
Andrew Grant Jackson gives us an indispensable book with the inside story of the second career of the Beatles. The most exciting aspect-the stories of each song and the unusual motives of the writers. The book is a winner!
Bobby Tanzilo
I love his book. Over the course of 300 or so pages, Jackson explores the high points from the solo careers of John, Paul, George and Ringo. More than simply presenting release dates, recording info and chart positions, Jackson delves into the inspiration for the lyrics and where the key players were at in those moments. It's a new take on a much-chronicled band.
Eric Alterman
I’m happy to be able to recommend a new book by a man with the interesting name of Andrew Grant Jackson and it’s called Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of the Beatles’ Solo Careers. Many of us were traumatized by the breakup of the Beatles and you would not believe how often it keeps coming up in my class on the culture and politics of the seventies. The fellow is pretty smart and the book is wonderfully well researched … With the Beatles having been covered to death, this is really new territory, at least for me … It’s really both quite fun and impressive, though he does not hate the songs I hate and I find this a bit unnerving, given how on the ball he is otherwise. Do I really need to rethink My Love?”
CHOICE
Jackson (independent scholar) bases his chronological study of the Beatles' solo careers on the idea that solo tracks recorded after the Beatles' breakup can be grouped into theoretical Beatles albums. Each tune included in his list of essentials receives detailed and knowledgeable commentary covering session locations and dates, personnel, production credits, release information, and UK and US chart positions. Themes emerge, linking the solo outputs of the various Beatles to evolving trends in pop music. Jackson's treatment of each band member is evenhanded and appreciative, and his book succeeds in inspiring readers, both serious fans and novices, to return to the recordings. This volume does not aim to replace or supersede The Beatles Solo on Apple Records, compiled by Bruce Spizer (2005), but it ably supplements this key resource. Jackson's commentary situating the output of solo members of the Beatles within contemporary music is particularly enlightening. This one-of-a-kind study of a cultural phenomenon discusses 70-plus albums and some 900 songs. Excellent appendix; discographies. Summing Up: Recommended. Collections emphasizing contemporary pop music; general readers.
Sunday Denver Post
"The Beatles was just the beginning--the four fabs had extensive solo careers. Here, a comparison."
American Reference Books Annual
Still the Greatest is a very interesting and creative look at The Beatles’ solo careers, and makes for a more enjoyable read than a typical reference volume. Still the Greatest is an excellent volume and definitely a worthwhile read for music scholars, music enthusiasts, or fans of The Beatles.
Choice
Jackson (independent scholar) bases his chronological study of the Beatles' solo careers on the idea that solo tracks recorded after the Beatles' breakup can be grouped into theoretical Beatles albums. Each tune included in his list of essentials receives detailed and knowledgeable commentary covering session locations and dates, personnel, production credits, release information, and UK and US chart positions. Themes emerge, linking the solo outputs of the various Beatles to evolving trends in pop music. Jackson's treatment of each band member is evenhanded and appreciative, and his book succeeds in inspiring readers, both serious fans and novices, to return to the recordings. This volume does not aim to replace or supersede The Beatles Solo on Apple Records, compiled by Bruce Spizer (2005), but it ably supplements this key resource. Jackson's commentary situating the output of solo members of the Beatles within contemporary music is particularly enlightening. This one-of-a-kind study of a cultural phenomenon discusses 70-plus albums and some 900 songs. Excellent appendix; discographies. Summing Up: Recommended. Collections emphasizing contemporary pop music; general readers.
Booklist
In this creative history of the solo careers of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, Jackson reimagines the artists’ individual output into “fantasy albums” that could have been put out had the Fab Four remained an intact group—“The Beatles Albums That Should Have Been” (which would have made a fine subtitle). Nearly 200 songs have been cherry-picked, with extensive information offered, such as musicians, chart history, story behind the creation of the song, and the meaning of the lyrics. The chummy tone and the sheer subjectiveness make this unsuitable as a reference work but loads of fun for Beatles fans.
Examiner
Overall, it's an interesting take on what might have been; an imaginary glimpse of what The Beatles may have released to the world as a group had they remained together....Going over each track with a fine-toothed comb, Jackson not only gives us details of where each Beatle was at that stage of their career but also what lead them there. On top of that he includes extensive production details for each song, including session musicians and where and when it was recorded.
American Reference Books Annual (ARBA)
Still the Greatest is a very interesting and creative look at The Beatles’ solo careers, and makes for a more enjoyable read than a typical reference volume. Still the Greatest is an excellent volume and definitely a worthwhile read for music scholars, music enthusiasts, or fans of The Beatles.
The Austin Chronicle
If God is truly in the details, this exhaustive second-act gospel radiates holy ghostliness.
Beatlefan Magazine
[This book] skillfully manages to blend in the right amounts of reference material and imagination to make this one of the most enjoyable Beatles books in years … An inevitable yet delightful by-product of reading the book is the “I’d have chosen this song instead of that one” factor (witness the author’s presentation in front of a captive audience at the recent Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago) … And while subjectivity naturally comes into play here, Jackson demonstrates not only a solid knowledge of post-Beatles history, but he astutely balances the biographical back story for each of the songs as well. Beyond the musicians’ credits, release dates, chart positions and such, he captures the songs’ essence eloquently … Aesthetically, Jackson demonstrates an uncanny ability to turn words (his, and the artists) into mini aural landscapes in his descriptions of the songs’ musicality. His take on “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey” paints a picture of the sound so vivid that if one had never heard the actual record, they could virtually imagine it quite precisely. Jackson demonstrates a deft command of pop/rock culture as well, connecting the dots beyond the Beatles’ world … Intellectually stimulating and at the same time lots of fun, this one should be on every Beatle fan’s bookshelf.
Houston Press
Great addition to any Beatles library.
USA Today
The celebration of the Fab Four's 50th anniversary continues with Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of the Beatles' Solo Careers. Author Andrew Grant Jackson, a music journalist and filmmaker, delves into the more than 70 albums and 900 songs collectively unveiled by John, Paul, George and Ringo since they disbanded 42 years ago. "There are a dozen brilliant Beatles albums to be carved out of their solo albums," Jackson has observed. Included, too, are collaborations with other icons such as Phil Spector, Eric Clapton, Elton John and Elvis Costello.
Library Journal
Analysis, commentary, and biography on the Beatles abound, but relatively little has been written about John, Paul, George, and Ringo's post-Beatles recordings. Freelance music writer Jackson's first book spotlights what he considers the best of the ex-Beatles' oft-underrated post-1970 recordings as solo artists, and as members of Wings and the Plastic Ono Band. Jackson, an obvious Beatles fanatic, compiles his chosen cuts into 12 fictitious albums spread across the past 40 years. Jackson critiques and analyzes each song and puts it into biographical context, adding detailed studio session information, recording credits, and sales-chart peaks. The analyses are insightful and informed, with the author relying heavily on previous scholarship and interviews with the ex-Beatles and associates, and adding his own strong opinions. Jackson admirably digs beneath the obvious hits to uncover and discuss deep album tracks, commercial flops, and rare b-sides. Ringo fans will be delighted by Jackson's insistence on finding room on each "album" for at least one of the funny Beatle's tracks, while John fans will likely be irked by the author's anti-Lennon, pro-McCartney bias. VERDICT This creative, enlightening, and informative work by a welcomed entrant to Beatles scholarship is highly recommended to anyone interested in learning more about the Fab Four's sporadically great post-breakup recordings.—Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810882232
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/20/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 851,502
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Andrew Grant Jackson has written for Rolling Stone, Yahoo!, Slate’s “Blogging the Beatles,” Baseline Studio System, music magazines Burn Lounge, Mean Street, and Dispatch, and copyedited the Hollywood monthly magazine Ingenue. He directed and cowrote the feature film The Discontents starring Perry King and Amy Madigan and served as actor Jeff Bridges’s development associate at AsIs Productions.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xv

List of Abbreviations xxiii

1 1970: Year One 1

Instant Karma! Lennon 6

My Sweet Lord Harrison 8

Maybe I'm Amazed McCartney 8

Beaucoups of Blues Starr 10

Man We Was Lonely McCartney 11

What Is Life Harrison 12

Cold Turkey Lennon 13

Junk McCartney 15

Every Night McCartney 15

Mother Lennon 16

God Lennon 17

All Things Must Pass Harrison 19

Give Peace a Chance Lennon 20

Working Class Hero Lennon 21

2 1971: It Don't Come Easy 25

Imagine Lennon 29

It Don't Come Easy Starr 31

Wah-Wah Harrison 33

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey McCartney 35

Jealous Guy Lennon 38

Another Day McCartney 39

It's So Hard Lennon 41

Oh Woman, Oh Why McCartney 42

Apple Scruffs Harrison 43

Oh Yoko! Lennon 44

Early 1970 Starr 46

The Back Seat of My Car McCartney 47

Isn't It a Pity Harrison 48

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Lennon 49

3 1972: Gimme Some Truth 53

Hi Hi Hi McCartney 58

Power to the People Lennon 59

Back Off Boogaloo Starr 60

Awaiting on You All Harrison 62

Love Is Strange McCartney 62

New York City Lennon 63

C Moon McCartney 64

I Found Out Lennon 66

Monkberry Moon Delight McCartney 67

Remember Lennon 68

Hear Me Lord Harrison 69

Woman Is the Nigger of the World Lennon 69

Too Many People McCartney 71

Gimme Some Truth Lennon 72

Dear Boy McCartney 73

Crippled Inside Lennon 74

Run of the Mill Harrison 76

Isolation Lennon 76

Dear Friend McCartney 78

Behind That Locked Door Harrison 79

How? Lennon 80

Ram On McCartney 81

Angela Lennon 82

Mama's Little Girl McCartney 83

Oh My Love Lennon 84

Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll) Harrison 84

Hold On Lennon 85

Tomorrow McCartney 86

4 1973: Everest 89

Live and Let Die McCartney 91

Mind Games Lennon 92

Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) Harrison 94

I'm the Greatest Starr 96

Helen Wheels McCartney 97

Bring On the Lucie (Freeda Peeple) Lennon 98

You're Sixteen Starr 99

My Love McCartney 101

Only People Lennon 102

Jet McCartney 103

Don't Let Me Wait Too Long Harrison 104

Out the Blue Lennon 105

Photograph Starr 107

Band on the Run McCartney 107

5 1974: Lost Weekends 111

Whatever Gets You thru the Night Lennon 115

Junior's Farm McCartney 116

Oh My My Starr 117

Dark Horse Harrison 118

Let Me Roll It McCartney 120

Surprise Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradox) Lennon 120

Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five McCartney 122

Scared Lennon 122

Mrs. Vandebilt McCartney 123

Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out) Lennon 124

Picasso's Last Words McCartney 126

(It's All Down to) Goodnight Vienna Starr 128

Country Dreamer McCartney 129

#9 Dream Lennon 130

6 1976: Pizza and Fairy Tales 133

Let 'Em In McCartney 137

Stand by Me Lennon 137

Listen to What the Man Said McCartney 139

Slippin' and Slidin' Lennon 140

Ain't That a Shame Lennon 140

Silly Love Songs McCartney 141

This Song Harrison 143

Snookeroo Starr 144

Going Down on Love Lennon 145

This Guitar (Can't Keep from Crying) Harrison 146

Sally G McCartney 147

Beautiful Girl Harrison 148

What You Got Lennon 149

You Gave Me The Answer McCartney 150

7 1980: Other Plans 153

(Just Like) Starting Over Lennon 156

Girls' School McCartney 157

Cafe on the Left Bank McCartney 157

Blow Away Harrison 158

Woman Lennon 159

I'm Losing You Lennon 159

Coming Up McCartney 161

Attention Starr 162

With a Little Luck McCartney 163

Dear Yoko Lennon 164

London Town McCartney 165

Beautiful Boy Lennon 166

Mull of Kintyre McCartney 167

Watching the Wheels Lennon 168

8 1985: Borrowed Time 171

Borrowed Time Lennon 175

Take It Away McCartney 176

All Those Years Ago Harrison 177

In My Car Starr 179

No More Lonely Nights McCartney 180

I'm Stepping Out Lennon 181

The Pound Is Sinking McCartney 182

I Don't Wanna Face It Lennon 183

Wanderlust McCartney 184

Cleanup Time Lennon 185

I Don't Want to Do It Harrison 187

Grow Old with Me Lennon 188

Here Today McCartney 189

Nobody Told Me Lennon 192

9 1989: When we was Fab 195

Got My Mind Set on You Harrison 199

Move Over Busker McCartney 200

Handle with Care The Traveling Wilburys 201

Back on My Feet McCartney 202

End of the Line The Traveling Wilburys 204

My Brave Face McCartney 205

When We Was Fab Harrison 206

Yvonne's the One McCartney 207

Devil's Radio Harrison 208

Picture Show Life Starr 209

That's What It Takes Harrison 210

Figure of Eight McCartney 211

This Is Love Harrison 211

Put It There McCartney 212

10 1997: The Song we were Singing 215

Free as a Bird The Beatles 218

After All These Years Starr 220

Hope of Deliverance McCartney 221

Don't Go Where the Road Don't Go Starr 222

Get Out of My Way McCartney 224

Heading for the Light Traveling Wilburys 224

Weight of the World Starr 225

Fish on the Sand Harrison 226

Young Boy McCartney 226

Poor Little Girl Harrison 227

The Song We Were Singing McCartney 228

Cheer Down Harrison 229

Beautiful Night McCartney 229

Real Love The Beatles 230

11 2005: Never without You 235

Any Road Harrison 238

Party McCartney 239

Looking for My Life Harrison 241

No Other Baby McCartney 242

Shake a Hand McCartney 243

I Don't Believe You Starr 244

Jenny Wren McCartney 245

From a Lover to a Friend McCartney 246

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea Harrison 247

Your Way McCartney 248

Anyway McCartney 249

Pisces Fish Harrison 250

Never without You Starr 251

Heather McCartney 252

Brainwashed Harrison 253

12 2011: Ever Present Past 257

Fine Line McCartney 260

Fading In and Out Starr 261

This Never Happened Before McCartney 261

Free Drinks Starr 262

Too Much Rain McCartney 263

Riding to Vanity Fair McCartney 264

The Other Side of Liverpool Starr 265

Mr. Bellamy McCartney 266

Nothing Too Much Just out of Sight The Fireman 267

Some People Starr 268

Ever Present Past McCartney 268

Liverpool 8 Starr 269

That Was Me McCartney 270

Vintage Clothes McCartney 271

Epilogue: Further Listening 273

Appendix A Solo Beatles No. 1 Singles 281

Appendix B 1970-2011 Anthology (The Yellow, Green, and Indigo Albums) 283

Album Discography 287

Single Discography 293

Bibliography 303

Index 309

About the Author 327

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