The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles

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Overview

From Please Please Me to Abbey Road, this collection of essays tells the story of the Beatles - the creation of the band, their musical influences, and their cultural significance, with emphasis on their genesis and practices as musicians, songwriters, and recording artists. Through detailed biographical and album analyses, the book uncovers the background of each band member and provides expansive readings of the band's music.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If you are a Beatles fan looking to study their music and impact, The Cambridge Companion to The Beatles provides an excellent starting point. Chapters will make you rethink what you already know, and perhaps change your interpretations of their music. At the very least, the text spurs spirited discussion about various topics. Those interested in a straightforward history of the group may be disappointed in the book, but researchers and scholarly fans will find The Cambridge Companion a valuable addition to their Beatles library." --Blogcritcs.org

"an admirable and largely successful attempt to cover all major aspects of the Beatles as both musical and sociocultural phenomenon. . . . even in the most well-trodden areas, insights and intriguing reinterpretations are never far away." --Montreal Gazette

"...this in-depth compendium is a must read for all who love the band, want to reminiscence, or want to learn almost everything about those four mop tops from Liverpool. This book is 'toppermost of the poppermost.' Highly recommended." --Choice

"Highly recommended for all readers"
-T.Emery,Austin Peay State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521869652
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2009
  • Series: Cambridge Companions to Music Series
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth Womack is Professor of English at Penn State University's Altoona College.
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Table of Contents

List of tables

Foreword: I believe in tomorrow: the posthumous life of the Beatles Anthony DeCurtis DeCurtis, Anthony

Chronology of the Beatles' lives and works

Introducing the Beatles Kenneth Womack Womack, Kenneth 1

Pt. I Background

1 Six boys, six Beatles: the formative years, 1950-1962 Dave Laing Laing, Dave 91

Appendix The repertoire, 1957-1962 27

2 The Beatles as recording artists Jerry Zolten Zolten, Jerry 33

Pt. II Works

3 Rock and roll music Howard Kramer Kramer, Howard 65

4 "Try thinking more": Rubber Soul and the Beatles' transformation of pop James M. Decker Decker, James M. 75

5 Magical mystery tours, and other trips: yellow submarines, newspaper taxis, and the Beatles' psychedelic years Russell Reising Reising, Russell Jim Leblanc Leblanc, Jim 90

6 Revolution Ian Inglis Inglis, Ian 112

7 On their way home: the Beatles in 1969 and 1970 Steve Hamelman Hamelman, Steve 125

8 Apple Records Bruce Spizer Spizer, Bruce 142

9 The solo years Michael Frontani Frontani, Michael 153

10 Any time at all: the Beatles' free phrase rhythms Walter Everett Everett, Walter 183

Pt. III History and influence

11 The Beatles as zeitgeist Sheila Whiteley Whiteley, Sheila 203

12 Beatles news: product line extensions and the rock canon Gary Burns Burns, Gary 217

13 "An abstraction, like Christmas": the Beatles for sale and for keeps John Kimsey Kimsey, John 230

Notes 255

Beatles discography, 1962-1970 286

Select bibliography 294

Index 311

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    "Let it Be" Read!

    The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles. Kenneth Womack (editor). New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009. 316 pages.

    This intriguing collection of essays illustrates the complete life story of the Beatles from the creation of the band and their musical influences, to the tragic death of John Lennon and the collapse of the group in 1970. This book was exceedingly helpful in the creation of my Ethnography project on Young, Aspiring Musicians in high school. I wanted to interview a multitude of different bands for my project, but unfortunately I did not know much about bands at the time. Therefore, I though it necessary to understand what makes young people desire to join a musical group and the troubles that arise as a result. The detailed biographies on each of the Beatles’ members, and the thorough description of how the Beatles formed their band, helped me to create a series of interview questions that allowed me to connect with the band members on a level that I never could have without reading this book. This book, in addition to including information on the Beatles themselves, contains a description of many of their most famous songs and the inspiration behind them; including, Strawberry Fields Forever, All You Need is Love, Revolution, Hey Jude, Sgt. Pepper, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and a vast number of others. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who craves an extensive account of the Beatles and their road to success; however, it is a difficult read and I advise readers to preview the book before purchase. Overall, this was an excellent and informative book that I recommend for Beatles lovers everywhere.

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