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Beatles for Sale: How Everything They Touched Turned to Gold [Paperback]

John Blaney
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.95
Price: 12.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jun 2008
"Beatles For Sale" is a brand new way of looking at a story you may think you know inside out. Author John Blaney shows for the first time how the group and their inner circle invented so much of what we now recognise as the modern business of making and selling rock music. This was certainly not because Lennon, McCartney, Epstein, and the rest had a clear vision of the way things ought to be. Very often it was simply down to making things up as they went along - because no one had been there before and no one knew how to do these things. This book details the ups and downs of the group as they promoted, advertised, and sold records, played concerts, sold merchandise, made films, and set up publishing and record companies of their own. It is a story of naivety and greed, inexperience and luck, gullibility and ingenuity. It is the story of every aspect of how The Beatles made money - and how virtually every group since then has followed in their footsteps.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Jawbone (1 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906002096
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906002091
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,273,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Blaney is a passionate fan of The Beatles who brings to his writing the expertise and rigour of a professional historian. Born in Devon, England, he trained as a graphic designer before starting a career in music retail. He subsequently studied History of Art at Camberwell College Of Arts and at Goldsmith College (both in London) before taking up his present post as curator of a museum of technology. He is the author and publisher of previous books on both Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

Product Description

About the Author

John Blaney is the author of Jawbone's Lennon And McCartney - Together Alone: A Critical Discography Of Their Solo Work. He is a passionate Beatles fan who brings to his writing the expertise and rigour of a professional historian.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars American Songwriter Magazine review 16 July 2008
By Ella
Format:Paperback
If we didn't know it before, we now are privy to every business blunder and nakedly greedy decision Brian Epstein and other handlers made at the expense of the Beatles, portrayed here as poor naifs ripe for exploitation. Unfortunately, like most young talents, they were. But Blaney spends a lot of time excoriating Epstein for being too money-hungry or too inexperienced, while somewhat shortchanging his role as the Neil Armstrong of rock and roll, going where almost no man had gone before. Some of his decisions were short-sighted, uninformed or selfish. That seems to be the case with almost everyone who had any control over the band, except George Martin. But clearly, Epstein had enough genius to earn them international stardom and success, even if he didn't fill their bank accounts fast enough. The book's message is mainly that the Beatles could have been far richer far sooner. But who among them would be able to say they didn't come out all right, financially at least, in the end?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Purchase 5 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Waited a while for this to arrive . Then it came from America . However that's OK as the book is quality and not too available in UK
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars could be worse 2 Jan 2011
By meeny
Format:Paperback
Well presented book but unforgivable mistakes, transparent to even the most casual Beatles reader - for instance, Tommy Moore on drums for the Billy Fury audition and one the reasons for their failing...really!!! Beatles for Sale: How Everything They Touched Turned to Gold
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beatles still making money 5 Jun 2008
Format:Paperback
This book is about how The Beatles were conned out of hundreds of millions of pounds by the greed and incompetence of the people around them who managed their affairs.

Its an old story, and has been told many times before. There's absolutely nothing in this book that can't be found in any number of other books about the band.

Its ironic that 'respected author' John Blaney has, while pointing out that people continue to this day to make money out of the Beatle name, is himself making money out of the Beatle name. He's done nothing in this book except collect together information previously published in other books and present it more or less as his own research.

He writes reasonably well, but apart from that, don't bother.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't fall for the blurb... 7 Jun 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book doesn't in any way reflect "the expertise and rigour of a professional historian." The publishers (Jawbone) should know that. The author has simply summarised a number of other Beatles books and you can almost spot them by the chapters: recording, publishing, Apple, and so on.

But that's not all. The author simply doesn't do justice to his subject. He doesn't know why George Martin signed the first EMI contract but not the renegotiation in 1966. (George Martin left EMI in 1965 to set up an independent production house, AIR.) And he simply doesn't understand the music business (he refers to mechanical royalties from EMI for example). A professional historian would know (or find out) the detail and the background.

So what we have is a mountain of facts culled from other authors (Brian Southall, Bruce Spizer, Geoffrey Ellis, George Martin, Debbie Geller, Derek Taylor, Keith Badman, Barry Miles, George Melly, Mark Lewisohn, etc.) and presented in a jumble. There is no coherent narrative or analysis and the separate aspects in separate chapters remain stubbornly separate.

"How everything they touched turned to gold" is not explained. It is not even explored. The author merely serves up a simplistic caricature of the players (Brian Epstein is repeatedly dismissed as a "shopkeeper" for example). Whether you already know, or are expecting to learn, about the Beatles this book will be a disappointment. I have read more than 50 of the several hundred Beatle books on offer and I can assure you this is among the very worst.
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