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Revolver: How the Beatles Reimagined Rock 'n' Roll Paperback – 15 Jun 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books (15 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617130095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617130090
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 364,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Pop culture historian Robert Rodriguez is an acknowledged expert on all things Beatle.


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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Without doubt "Revolver" is my favourite Beatles album, so I was intrigued to read this book looking at the making of an album the author puts above "Sgt Pepper" - usually cited as the bands high point. Rodriguez asserts that although Pepper is usually considered the apex of the Beatles creativity, it is actually "Revolver" that is the artistic high water mark - a true group collaboration which pushed the studio's technological limits as far as they could go.

1966 saw the band coming to the end of their touring life (it would later end with the "bigger than Jesus" comment and the chaos that was the Phillipines). However, what allowed the band to actually settle into the studio and create music without pressing time commitments was the lack of agreement of a third feature film, for which Brian Epstein had blocked out three whole months for shooting. Finding themselves without a script, they were left with the space they needed to create a masterpiece. John and Paul were at the exact mid-point states the author, before dominance in the group shifted from John to Paul. Also, this was a time when the members of the band happily experimented (Paul playing lead guitar on "Taxman" for example) without treading on each others toes.

This excellent book begins with what the Beatles were up to in early 1966 and what music their peers were creating, before looking at how the songs were written and then recorded. There is lots of the detail Beatle fans thrive on and examination of the revolutionary innovations used, such as Automatic Double Tracking and use of reversed tape.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an interesting read. Many people today agree with Robert Rodrigues when he says in the introduction "... Revolver was [the Beatles'] real game changer - the work that signalled their intention of abandoning the lucrative live-performance side of their career in favour of creating soundscapes without limitations."

For many people, the summit of the Beatles' recording output was Sgt Pepper. The point that Rodrigues is making here is that the summit can't be reached without the enormous work that went into the climb itself ('Revolver', and before that 'Rubber Soul').

This book starts with a description of the popular music environment in 1966. There were times when I thought 'why is he going into so much detail on the Rolling Stones, Beach Boys and the Byrds?' The answer is that Rodriguez is setting the scene into which 'Revolver' was born. It might have been worth a sentence at the start ... 'to understand 'Revolver's impact, you need to appreciate the context into which it was launched'. No matter, what he was doing eventually becomes clear and he makes a good point.

The core of the book, Chapter 5 'Every Sound there is' gives a detailed explanation of the recording of the individual tracks. It is detailed and insightful, especially in identifying how the group swapped roles as necessary to get the tracks laid down.

Chapter 6 'Everything was Right' deals with the design of the album cover by Klaus Voorman and its release into a world where negative publicity was being generated for the Beatles, as well as positive. But Rodriguez has found a key quote from Melody Maker to support his view: 'their new LP will change the direction of pop music'.
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This is a most exhaustive and thoroughly researched book, on what for me personally is my favourite Beatles album: Revolver. Coming as it did in the mid-sixties, it became overshadowed somewhat by Sgt Pepper, which has been cited as The Beatles masterpiece ever since that records release in 1967. But Robert Rodriguez firmly puts the spotlight back on an album that has and still does influence and inspire countless artists and bands even to this day. (one case in point is Oasis, who tried to emulate Revolver on every album) Taking us on a journey that begins from before
The Fabs stepped into studio no 2 at abbey road to record this album, right up to Pepper he leaves no stone unturned looking at not only the songs,
what inspired them how they were recorded and gives us a glimpse of what was not just happening in the lives of John, Paul, George and Ringo but also what was happening in the wider world at the time and charts what contemporaries and peers of The Beatles were recording and releasing around this period. This includes Stars such as The Stones, The Who, Dylan and The Beach Boys to name but a few. Complete with some unbelievable illustrations and photos, this is an essential purchase for every Beatles fan, thought my knowledge of all things fab was quite good, but
I learned quite a bit about this incredible record and the band that made it from this book. Rodriguez has managed to tell a fascinating story of the biggest act of all-time in music and show business, written well and brought in under 270 pages. If he can write a book of this standard on Revolver,
what would he write if he were to spotlight albums like Rubber Soul, The White Album, Abbey Road or Let It Be?
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