4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A readable (if, at times, superficial) history of pop,
This review is from: Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop (Kindle Edition)
Even with a large page count (800 pages) it's an almost impossible task to encapsulate the history of popular music in a single book. Yeah Yeah Yeah is never anything less than very readable - with plenty of witty and incisive comments from Stanley, but the fact that so much ground is covered means that few groups or artists ever have more than the briefest of thumbnail sketches - Buddy Holly, for example, merits only a single page.
The Beatles fare a little better, with a chapter of ten or so pages, but even here there's simply not the room to do anything than rehash many facts which are already known - along with some fairly sloppy errors. Stanley implies that after the Beatles' final tour they recorded Revolver - in fact Revolver was recorded before the 1966 tour, indeed one of the many reasons why they stopped touring was because they couldn't reproduce their increasingly complex studio sound in the live arena. He also states that their last single was The Long And Winding Road, which it was - but only in America. In the UK, it was Let It Be.
Bob Stanley is an engaging writer though and Yeah Yeah Yeah does contain plenty of interest which means it is worth reading, but in attempting to cover so much it does disappoint at times. Louis Barfe's Where Have all the Good Times Gone?: The Rise and Fall of the Record Industry has a slighter narrower scope, and is all the better for it.