Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, and defining take on the Beatles phenomenon!, 11 Feb 2008
This review is from: Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America (Hardcover)
Way beyond being just another book about the Beatles, Gould's weighty tome is, as the sub-title (The Beatles, Britain & America) suggests, an equal-shares analysis of the revolutionary social, industrial and cultural events that occured in the two key geographical markets, that in turn generated the global Moptop phenomenon.

As much an investigation into the cementing of pop music potential, celebrity culture, and mass market appeal, as it is the tale of four lads that made some great music together, by laying open the state of mass media, art, and society in general during the 60s, into which he can then introduce the Beatles, Gould expertly recreates a controlled and well structured - and very well written - explosion of events that proves far more unintended and out of control than inherited media myth would have us believe.

In fact, by stating that the band were more of a lightening rod than freak of nature, Gould actually presents a highly compelling and well thought out formula of events - one, that as the Beatles myth ceases to rebalance itself - some uberfans or less well informed industry-fed (and lazy) journos might find painfully counter to their beliefs.

So, whilst the coming together of John, Paul, George and Ringo can truly be seen as a sparking of collective natural talent, it was in fact the pent-up powder keg of social, industrial and media developments post-WWII that actually casued the tremors. Blessed with unbelievably good fortune, the quartet's success was, as Gould repeatedly illustrates, more like a synergic Big Bang for our times, than the now self-perpetuating myth of Beatles as gods rising amongst mere mortals. And in doing so, helps refocus our attentions to the real sources of heat and light, force and effect during that time.

However, that's not to say Can't But Me Love is some kind of scientific exercise in spiritual debunking. Rather, it is a fascinating, and extremely enjoyable and revealing historical study of how our current age jolted into being during the Sixties, perpetuated by the gigantic tsumani the Beatles rode.

And in doing so, Gould also enables us to see how they might have become sick of their band, being themselves more often than not propelled by forces beyond their control. So, whilst they undoubtedly provided a soundtrack of revolutionary, and highly creative musical expression, they also endured the beginning - and to some extent proved to be the apex, to which others would merely be retreads - of the now bittersweet concentric worlds of pop music evangelism, celebrity culture, and mass produced art redundancy, as we have come to know them.

A brilliant book, and one that should be read by anyone with more than a passing interest in the state of the world in which we life today: one that is equal parts joyous in the fruits of youth, great tunes and acts of fabulous imagination, but also polluted with hype and narcissism.

My only criticism is that Gould can get bogged down in musical terms at times, with too many references to triads and time signatures that left me excluded. But, for the sake of writing a truly brilliant record of the Beatles event, I think this is but a quibble - and one that shouldn't rob him of a five-star rating for 20 years of work very, very well done!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.5 out of 5 stars (10 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist
Reviewer

Apollo 11
(VINE VOICE)   

Location: UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,066