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Customer Review

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some people don't get it, 15 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Revolution: The Making of "The Beatles - White Album" (The Vinyl Frontier) (Paperback)
The art of criticism has moved on a few steps from the days when Derek Johnson would analyse a record's "shuffle beat" in the NME. But as theorists debate whether postmodernism has had its day, it seems as if, for some people, it never happened. "I don't want to hear Mr Quantick's opinions," gripe the Gradgrindian punters. "I just want the facts."

Well, as Quantick suggests, MacDonald and Lewisohn will give you facts until you're blue (meanie) in the face. What he presents is a personal view, and an analysis of how the album interrelates with other contemporary cultural goings-on. This is clearly rather disturbing for people who know what they like, and whose intellectual curiosity is limited to studio dates and guitar tunings. For those of us who see The Beatles phenomenon as something rather more significant and complex, it's a good read.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Mar 2010 01:14:02 BDT
lexo1941 says:
In theory I agree with you. There are a lot of bad Beatles books out there that just recapitulate the same stories that everyone knows, although you are quite wrong to lump Macdonald in with Lewisohn; Macdonald provides a highly tendentious interpretation of the Beatles' work, while all of us are indebted to Lewisohn's work in the EMI archives. I am all up for an interesting new angle on the Beatles, such as Devin McKinney's 'Magic Circles', which argues - ingeniously, if not, in my view, ultimately convincingly - that the White Album was the greatest thing the Beatles ever did.

The trouble is, David Quantick doesn't have an interesting new angle. He was a third-rate corporate hack when he worked for NME in the 80s and he's still one today. This book therefore has a double problem: Quantick hasn't unearthed any cool new stuff in the archives, but neither does he have anything refreshing or insightful to say.
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