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Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World Hardcover – 25 Apr 2017

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About the Author

Rob Sheffield is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where he writes about music, TV, and popular culture. He is the author of the national bestsellers Love Is a Mix Tape and Talking to Girls About Duran Duran. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
By Stuart Jefferson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Beatles are far more famous and beloved now than they were in their lifespan, when they were merely the four most famous and beloved people on earth." Rob Sheffield.

"If you dislike the Beatles, it's because you dislike Paul. If you love them despite their flaws, you mean Paul's flaws. If they're overrated, it's because Paul is overrated. Whatever problem you have with the Beatles, it's Paul's fault." Rob Sheffield.

"I'm not looking to solve this riddle--just understand it." Rob Sheffield.

With all the books already written about the Beatles (and many more to come, trust me) this book by Sheffield takes a different approach from the others. This isn't an in depth look at the band, the individual Beatles, or an in depth analysis of their music. Sheffield takes a different approach and looks at the emotional attraction between the Beatles as a group (and as solo artists) and all of us who like their music--and focuses on the newer generation who grew up listening to the Beatles. Sheffield argues that the group is more popular now than in the past and that this new generation of fans is much larger than the generation who first heard them, and is making the group more popular than ever through an emotional connection to the Beatles as a band and their music.

I'm from the generation who first heard the Beatles on Ed Sullivan (at that time--wow!), went to a Beatles concert in my home town (it wasn't sold out and cost between three and four bucks for a ticket--which I got from my parents), and bought the original albums. Sheffield has put all that largely in the past and writes about this newer generation that has heard the band all their lives. This isn't a biography, or an album by album synopsis of the music, but rather the connection the music has with younger people who weren't there when this new and exciting music happened, spearheaded by the Beatles (and other bands--see the chapter "Beatles or Stones?"), and tells us why they're maybe even more popular today than in the past.

Will you agree with everything the author says? Probably not. For instance he states that "The Beatles invented the self-contained rock and roll band, playing their own instruments and writing their own hits." Well yes and no--what about Buddy Holly for instance? Yes, the Beatles made the concept of a band "real" and popular, and put the idea of forming a band into a lot of teenager's heads--but invented that idea? Hmmm. But he does make you think about the Beatles in a different way, and that's what I like about this book. By picking out certain albums, songs, performances, Sheffield builds the emotional bond that people have for the band and music, and possibly how and why that bond is bigger than ever before.

The chapters are relatively short, focusing on different aspects of the music. There's even a chapter of songs about the Beatles, covering artists like Lil' Wayne, Aretha Franklin, the Beastie Boys, Weird Al, Ella Fitzgerald, The Muppets, Prince, Nancy Sinatra, the Bangles, Dylan, and others. There's also eight pages of b&w photos from '63 to '68 that highlight different periods of the band. Also included are notes on the chapters, a bibliography, and an index. The jacket is mostly white with a rough-ish texture that picks up smudges and dirt like a magnet--be careful if (like me) you take good care of your books. If you've read Sheffield's work in Rolling Stone over the years, you have an idea of his writing style--you may not go along with him completely but he does make you think. And for that reason alone this book is worth reading by Beatles fans.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Loving - and Fascinated by - The Beatles After All These Years 25 April 2017
By Dee Long - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Sheffield provides his reader with a very entertaining, informative and fascinating look at the musical group destined to become music icons as well as pop culture legends. Written in a steam of consciousness style, this overview of The Beatles' lives, experiences, performances, quirks and impact on the culture offers thousands of trivia facts, ranging from observations about The White Album and the lads' choice of romantic partners, to their album covers, song writing abilities, and gurus. Anyone who counts The Beatles and their unique brand of entertainment on their top ten list owes it to themselves to enjoy this "love story of one band and the whole world."
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