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on 11 September 2013
'The Beatles In Mono' is probably the Beatles book I dip into most often. There are others written by insiders with access to which other musician played exactly which trombone, but that doesn't excite me so much as someone who can make me hear something different in songs I've heard a hundred times. And Andrew Hickey's book does that. Each time I open it up there's something to listen to again and go 'Wow': the reverb on the mono 'Paperback Writer'; the Beatles versus Beatles play-off in the stereo 'Think For Yourself'; the swearing in 'Hey Jude'...! Some people don't like that Andrew's opinionated. He is, but he also loves all four of the Beatles as well as being critical of some aspects of each of their work. I just don't believe reviews that say 'Every single thing is equally brilliant!' That's not a review. That's a total surrender of all critical faculties. I like his reasons for raving about some songs and his occasional putting the boot into one, so I can go 'He's wrong!' or less often, 'Oh dear. He's probably right'. Either way it makes for a much more interesting read, and he's unnecessarily self-deprecating about it too. Oh, and he covers the stereo-only LPs to for completism, just in less detail.

I mostly listen to songs on headphones and am prejudiced to the sound being different in each to keep me diverted, so my instinctive preference is stereo. But I also wanted to hear what the Mono mixes that were often meant to be the 'important' ones sounded like, and this book is a great companion and champion for them to challenge my prejudices. Mr Hickey thinks mono is best and eloquently says why for most tracks, and I like a point of view that's not mine to make me appreciate them more! As well as the music, though, he's funny. He has a witty turn of phrase ("being grumpy in minor chords" made me laugh even about a song I like) and also loves the Beatles songs that are wittier than lots of people notice, pointing out the jokes. He even made me listen to some Wagner to compare famous chords... But the music is his big thing, and it's worth buying just for his enthusiasm about the Ringo-Paul drum'n'bass combo, where you think, yeah, they really did have an amazing groove. Fascinating choice of favourite Paul song as well - I'd not have thought of it, but I can see why. It's not perfect, obviously, because he has opinions and there's something in it for everyone to disagree with, but few actual mistakes (the only one I can think of is saying 'Eight Days A Week' is the Beatles' only fade-in intro, forgetting George's fab 'I Want To Tell You'). But overall it's a great read that I keep coming back to because it makes me find interesting, new sides to songs I love. What could be a better recommendation for a music book than that?
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on 29 January 2014
Good in letting you know the differance in mono and stereo tracks, also when listening to songs in mono i did notice the points the author made which was good ,it made me appreciate the mono albums that bit more.
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on 15 January 2017
Not what I expected. I expected this to be a book explaining the differences between mono and stereo mixes. This book is just a track by track review based on the authors opinions. If you want a decent track by track review then there are better books out on the market for this. If you're looking for a book explaining the differences between mono and stereo mixes, then this is not the book you're looking for.
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on 4 September 2012
Having been a Beatles fan since the very beginning the mono versions of their earlier records were all I knew. Many of the stereo versions that eventually came out were a bit of a disappointment. After reading The Beatles in Mono it confirms that I wasn't just being nostalgic in preferring the mono versions. This book brings back the initial feelings of excitement when hearing the records for the first time. I've read many many books on The Fabs and, believe me, this is one of the best. Better than 'Revolution in the Head' and easier to absorb than 'Tell me Why.' Well balanced, intelligent and extremely well written.
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on 5 July 2012
Please note this is a review of the printed book not the Kindle copy or the book's contents.

Under £3 for the Kindle edition is I guess a realistic price for this.
However, in printed form RRP £14 is a bit of a dream.
The printed book comes across as a web page/school home work that has been printed out.
The font is really large to pad it out to over 140 pages and has lots of blank leading pages (another school assignment trick).

I appreciate for a Kindle book pictures aren't a great benefit but this book has one public domain/copyright free picture on the cover and that is your lot.

My copy was "Printed in the UK by Amazon.co.uk"

Jeff Russell's well established Beatles Album File and Discography, gets a bit of a rough deal on Amazon reviews but even he was differentiating between the mono and stereo mixes back in 1982.

I'll stick to Mark Lewisohn in the future.
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on 18 August 2012
I made the mistake of buying this five days before MaxiMoog's accurate review and having been mislead by the Amazon.com reviews - were they referring to the same book? MaxiMoog rightly criticises this terrible pile of tripe and I want to highlight that it is very poorly written including blithely dismissing many tracks. That is useless in a book of this nature, it turns it into a selective review rather than a 'track by track' analysis as described. I'm embarrassed to admit that I wasted so much money on this garbage, please save youselves from the same!
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on 10 May 2015
Don't agree with all he says actually The Beatles were god
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on 30 January 2013
This is a reasonably entertaining trawl through The Beatles' mono catalogue.
It contains much in the way of the author's opinion but very little in established fact, which makes it a fairly useless addition to the existing canon of Beatles writings.

Most of the facts presented here have been dis-credited/ are rendered irrelevant, by thorough research - for example: does the author know 'why' the lead and backing vocals on the mono version of the Help! single are different from the stereo, or 'why' the mono sound is murkier than the stereo?
The answer is too complex to relate here but it would have been refreshing to have come across it in this book as it is one of the major events in the Beatles' mono/stereo story.
-Or how about the final guitar riff at the end of What Goes On?
-Or why the separation on those early stereo mixes is so wide?

For a more factual based approach (and a more worthwhile one), I would suggest that the author, and any potential reader, track down a copy of Mark Lewisohn's 'Complete Beatles Recording Sessions' or 'The Complete Beatles Chronicle'.
In addition, 'Recording The Beatles' by Kevin Ryan and Brian Kehew is a fascinating read, (and will tell you the answer to the Help! question too).
The reason I mention these books is that they contain between them about as much knowledge on The Beatles' recording sessions as is known. (Unfortunately the prices of these books can be quite high).

To finish, this is really only worth the bother if you're paying the Kindle price (and even then it should be no more than £1). Otherwise you'd be better off sitting down and listening out for the differences yourself.
If you've come this far looking for a book about The Beatles in mono, I heartily recommend that you seek out the books mentioned above.
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