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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Beatles: A Band Reviewed
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on 12 September 2015
Not really anything here I didn't know already. But then, I was there at the time! One thing that did strike me was the inadequacy of the reviews. The Guardian clearly could not relate to Sgt. Pepper when they first heard it, although they'd got to like it by the end of the year. Likewise a few years later, with a reviewer's approval of Ringo's early albums - presumably based primarily on being familiar with the songs, all of which were rather dated. But then we always knew you couldn't rely on the daily press for good coverage of the music scene, they were just a bunch of old guys trying to keep up! It's a great shame that Uncut magazine's assemblages of original material from Melody Maker and NME aren't available on Kindle. They provide a much more in touch collection. Still an entertaining quick read, if not much else.
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VINE VOICEon 3 November 2012
Here's another example of how the Guardian Shorts series works so well. There really shouldn't be anything new to say about the Beatles, but through a careful selection of articles and reviews that span the last 50 years, this little ebook does just that.

The immediacy of the reviews and opinions, without any editing or sense of hindsight, gives a wonderful sense of how the Beatles have touched various aspects of our lives over the last half century. From the early days of journalists trying to make sense of Beatlemania, through to considered reviews on their music, solo careers and McCartney's seeming elevation to national treasure, the snippets here are never anything less than rivetting.

To read some of Tony Palmer's reviews of the Beatles music is to enjoy a lesson in superior music writing; his observations are so spot on and revealing that it's worth downloading for these alone. But there is more to enjoy - a witty review of Sgt Pepper that describes the album as being slightly too heavy on the curry powder, Mark Lawson reviewing the release of the acerbic Rolling Stone interviews Lennon did shortly after the Beatles split; even a review of the guitar legends game that was released featuring the Beatles. All this, plus decent reviews of several films and albums, an honest appraisal of the endless re-releases and new marketing opportunities, and a detailed and considered obiturary for George Harrison.

It may not be the most detailed retrospective of The Beatles - and this Short doesn't set out to achieve that aim - but what's here is tremendously entertaining. Music writing and social history at it's brief, brilliant best.

And all for just under two quid. Download and enjoy!
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on 8 November 2012
It is fascinating to re-read some of the Guardian articles and also read ones I had missed at the time.

Some of the initial writing or reporting is light compared to subsequent articles, which reflects the development and increased sophistication of Beatles' melodies and lyrics over time.

It is simply very enjoyable to have easy access (on my Nexus 7) to the memories of the time. I will be dipping in and out on my upcoming flight over to Canada.
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on 14 February 2013
I found the book to be a great reminder of the 60's and the way that the Beatles affected the lives of many. It was very pleasing to read the words of"adult" writers after having grown up reading the "younger" musical press!. A very good read for both Beatle fans, none-fans and thosewishing to have a taste of the developing 60's musical scene.
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on 21 October 2012
Good idea to recycle archive articles in ebook form, at an impulse-buy price, but the execution is a bit poor. Being Guardian articles it's hard to know of some of the typos have been left in from the original editions or introduced in the conversion process. A piece about McCartney's birthday was incorrectly dated July 18th (should be June), which, given there were also references to the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee is liable to confuse.

Given the articles are all from the Guardian, there is nothing like the range of Mike Evans's "Paperback Writer" anthology. Some of the articles chosen are quite slight, but there are enough meaty ones to make it worth the small price of entry, and it's an interesting enough addition to the standard accounts of the Beatle chronology. But the Evans book is still probably better value .The Beatles Paperback Writer: 40 Years of Classic Writing
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on 2 July 2014
Not read it yet but as i.m a Beatles fan it may give more insight about the band.
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