Top positive review
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Fantastic musical and social history
on 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!