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5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars

This year, 2013, in the UK, we have had many 50th Beatle anniversaries - including the BBC Radio 2 remaking of the "Please Please Me" album. Next year sees the 50th anniversary of the Fabs arrival in the US and this fascinating Kindle Single book looks at the event, focusing on the song which broke them in America, "I want to hold your hand." The author is a music critic and a reporter for the New York Times, who has written about the band before and, in this outing, he really gives a lot of depth and thought into what made the Beatles different. When so many other UK artists had failed to make it in the US market, what was it about the Beatles, and that song, which finally broke open the doors and allowed the British Invasion to begin?

Allan Kozinn states that "I want to hold you hand" exploded onto the American pop charts just after New Year's Day 1964. As with so much of the band's history, it wasn't an easy journey. If London has resisted this upstart, provincial, Liverpool band, then Capitol Records (the American arm of EMI) absolutely refused to promote them in the States. Americans were not interested in British music and that was that. However, the Beatles grabbed the attention of the media, as stories of Beatlemania began to leak into the press and news. This new phenomena could not be ignored and, when a young girl called her local radio station asking to hear something by this band, the disc jockey imported "I want to hold your hand" to play. He didn't even realise that several Beatles singles, released by smaller labels, languished, unplayed and ignored, in the radio stations archives. Astonishingly, Capitol Records even tried to stop him playing it; but the record took off and, before it was even released in the US, it was everywhere. It made number one in the charts while the Beatles were in Paris and paved the way for Beatlemania to cross the Ocean in February, 1964.

This ebook looks at how the song was written and recorded and there is a great deal about the input of George Martin in their recording career. It also looks at how quickly the song, which made them a success in the States, was dropped from their live act as the Beatles, always looking forward, rather than backward, moved on. I am sure that we will will have lots of books about the British Invasion next year, but this short and intriguing read should not be ignored, as it will be of great interest to fans.
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