Cant Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America

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In addition to chronicling their growth as singers, songwriters, and instrumentalists, he highlights the advances in recording technology that made their sound both possible and unique, as well as the developments in television and radio that lent an explosive force to their popular success. And he sheds new light on the significance of Sgt. In addition to writing and playing music, Gould has raised a family, served in local politics, and taken an active role in the life of the upstate New York community where he has lived for the past twenty-five years.

All he did was sit with his guitar on the side of his bed at home. Three years before he made his first recordings, the term was being promoted by a Cleveland disc jockey named Alan Freed as a race-neutral pseudonym for the black rhythm and blues that Freed began beaming across a wide swath of the North American continent in That Gladys Presley was born in the spring only burnishes the myth. Elvis at first made little impression on him. But Elvis made enough of a pest of himself in the months ahead that Phillips eventually called up an aspiring guitarist he knew named Scotty Moore and asked him to work with the boy.

Sam Phillips asked Elvis what he liked to sing.

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Elvis, it turned out, liked to sing most anything. He sang country songs in a keening tenor reminiscent of Bill Monroe, and pop ballads in a woozy baritone reminiscent of Dean Martin. That the prime exponent of this new style of music should be a singer who possessed no prior professional experience was an anomaly; but it was also a telling sign of the way that record-making would change the very nature of music-making in the years ahead. For one thing, the recording Elvis made with Sam Phillips on that hot summer night in Memphis was made in a manner that would not have been technically possible only a few years before.

Though this method offered audio engineers little opportunity to edit or enhance the finished product, it was quite adequate to a philosophy of recording whose main goal was to produce as accurate a record as possible of the performance taking place. An alternative technology, involving the use of magnetized wire, had been around for decades, but it was not until World War II that German engineers working on behalf of Nazi propagandists developed an efficient means of recording sound on reels of magnetic tape.

Can't Buy Me Love

After the war, this new technology was quickly refined, and by the early s it had all but replaced the direct-to-disc process. Tape recording revolutionized record-making in several ways. On a purely economic level, tape equipment was so affordable, portable, and easy to operate that small storefront recording studios sprang up in cities and towns across the United States.

A chain reaction occurred: tape spawned the storefront studios, the storefront studios spawned the independent labels, and the independent labels, by specializing in types of music the major labels for various geographic, demographic, and aesthetic reasons tended to ignore, spawned a record boom. This boom combined with a comparable trend toward decentralization and diversification in the radio broadcasting industry caused by the advent of television to propel the American music business into the Atomic Age. Tape technology did more than decentralize the recording industry, however; it also helped to democratize record-making by adding a new kind of informality and flexibility to the recording process itself.

The big commercial studios in New York and Los Angeles were owned by large corporations and run on a cost-effective basis that equated time with money. They relied on a professionalized cadre of engineers, arrangers, and sidemen who prided themselves, above all, on their efficiency. By comparison with these record factories, the storefront studios had a lot of free time on their hands—time to tinker with their equipment, audition and rehearse prospective talent, and, in the case of Sam Phillips, time to coax a historic performance out of a malleable young singer who had never sung in public before.


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What came to life in the course of that first Sun session was an entirely new vocal personality, as surprising to its creator as it would be to everyone else. Awed by the capacity of modern recording technology to enhance the sound of their voices, something similar would happen to a great many other young, unformed singers—including the boys who became the Beatles—in the years ahead.

Convert currency. Add to Basket. Book Description Portrait, London, Trade Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Size: 9"- 10" Tall. Quantity Available: 1. He also points out that it is a biography of the band, not the individuals. That is not something I probably would have noticed, but now that I know this it is holding up true. I am really enjoying it, at least the first sixth of it. It could theoretically tank. The more I learn about Yoko Ono the freakier she gets. From the few things I had read about the Beatles breaking up I had figured she really was scapegoated but this author is painting an entirely different story and I am digging hating on the ocean child.

John Lennon achieved great heights of dickery, too. But that didn't really hamper my enjoyment of the book, and I'm sure once they separated they more or less settled back down to the normal, convivial people that they started out as.

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I don't really know much about them. I thought the close readings of individual songs and album analysis was fantastic, and I wish I'd had the CDs plugged in right next to me as I was reading, but that would have added what? Another 20 hours to my reading? It started to drag after Sgt Pepper. I just really couldn't follow the financial messes that caused so much distress, but that's not why it dragged because there really only were a few pages of that. And I'm hardly the first person to say it, but once the Beatles started going through the motions of being a band and hardly tolerating each other, the book lost a lot of steam.

The format and writing style didn't change at all, but the content ceased to be compelling and you just started watching a bunch of assholes get what was coming to them. Which is sort of sad, because they didn't set out to be a bunch of assholes but the stress gets to you in the end. I can totally understand how being put upon inspires the desire to kick others in the face. Now imagine what I would do with millions of dollars I can't get to, people demanding my time and presence, a lot of testosterone in my system because I am a guy , and not even having the levelheadedness of turning thirty yet.

Oh well. At least they had Hamburg. Man, does that author hate Yoko, though! He was outrageously catty towards her character. I enjoyed every word. I'd only been surfing the net looking for more information about a television personality the author had mentioned: Cathy McGowan. He'd spelled it McGowen. I didn't know if he or the website was correct. That's pretty sloppy. How long could it take for an intern to check names online?

Less than a day. I may email the publishers just so I can stop fretting about it. Jul 01, Alan rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , , beatles-books-pop. I blame Tuck. Of course it made me think, haven't read that one or that one, and I've ended up buying 'Love Me Do', a slim fly-on-the-wall paperback following the Beatles on tour and making programmes like Juke Box jury from , and getting this one from the library, in contrast a massive page tome, published in and covering every I blame Tuck. Of course it made me think, haven't read that one or that one, and I've ended up buying 'Love Me Do', a slim fly-on-the-wall paperback following the Beatles on tour and making programmes like Juke Box jury from , and getting this one from the library, in contrast a massive page tome, published in and covering everything , including the importance of the scouse accent.

Read 50 pages before I knew it Also the psychology of the band — eg their self-reliance, their interaction - and their influence on society is well explored, possibly overdone using Weber and Freud to explain the phenomenon. The music comes to the fore in the second half of the book, some songs only warranting a brief mention, others get pages Penny Lane, I am the Walrus etc. May 12, Sharon rated it it was amazing.

This book exceeded my expectations far more than any book I've read in a very long time. In addition to being a biography of the group as a whole, this is also a social history. Everything about the Beatles, from their childhoods in Liverpool to the seedy nightclubs of the Reeperbahn in Germany, from their Scouse accents to the musical arrangements of their most popular songs, is placed carefully within the perspective of Britain and the United States at the time.

The writing flows wonderfully. D This book exceeded my expectations far more than any book I've read in a very long time. Despite a textbook feel to the prose, it never becomes weighted down or abstruse. Short, well-focused chapters keep the pace moving briskly along and I never lost interest. In fact, I often found it hard to put the book down!

There is also a good balance between the principal players, with of course the greatest attention paid to John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Decades later, it is still painful to follow the disintegration of such a close collaborative friendship. That the Beatles changed society and popular music and helped lead a generation goes without saying. But this book does say it, laying out the intricate ways in which the Beatles shaped their world and were shaped by it.

It is a fascinating read. Nov 29, Anna rated it it was ok Shelves: biography. Its both comprehensive and vague at same time. The other boys' family life barely gets a line especially Ringo. Not even that! Now that their heroin and meth timeline is in proper alignment - no longer feel sorry for her miscarriages. Bitch deserved to not reproduce while that full of drugs! The author also does give a quick rundown of their solo work followups, but wooooow does he downplay the Vicious Vendetta that is John's "How do you sleep?

Jun 21, Amanda Hamilton rated it liked it. I have a weird feeling when I read books about the Beatles book that is chronological, I get more and more excited and then about the time they start talking about the White Album, I get sad. I get all swept up in the narrative of their career and then get sad when they break up. That may be why I've only see "Let it Be" once all the way through.

I think with the Beatles, reading books about them is the same reason my Dad reads books about WWII: he knows pretty much everything there is to know a I have a weird feeling when I read books about the Beatles book that is chronological, I get more and more excited and then about the time they start talking about the White Album, I get sad.

I think with the Beatles, reading books about them is the same reason my Dad reads books about WWII: he knows pretty much everything there is to know about WII and could recite the chain of events from memory BUT there's always some new insight, a new angle on it that wasn't apparent before. I've read Beatle books from a lot of different angles and this one took a bigger picture perspective on why the Beatles blew up the way they did.

Its not full of a lot of biographical details, only really the ones that colored what kind of people they grew up to be. Though, it suffers from something I've seen in a LOT of Beatle books: around '68, '69, it starts running out of steam. I dunno. Can't be helped, I guess. Dec 13, Nathan rated it did not like it Shelves: history , franklin-library.

Rather misleadingly titled, this book devotes only a fraction of its considerable bulk to a study of the titular threesome of subjects, insisting instead on analyzing, album by album, track by track, the music of the Beatles. While this jerky change of topic might be forgiven in light of the limited value of the analysis, Gould suffers from delusions of academia and insists on psychoanalyzing the minutest detail, whether lyrical, conceptual or personal, droning on in a snooty monotone that end Rather misleadingly titled, this book devotes only a fraction of its considerable bulk to a study of the titular threesome of subjects, insisting instead on analyzing, album by album, track by track, the music of the Beatles.

While this jerky change of topic might be forgiven in light of the limited value of the analysis, Gould suffers from delusions of academia and insists on psychoanalyzing the minutest detail, whether lyrical, conceptual or personal, droning on in a snooty monotone that ends only when the last song of "Abbey Road" has been parsed beyond recognition. Not worth it. Oct 29, Donna rated it liked it Shelves: biography-memoir , non-fiction , music.

I wish I could say that I finished it but I didn't. I got bogged down in the middle by the minute details of each song and each album and I gave up. I love the Beatles but I guess I don't love them enough to know all the guitar chords for each song on Rubber Soul. This book is truly well researched though and is definitely for the ultimate fan. Dec 11, Carlgatto rated it it was amazing. A friend who teaches a college course on the Beatles recommended this, saying it's the textbook for his class. I can see why! It's a terrific book, interesting for both new Beatles fans and first generation fans like myself.

Jul 24, Ross rated it really liked it. Not just another Beatles book. It recounts the familiar tale of these four individuals, "clearing away the ephemeral, the apocryphal, and the merely anecdotal" in order to focus on the bigger picture, their lives and their music in social and historical context. Oct 04, Int'l librarian rated it it was amazing Shelves: grade , grade-9 , gradesand-up , grades , biography , music. This book makes me sing. Just to myself, really. But still. I was singing. Gould makes significant d This book makes me sing.

Gould makes significant demands with his exhaustive writing style. He sets a high standard for appreciating the Beatles as composers. There are all sorts of details about meter and key changes and instrumentation.

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And digging up stories about the Beatles. Their interpersonal dynamics are as interesting as their music. I already had some sense of the Beatles as people, but nothing like what I know now. The drug use and in-fighting are a lot to take in. Then there are the cultural asides. Way too many cultural asides. Of course the Beatles were a cultural phenomenon. And they deserve to be understood in context. But Gould pulls in several tangents that could have been left aside. Oct 04, Panther Library rated it it was amazing Shelves: biography , grade-9 , music , grades , grade , gradesand-up.

Gould's historical information is excellent.

"Can't Buy Me Love" by the Beatles - Neatorama

His musical reviews are excruciating. When his reviews are complimentary the detail is absurd. When they are not complimentary he seems like an idiot. It feels as though Mr. Gould did not grow up with this music but got a box set and a "complete Beatles" song book and listened to each track consecutively without taking into account the temporal distance and circumstance when each song was written and recorded.

He draws parallels between songs whos Mr. He draws parallels between songs whose common thread is that they were written and recorded by the same artists. Pepper, and Revolution Number 9 indicate such a lack of insight and understanding they undermine his entire effort.

When writing about an iconic entity that completely changed the industry it worked in it is probably better not to criticize it at all. Offer just the facts. Many of Mr. Gould's opinions are incompetent and incorrect. I'd love to see the source for his claim that "most listeners" skip Revolution Number 9. He just doesn't get it. Jan 25, Brooke rated it it was amazing. This book has cemented itself into my top 5 books about the Beatles. Rather than just a biography of the band, Gould focuses on the music and historical-social events happening in England, the US, and elsewhere in the world, along with how those events had a probable influence on the Beatles' music So interesting, and written very beautifully.

I also really love Gould's occasional snarky asides and observations. Excellent, even-handed, sympathetic but clear-eyed account of the coming together through to the breakup of the Beatles, placing them in their historical and cultural context. I listened to the audio book read by Richard Aspel who does a great job.


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  • And the description of the songs makes you want to stop and listen as you go. Can we have a book with a soundtrack?


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