Review by Choice Review
Before delving into this companion, one should have one's LPs, CDs, or iPod handy, because the music should be playing as one reads the book. Womack (Penn State) and his fellow contributors explain the social phenomenon of the Beatles (individually and collectively) and their music from the four musicians' pre-Beatles world, through the heyday of Beatlemania, to the decisions to quit touring and ultimately break up the band, to the individual careers of the four musicians and the tragedy that ended all hope for the longed-for reunion. The essays offer explanations of the Beatles' "transformative impact on world culture" and their continuing success four decades after they last recorded together. Whether readers were there at the beginning or are newcomers to the magical mystery world of Beatlemania, this in-depth compendium is a must read for all who love the band, want to reminiscence, or want to learn almost everything about those four mop tops from Liverpool. This book is "toppermost of the poppermost." Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. T. Emery Austin Peay State University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
Given its academic pedigree, it is hardly surprising that this tome is devoted to the art of the Beatles, their songwriting and the recording processes they evolved. Editor Womack has summoned an impressive number of scholars to examine the band's background, work, history, and influence. They follow the group's creative arc from its early days in Liverpool and the earliest recordings to the final, often painful recording sessions and each member's solo output. The groundbreaking Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and The Beatles ( The White Album ) receive thoughtful consideration for their innovations as well as the lyricism of their pop poetry. In the final section, several pieces scrutinize the band's enduring popularity, opining and theorizing as to why the music has survived so many years beyond the group's break-up. A must for serious Fab Four fans, in particular, and probably for music lovers in general, the volume includes a chronology, a general discography of the band's UK and U.S. recordings, and an extensive bibliography.--Sawyers, June Copyright 2009 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.