Thursday, July 16, 2009

Two more reviews...

...of Elijah Wald's How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'N' Roll.

Here's an excerpt from the NYT review:
If you’re looking to be convinced that the Beatles destroyed rock ’n’ roll, then strangely enough, “How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ’n’ Roll” is not for you. The title is a come-on: the Beatles are among the many subjects Elijah Wald addresses in this cheerfully iconoclastic book, but they are not what it is about.

On the other hand, if you’re looking, as Wald’s subtitle has it, for “an alternative history of American popular music” — specifically from the turn of the 20th century to roughly the mid-1970s — you’ve found it. And if you’re up for some good arguments, you’ve found those too.

And here's one from the Christian Science Monitor review:
Despite its incendiary title, Elijah Wald’s book is a serious treatise on the history of recorded music, sifted through his filter as musician, scholar, and fan. In the introduction, Wald lays out his premise: Though he was a Beatles fan from the instant he heard their first American LP “Meet the Beatles,” with its danceable, infectious songs blasting from the family’s hi-fi, the Beatles’s rapid development as “recording artists” (as opposed to a live rock ’n’ roll band), left him feeling somewhat abandoned.

“My much older half-brother gave my parents Sgt. Pepper. I could tell it was a masterpiece – but it was not really my music. It was adult music…. I played it occasionally, but nowhere near as often as the band’s early records. It simply wasn’t as much fun.”

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