Nearly 20 years in the making, Can't Buy Me Love is a masterful work of group biography, cultural history, and musical criticism. That the Beatles were an unprecedented phenomenon is a given. Here Jonathan Gould seeks to explain why, placing the Fab Four in the broad and tumultuous panorama of their time and place, rooting their story in the social context that girded both their rise and their demise. Can't Buy Me Love illuminates the Beatles as a charismatic phenomenon of international proportions, whose anarchic energy and unexpected import was derived from the historic shifts in fortune that transformed the relationship between Britain and America in the decades after World War II.
"Not just another biography of the Fab Four, Gould's ambitious, decades-in-the-making volume tells their larger-than-life story and uses it as a lens through which to look at the cultural and historical forces that shaped the band - and its ongoing significance." (Rolling Stone)
"Fascinating.... An essential addition to Beatle literature." (The Guardian)
"Brilliant.... Engrossing.... Gould's deft hand makes the book sing. This is music writing at its best." (Publishers Weekly, starred, signature review)
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Decent Book, awful reader
If you're a Beatles fan you will enjoy much of this book - some parts are heavy on the wider social issues, but I guess it's all related to the subject.
The most memorable part of the book is the ending - a genuine sense of sadness as when a family disintegrates.
The narrator should have been sacked on day one. Apart from his annoying timbre ( I thought that this was a contrived 'DJ' type voice - but it persists for the whole book) he simply hadn't done his homework - he clearly hadn't listened to some of the Beatles material. His musical vocabulary was limited - as evidenced by the fact that he can't pronounce several musical terms - and his enunciation of lyrics was excruciating! I almost gave up on listening several times.
A half decent book completely sabotaged by the narrator. If you want a book on the Beatles don't muck about - get All These Years and have done with it!
- Susie Rainbird
FALLS BETWEEN TWO STOOLS
People who want to know something about The Beatles, and are starting from a position of no knowledge.
Half the book is written like a dissertation on the sociology of the 1960's. Not very well written at that. The other is the usual rehashed tale of the Beatles. there is no insight here. His description of the music is based on Ian McDonald's ground breaking Revolution in the Head.
By getting a narrator who can pronounce the words...
For example his pronunciation of place names in Liverpool is pitiful, he constantly refers to Nems as N. E. M. S. the pattern of his de-livery is very strange.
I'd cut out the sociology, and I'd look for some originality.
I'd advise people not to download this.