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Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles
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Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles [Format Kindle]

Kenneth Womack

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Présentation de l'éditeur

In Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles, Kenneth Womack brings the band's story vividly to life-from their salad days as a Liverpool Skiffle group and their apprenticeship in the nightclubs and mean streets of Hamburg through their early triumphs at the legendary Cavern Club and the massive onslaught of Beatlemania itself. By mapping the group's development as an artistic fusion, Womack traces the Beatles' creative arc from their first, primitive recordings through Abbey Road and the twilight of their career.

In order to communicate the nature and power of the band's remarkable achievement, Womack examines the Beatles' body of work as an evolving art object. He investigates the origins and creation of the group's compositions, as well as the songwriting and recording practices that brought them to fruition. Womack's analysis of the Beatles' albums transports readers on a journey through the Beatles' heyday as recording artists between 1962 and 1969, when the band enjoyed a staggering musical and lyrical leap that took them from their first album Please Please Me, which they recorded in the space of a single day, to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the White Album, and Abbey Road-albums that collectively required literally thousands of hours to produce. In addition to considering the band's increasing self-consciousness about the overall production, design, and presentation of their art, Womack explores the Beatles' albums as a collection of musical and lyrical impressions that finds them working towards a sense of aesthetic unity. In Long and Winding Roads, Womack reveals the ways in which the Beatles gave life to a musical synthesis that would change the world.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 769 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 336 pages
  • Editeur : Continuum; Édition : 1 (20 mai 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.8 étoiles sur 5  10 commentaires
17 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An Essential Book About The Beatles 29 octobre 2008
Par Jay Murphy - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
As a somewhat obsessive fan of the Fab Four, I've read dozens of books about them. Books about their public personas and private lives, about how some of their songs came to be written and experiences they shared as a group of young men in one of the most exciting periods of rock history. But aside from George Martin's slim journal about the making of the "Sgt. Pepper's" album, I'd never read one about their 'evolving artistry' as author Kenneth Womack succinctly puts it. The focus of this book is clearly that- from song structure and content to gaining more artistic control of how the songs were sequenced on their later albums and the cover artwork that accompanied them as well as which directions their music would take. Copiously footnoted and lovingly detailed, "Long and Winding Roads" is a must-have for longtime fans and folks that are just discovering the magic of the Beatles' music.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A wish for more focus on the music itself, and less on the lyrics 21 juin 2010
Par ABQChris - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I wanted to love this book; I might have approached it with unfair expectations, but one is led to believe that Womack shares some original insights on the Beatles' music. The book is merely a cursory overview of the Beatles' backgrounds (again?), private lives (again?), and recorded output, with a couple of long detours to discuss the band's image; it's not nearly as in-depth or freshly perceptive as its press indicates. On the positive side, there's certainly one aspect of the narrative that's highly praiseworthy, even if it's not directly related to the music -- so I'll mention that after first elaborating on my disappointment with the book's failure to fulfill the promise of the subtitle.

Womack's curious tendency is to focus on the romantic psychology behind the lyrics, which always seems to be quite a stretch, as the words meant nothing to the Beatles themselves during the first half of their recording career (apart from the words' strictly phonetic functions in melodic delivery). This arbitrary exercise is especially overreaching throughout the first two-thirds of the book, considering the superficial boy-meets-girl nature of the first few albums' lyrics.

As the Beatles' inventiveness and culture-altering imaginations were so effective due to melodic, harmonic and stylistic innovations and convention-breaking, and certainly not their lyrics, it would be much more interesting to read about any musical insights that might have rewarded the author's close listening, rather than the over-analytical lyrical guesses.

Further, there are several errors sprinkled throughout, both factual and lyrical; they're small, but they add up over the course of the volume to make the reader wonder why there's yet another Beatles book if, rather than adding a new perspective of any kind, it merely muddies the literary knowledge base with misconceptions, however slight; do we, in other words, really need another condensed Beatles-history book?

Examples of my admittedly pedantic nitpicking include: It was in the control room, and not Studio 2 itself, where George Martin lectured the Beatles, and heard George Harrison's well-known joke about not liking Martin's tie; it's not only Paul who vocally duets with John during "Money"; the hyperactive "Please, Mister Postman" is certainly not "lifeless"; the Beatles played more than just "All My Loving" during their first Ed Sullivan appearance; the line in "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You" is not the nonsensical "Well, it's only try and understand," but rather, "If it's funny, try and understand"; John and Paul don't both sing the lead vocal in "You're Going to Lose That Girl" -- it's only John, double-tracked; there's not a "lone piano note" after the guitar solos in "The End," but a full piano chord; etc.

Finally, the numerous footnotes are highly distracting. This sort of thing is obviously expected in a textbook or an exhaustive exegesis, but not packed together so closely throughout the main text in such a fleeting narrative. As each footnote requires the reader to turn to the end of the current chapter, I can't help but wonder why the extra prose wasn't simply incorporated into the main -- or printed at the bottom of each page. That's a minor complaint, of course, but it does break up the reading experience quite frequently.

This is all not to mention the numerous grammatical errors, which are curious, considering that Womack is an English professor. One can perhaps blame the book's editor(s).

Where the author shines, however, is in his formidably acute grasp of media-fueled mythologies, the ability of an iconic performer to find commercial success due to the repetition of facile images and messages, and the ways in which the young listeners of the sixties identified with the Beatles myth. Womack's knowledge of the history of popular culture is vast, especially regarding the quick usurping of the new "teen music" by cynical corporations in the late '50s and early '60s. Frankly, his insight is astonishing.

So the book's worth reading if you happen to be interested in media-propagated mythologies, and how the marketing world responded to the Beatles' previously unheard-of level of media success and social influence; but again, the subtitle indicates that the music will be the narrative priority. (In all fairness, perhaps the subtitle and book descriptions were impressed upon Womack by the publisher.)

What does come through consistently, however, is Womack's genuine love for the Beatles' music. I might disagree with the particularly over-analytical manner in which he attempts to dig tributaries from the music's joys into the rest of life's elusively defined waters, especially given his top-heavy focus on the lyrics, but you might not -- for you'll find here none of the aloof, irrelevant "cooler than thou" cynicism that most self-styled "critics" are guilty of.

In terms of the creative processes behind the music itself, recommended instead are Many Years from Now by Barry Miles, the Complete Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn (in spite of its own errors, it's at least interesting), and the group's own Anthology book.

If you're really in the mood for besides-the-point musical trainspotting vis-a-vis the Beatles, a couple of much more insightful -- or at least more thought-provoking -- books are Tell Me Why by Tim Riley and the Cambridge Companion to [sic] the Beatles.

Absolutely to be avoided is the largely negative and subjectively critical Revolution in the Head by Ian MacDonald, the wholly sensationalistic The Love You Make by Peter Brown, and the simply fabricated Here, There and Everywhere by Geoff Emerick.
7 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The result is more well-rounded than most Beatles coverages with an emphasis on music over inspirational influences. 5 février 2008
Par Midwest Book Review - Publié sur
Any music library strong in Beatles surveys and references will welcome LONG AND WINDING ROADS: THE EVOLVING ARTISTRY OF THE BEATLES, which takes quite a different approach than most biographical focuses. This one maps the group's evolutionary trends from their first recordings to the height - and then fall - of their career. The Beatles' body of songs - not their lives - are considered in an analysis which does include some biography, but doesn't make this the focal point. The result is more well-rounded than most Beatles coverages with an emphasis on music over inspirational influences.
6 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Long and Winding Road 26 mars 2009
Par William Baker - Publié sur
Superbly written this insightful study draws upon neglected materials and a thorough comprehensive knowledge of the Beatles.Interweaving chronology, personal biography with background, the author produces the best study of the Fabulous Four. He explains their iconic status in our culture and their universality.We now know so much more about the Long and Winding Road of the Fab Four through the canvas of consummate narrative skills. His work will be hard to replace.
5 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Detailed look at the Beatles recording years 24 février 2008
Par Michael - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Much like the book "A Day in the Life," this one details all the songs, recording sessions and goings-on behind the scenes of the Beatles' studio career. Unlike "A Day in the Life," this book was able to make use of the Anthology interviews, and other tidbits that have surfaced the past 12 years. It is very interesting and doesn't fail to hold your attention throughout, all while reinforcing many things you already know about the Beatles' recording sessions, as well as giving you new insight into many songs.
Much like Abe Lincoln material, Beatle books are ubiquitous and a dime a dozen. This one deserves to be on your bookshelf with a few select others.
Besides, the picture on the front cover is cool.
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