Sunday, June 08, 2008

Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain and America

by Jonathan Gould

A brilliant work of cultural history, musical analysis and group biography, Jonathan Gould's Can't Buy Me Love is more than just a book on the Beatles; it's a stunning recreation of the 1960s in England and America through the prism of the world's most iconic band. The Beatles, perhaps more than any musical act before or since, were a quintessential product of their time, and Gould draws on widely ranging sources of information and imagination to show the unique part they played in the shaping of post-war Britain and America.

Gould examines the influence of R&B, rockabilly, skiffle and Motown as the Fab Four forged a sound of their own; he illuminates the mercurial relationship -- the most productive and lucrative in the history of popular music -- between John Lennon and Paul McCartney; he critiques the songs they played and the movies they made, and their impact on competing bands and musicians, as well as on fashion, hairstyles, and humour; and he shows how events on both sides of the Atlantic -- from the Angry Young Man movement of John Osborne and the Profumo scandal to the advent of television and the assassination of John F Kennedy -- created exactly the right cultural climate for the biggest music phenomenon of 20th century. Beautifully written, insightful, and wonderfully evocative, Can't Buy Me Love is a magisterial biography by a popular historian of the very first rank.

Jonathan Gould has been researching and writing Can't Buy Me Love for almost twenty years. He is a former professional musician who studied with the eminent jazz drummer Alan Dawson and spent many years working in bands and recording studios. He lives in upstate New York. This is his first book.

'The Beatles saved the world from boredom.'
George Harrison

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