Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Act You've Known for All These Years

by Clinton Heylin

"A decisive moment in the history of Western civilization."
--Kenneth Tynan, The Times (London) on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club

It has been forty years since the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles, an LP that changed the face of popular culture, from its Peter Blake-designed gatefold cover to the extravagant music contained within its grooves--"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "With a Little Help from My Friends," "A Day in the Life," et al. Arguably the apex of the Beatles' achievements in the recording studio, the album continues to top public and critical polls as one of the greatest albums ever made.

The Act You've Known for All These Years reconstructs the life and times of Sgt. Pepper, the cultural backstory of the band, and Rock's turbulent early adulthood. Weaving the activities of the Beatles in with those of their contemporaries and rivals--notably Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys, and Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd--Clinton Heylin reveals the inspirations and explodes the myths behind this talismanic, iconic album--and the summer of love itself. In addition, the book surveys what happened next, telling the history of the LP's afterlife from 1967 to the present day. Featuring interviews with both those who were there at the time and those who followed in the Beatles' wake, The Act You've Known for All These Years is the definitive book on the most influential LP of the Rock era.

Clinton Heylin is the author of Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades and Babylon's Burning: From Punk to Grunge, among other renowned music books. He lives in Somerset, England, and Florida.

Praise for Clinton Heylin

"Clinton Heylin is the greatest living writer about rock music. Heylin stands alone because he combines the tireless reporting of a Peter Guralnick with the intellectually acute critical insights of Christgau, Marcus, and Bangs."
--San Antonio Current on Babylon's Burning

"Heylin goes for the gusto. . . . Utterly essential . . . Might just set the standard for punk histories."
--Library Journal on Babylon's Burning

"Babylon's Burning is an essential document for pop archaeologists."
--The Times (London)

"[A] meticulously researched account of Van Morrison's life and work . . . loaded with stories of the man's misdeeds, not to mention plenty of dish about the singer's cantankerous dislike of record companies and biographers . . . Definitive."
--Rolling Stone on Can You Feel the Silence?

"Raise a cheer for [Bootleg], a rock history book that genuinely unveils a fresh perspective. Raise another for its sterling research. And a third for the fact that it's a damn good read."
--Record Collector on Bootleg

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