Sunday, August 10, 2008

Every Sound There Is: The Beatles' Revolver and the Transformation of Rock and Roll

Edited by Russell Reising

No music degree is needed to enjoy or learn from the essays . . .

John Lennon once called "And Your Bird Can Sing" a "throw-away" song. Yet, it became part of the popular 1966 Beatles Album, Revolver. Now, Ashgate Publishing has released a compilation of essays written by international music scholars and Beatles fans, called Every Sound There Is. Edited by Russell Reising, the book provides readers with fresh and interesting insights into the members of the famous group, and the songs they wrote and performed, but more specifically, into the details of making a single hit album.

The entire history of pop music is encoded in this single album, the authors say in the introduction. And they go on to prove their case. Among countless books about the Beatles and their influence upon the world of music, Every Sound stands out as an exquisite, detailed analysis of a single album and its relationship to contemporary music.

Readers can find value in the wide range of topics, whether they are interested in music theory, rock n' roll, Motown, Eastern Indian influence, feminine influence, history, the 60's, singing, pop culture, production/marketing, artistic expression, or even character development. Furthermore, like skipping tracks on a CD, the book's structure allows the reader to jump around to different authors or topics of interest.

One needs no music degree to enjoy or learn from the essays; however, readers who lack a vocabulary in music theory and terminology might want to keep their Revolver album handy to help them understand some of the technical examples. Having done this, the reader will find the authors' precise, appealing comparisons not only clear, but easy and fun.

After years of hiding in Sgt. Pepper's shadow, Revolver returns to a bright new spotlight for Beatles fans to hear--as if for the first time. Every Sound There Is confirms what analysts say--that within this single album lie the very roots and soul of today's pop music.

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