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Revolver: How the Beatles Re-Imagined Rock 'n' Roll [Kindle Edition]

Robert Rodriguez
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(Book). Acquired wisdom has always put Sgt. Pepper at the head of the class, but it was Revolver that truly signaled The Beatles' sea change from a functional band to a studio-based ensemble. These changes began before Rubber Soul but came to fruition on Revolver , which took an astonishing 300 hours to produce, far more than any rock record before it. The making of Revolver hunkered down in Abbey Road with George Martin is in itself a great Beatles story, but would be nothing if the results weren't so impactful. More than even Sgt. Pepper and Pet Sounds , Revolver fed directly into the rock 'n' roll zeitgeist, and its influence could be heard everywhere: from the psychedelic San Francisco sound (Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead); to the first wave of post-blues hard rock (Sabbath, Zeppelin); through movie soundtracks and pretty much everything that followed it including every generation of guitar-based pop music and even heavy metal. More than any record before or after, Revolver was the game-changer, and this is, finally, the detailed telling of its storied recording and enormous impact.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Pop culture historian Robert Rodriguez is an acknowledged expert on all things Beatle.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 5067 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 266 Seiten
  • Verlag: Backbeat Books; Auflage: Original (1. April 2012)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #769.010 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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5.0 von 5 Sternen einfach herragend 18. Oktober 2012
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Einfach herragend
Jenem in dieser Art intersssiert ist will solchem einem buch lesen.
Einer der meistens imponierenender albums des jahren sechtich!.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
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17 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A classic dissected 14. Mai 2012
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Robert Rodriguez's Revolver: How the Beatles Reimagined Rock `N' Roll casts a wide net over a singular moment in the history of the Beatles and he does it well. Much as Mark Kurlansky did in 1968 Mr. Rodriguez weaves social, cultural and musical context in a wonderful tapestry that enlightens beyond the surface of the ostensible event.

The book is basically divided into three parts: Pre-Revolver, the making of Revolver and post-Revolver. In the pre-Revolver chapters Mr. Rodriguez gives a clear picture of the musical, cultural, and social landscape of the day and he does this without patronizing a less than avid fan nor dumbing it down for the crazed fan (such as myself). He takes pains to establish the relationships the Beatles had with their peers, the public and their team behind the scenes (George Martin, Geoff Emerick, et al). In the making of Revolver section he gives us a careful analysis of each song both in the creation of the individual songs (whether writing and/or social context) and the recording of said songs. He does this with a sublime touch that's sure to keep all readers interested in the entire process. In the final section Mr. Rodriguez discusses the impact that the album had on the record buying public, the attempts made by peers to emulate the success of Revolver and the Beatles' attempt to top the remarkable effort (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band).

All in all this is an excellent book and a nice, post-contemporaneous, time capsule about the Beatles' remarkable album. It's well sourced and an enjoyable read. Robert Rodriguez easily and adroitly straddles the lines between fan, journalist and historian.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Revolver 10. Juni 2012
Von S Riaz - Veröffentlicht auf
Without doubt "Revolver" is my favourite Beatles album, so I was intrigued to read this book looking at the making of an album the author puts above "Sgt Pepper" - usually cited as the bands high point. Rodriguez asserts that although Pepper is usually considered the apex of the Beatles creativity, it is actually "Revolver" that is the artistic high water mark - a true group collaboration which pushed the studio's technological limits as far as they could go.

1966 saw the band coming to the end of their touring life (it would later end with the "bigger than Jesus" comment and the chaos that was the Phillipines). However, what allowed the band to actually settle into the studio and create music without pressing time commitments was the lack of agreement of a third feature film, for which Brian Epstein had blocked out three whole months for shooting. Finding themselves without a script, they were left with the space they needed to create a masterpiece. John and Paul were at the exact mid-point states the author, before dominance in the group shifted from John to Paul. Also, this was a time when the members of the band happily experimented (Paul playing lead guitar on "Taxman" for example) without treading on each others toes.

This excellent book begins with what the Beatles were up to in early 1966 and what music their peers were creating, before looking at how the songs were written and then recorded. There is lots of the detail Beatle fans thrive on and examination of the revolutionary innovations used, such as Automatic Double Tracking and use of reversed tape. The Beatles were no longer looking to produce records they could even hope to replicate on stage with their current set up - they used far more session musicians than ever before, including horn players on "Got to get you into my life", strings on "Eleanor Rigby" and a French Horn on "For No One". At this point the four were pulling together, giving their all to make great music, which is shown on the attention and care given to every track, including "Rain", which was destined to be a B-side. Their professionalism, song writing ability and musicianship show them all to be at the peak of their abilities. Ringo's drumming, especially on "Rain" is his own personal favourite performance.

The book continues to discuss how the album was named and the artwork picked (Brian Epstein cried when Klaus Voormann first unveiled the album cover artwork) and then goes on to look at how it was received. Sharing a room on tour, John told Paul that, "I think your songs are better than mine," which is praise indeed, as John was not short of believing in his own talent! "Revolver" was generally received well, although some fans were slightly mystified by the more "far out" tracks. However, Melody Maker stated, "their new LP will change the direction of pop music". Lastly, the book looks at what was to come - Pepper. On hearing "Strawberry Field Forever", the single preceding the album, Brian Wilson pulled his car to the side of the road and apparently sobbed. The Beatles were a band at the height of their powers. Whatever album you feel shows the band at their best is obviously a matter of personal opinion. However, this is an extremely interesting read and the author manages a convincing argument for "Revolver" being the top of a very high standard.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Great album, decent book 6. Juni 2011
Von Enslowe - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
The Beatles' "Revolver" album was an overlooked masterpiece in its time, argues Robert Rodriguez, but it is now getting its proper due. That's fine with me... "Revolver" is doubtless one of the greatest albums ever recorded. My problem with this book stems from its attempts to gently rubbish "Sgt. Pepper" in order to build up "Revolver." More about that shortly.
First, the good: This is a clearly written and well organized book about "Revolver," dwelling first on the album's 1966 context (both in the career of the Beatles and in the pop world at the time), then on the songwriting, then the recording, and finally the reception of the album upon its release. Rodriguez knows his stuff - this is not one of those books by relatively clueless journalists who are coming to the Beatles in depth for the first time. A brief section on the question of whether and why Paul McCartney did not play on the track "She Said She Said" is the best and clearest summation of the issue I have ever read. There are many other carefully researched details, include the exact timing of Paul's motorbike accident which left him with a chipped tooth. The book is similarly good on the egregious machinations of record companies at the time, leading to different versions of the album appearing in Britain and America. And, to his credit, whenever Rodriguez ventures into the realm of criticism and opinion, he is careful to mention that what he is saying is subjective. (There are one or two minor self-contradictions, as when he holds up "Doctor Robert" as a song advocating drugs, then later recognizes it as a tongue-in-cheek song making fun of a drug pusher instead.)
As I say, my main problem comes near the end of the book where he compares the laudatory reception of "Sgt. Pepper" to the relatively muted one which greeted "Revolver" in its day. Indeed, I see his point. In retrospect it does appear as though "Revolver" was not quite fully appreciated in its time, which maybe wasn't fair then but doesn't matter much now. The general critical taste about any great art always shifts over time. For example, when the painter John Singer Sargent died, his work was much admired. In subsequent decades his reputation fell, as people tended to think of him as a prissy portraitist of the wealthy, lacking psychological depth. Then later still, his reputation recovered, as much psychological depth was seen is his portraits after all, and his technical skills were seen anew. In any case, "Revolver" is riding high these days (not that any Beatles album ever rode very low.) Who knows how it may look in twenty years? Or twenty years after that? Being great art, it will always be around, and no doubt the existing zeitgeist will help dictate how it is viewed forever more.
Rodriguez argues that timing helped "Sgt. Pepper" become the icon of its day; had "Revolver" been released in 1967, it would have worn that mantle instead. Maybe, but it's a pointless argument to me. Had "Abbey Road" been released in 1967, how might it have been viewed? Had the Beatles come along in 1935, how would things have been different? In my view, we might as well stick with what actually did happen.
Then there is the argument that many (but certainly not all) of the studio techniques used for "Pepper" were used first on "Revolver," therefore the latter is better. Yet, the Beatles first used classical musicians on "Help!" and sitar on "Rubber Soul." Does this fact make those albums better than "Revolver," which used both of these features as well? Seen in this light, it is perhaps a strange criteria. This is not to diminish "Revolver"'s many innovations, merely to point out that a technique can be employed effectively in more than one instance.
Another argument used here against "Sgt. Pepper" is that it supposedly failed to influence as many other artists as "Revolver" did. It is true that "Pepper" spawned many pretentious concept albums in its day, but it would be unfair to judge any great artwork by the wannabe dreck it inspires. As George Harrison said of "Pepper," `nothing like it had ever been,' and the fact that nothing like it ever was again, does not diminish its singular achievement in my book. Nobody made another "Citizen Kane" either, but that doesn't mean it's a bad movie. Furthermore, Rodriguez offers few concrete examples of what influence "Revolver" really had, except on the Rolling Stones' "Between the Buttons" and, naturally, the Beatles themselves in subsequent work. True, many artists turned away from the psychedelic "Pepper"-like productions of 1967 soon afterwards. But then, Romantic painters turned away from Neoclassical forms in the 19th century. Does this necessarily make Neoclassical art bad? Art is forever changing and reacting to what came before - that's what it does.
Meanwhile, this book's digressions about other rock music sometimes go a tad overboard, feeling more like filler to lengthen the book. Yes, many other fine records were released in 1966; some but not all of them had a direct bearing on what the Beatles were doing. This overly broad sweep of 1966 pop seems to embody the very kind of period nostalgia that Rodriguez later dismisses "Sgt. Pepper" for inspiring. The untintentionally hipper-than-thou message seems to be that most of the "egghead" reviews that came out in 1967 don't count (again, judging the work itself by the things it unwittingly inspires). Instead, Rodriguez relies heavily on the scathing Richard Goldstein review of "Pepper" from 1967. I have always found the Goldstein article to be misguided, missing the point of "Pepper" by a mile. Simply put, I don't understand why Goldstein (and Rodriguez) can delight in the "slicks and tricks" of "Revolver" but not in those of "Sgt. Pepper."
Both albums offer thrilling `cinematography of sound' if you will, making innovative recording techniques integral to the songs themselves. The argument that the underlying songs are superior on "Revolver" doesn't necessarily hold water. Take away the special sounds and performance from "Tomorrow Never Knows" and what do you have? A one or two-chord droning song. The *recording* of "Tomorrow Never Knows" (or "Rain," or "Yellow Submarine" or "I'm Only Sleeping," etc.) is as important as the song itself - the two *together*, song and studio treatment, are what make it a masterpiece. Similarly, the effects used on, say, "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite" are *necessary* to the song. You can't have one without the other. This is part of what makes both "Revolver" and "Sgt. Pepper" so wonderful, and something that I don't think Goldstein really understood (nor for that matter did poor imitators of "Pepper.") "Pepper" is not simply an album of special effects... it is an album of effects in the *service* of songs (damn good songs to my ears, this being the Beatles, after all), helping to *realize* their full potential in varied and magical ways. It's fine for Rodriguez to favor the songs on "Revolver." There's a case to be made, but sometimes I think he goes too far out of his way with special pleading, trying hard to justify things he knows are a matter of taste. In the end, neither "Revolver" nor "Sgt. Pepper" sound particularly dated to me. Like most great art, both are of their time... and timeless. That is why we are still discussing them today.
I'm sorry to go on so long, I just had to get that off my chest. Beatles fans can be notoriously picky and hard to please with our books, and you could do lots worse than this one. But, as Rodriguez mentions, our best source for the making of "Revolver" is Geoff Emerick's book "Here There and Everywhere," and I agree. Whether you think Emerick misremembers certain things or not, his book does convey a greater sense of the fun, creativity, and excitement of this amazing album than I fear this book does.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A SUPER READ AGAIN 17. Mai 2012
Von NIEMSONG - Veröffentlicht auf
Robert Rodriguez has hit another home run here with his book REVOLVER! I have always been amazed at the talent of THE BEATLES but I am also amazed how in depth of a read all of Robert's books are pertaining to them and their music. He takes you right back to that precious time when 4 young musicians had more insight and ability than any band had a right to have and focuses on the magic of their music and their thought process. No kidding, when you read REVOLVER you are right there with THE BEATLES in the studio for the music ride of your life and it is their peak time for them indeed with REVOLVER! One master piece written after another was their per usual output! One can never get enough BEATLE MUSIC and this book adds to the experience greatly! Thanks Robert!
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Required Reading for Beatles Fans 18. Juni 2012
Von Tom - Veröffentlicht auf
"Revolver: How The Beatles Reimagined Rock `n'Roll" by Robert Rodriguez is a welcome addition to the ever-growing collection of Beatle-themed books. Mr. Rodriguez selected a very worthy subject, and he does a very good job while coming up short of a masterpiece.
The high points are excellent. Rodriguez handles the key aspect of the subject wonderfully - supplying the backgrounds of each song, as well as the technical and performance aspects of the recording process. Also very helpful are the comparisons of the mono to the stereo mixes, as well as alternate mixes that have found their way to the public in the "Anthology" series and other official and unofficial releases.
He also sets up the story by placing it within the context of its time, though there is a tendency to hop around quite a bit, seemingly referencing events from different years in the same paragraph. A further draft might have allowed the same information to have flowed in a somewhat more linear fashion. The data, however, adds a great deal of contextual information and flavor; it is quite welcome.
Revolver as an album certainly deserves the attention this book accords it; I would even agree with those who contend that it deserves to be considered the greatest Beatles album. Mr. Rodriguez goes a bridge too far, however, in his virtual denigration of Sgt. Peppers in an attempt to contrast the two albums. This is not the forum to fully address the issue, but I would have hoped for the author to have simply cast Revolver as the greatest of the greatest - what bigger compliment does it need?
Overall, this book is required reading for all who are interested in the music of The Beatles.
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