“Can’t Buy Me Love” Beatles Book Review

I try to read every Beatles release that comes off the presses… Almost through with Jonathan Gould’s “Can’t Buy Me Love”. It’s a history of the group (and the people in it) – no surprises there, of course.

But writer Gould turns it into a sociological study, pushing the Beatles, their birth, their success, their flame-out, against cultural and historical events in the UK and the US, trying to figure out exactly why (besides being a kickass band) they were just so damned successful.

He looks at everything… ’60s theater, political scandals (Profumo, Kennedys, etc.), economics, popular culture, literature, media, etc.

And does it really well. He’s a very good, lyrical writer, and best of all — he’s a schooled musician (though a drummer!), and so he never mis-steps when analyzing songs theoretically. When he talks about an octave jump, by God, he actually means an octave. It’s pretty refreshing. (If you’ve read musician bios written by non-musos, you know what I’m talking about!).

Check it out, Beatles freaks, history geeks, etc. Great stuff.

4 Responses to ““Can’t Buy Me Love” Beatles Book Review”

  1. I’m with you, it could be that the Beatles were just a really good band. Their harmonies are still hard to beat today. Or, you can analyze it to hell and try and dissect the music. I’d rather just listen and enjoy.

  2. Well, that’s just it — I think they *were* a really great band (the most important band ever, IMO), but I think they were helped by a confluence of history/culture… classic “right place/right time” syndrome.

    and unfortunately for me (and my wallet), I kinda dig dissecting them! I want to know what makes success like the Fabs tick. That’s why my bookshelf sags!

  3. Jonathan Gould Says:

    Dear Andy,

    A computer-savvy friend of mine set my computer up so that anything that appears on the web about my book comes to my attention at the speed of light. Which in turn enables me to to thank you almost instantly for your kind words about my book. What you wrote means all the more to to me considering that you seem to have read almost everything about the Beatles. So thank you very much!

    All best wishes,

    Jonathan Gould

    P.S. “though a drummer” indeed!

  4. Great post, Andy. I’m definitely adding this title to my wish list!

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