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

Jonathan Gould

4 Reviews

Rated 0

Biography: general, Autobiography: general, Prose: non-fiction

A biography of The Beatles.

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 act before or since, were a quintessential product of their time, and Gould brilliantly blends cultural history, musical analysis and group biography 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 recording music history 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 created exactly the right cultural climate for the biggest music phenomenon of 20th century. Beautifully written, insightful, and wonderfully evocative, this is a magisterial biography by a popular historian of the very first rank.

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

  • Jonathan Gould's Can't Buy Me Love is, hands down, the best Beatles book since Ian MacDonald's Revolution in the Head. The subject is pretty much inexhaustible if the writer is good enough, and Gould is very good. He covers the group's cultural significance (pulling out a plum of a 1963 Eric Hobsbawm quote: "In 20 year s' time, nothing of them will survive") as well as their music. Using the minor White Album track Yer Blues, Gould succinctly explains how the Beatles operated on a different level to every other British Sixties band. Want the explanation? Get the book for Christmas. - The Times

  • Scrupulous, witty, and at times, appropriately sceptical . . . [Gould] lets you hear with keener ears the way a great novelist lets you feel with keener emotions. - New York Times Book Review

  • Excels by providing what's been missing from many biographies: context. - USA Today

  • Essential . . . his narrative literally sings itself off the pages. - Boston Globe

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