- The Revolutionary Year
- Narrated by: Simon Vance
- Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 03-06-18
- Language: English
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Regular price: $27.97
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They started off as hysteria-inducing pop stars playing to audiences of screaming teenage fans and ended up as musical sages considered responsible for ushering in a new era.
The year that changed everything for the Beatles was 1966 - the year of their last concert and of Revolver, their first album created to be listened to rather than performed. This was the year the Beatles risked their popularity by retiring from live performances, recording songs that explored alternative states of consciousness, experimenting with avant-garde ideas, and speaking their minds on issues of politics, war, and religion. It was the year their records were burned in America after John's explosive claim that the group was "more popular than Jesus", the year they were hounded out of the Philippines for "snubbing" its First Lady, the year John met Yoko Ono, and the year Paul conceived the idea for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Music journalist and Beatles expert Steve Turner investigates in detail the enormous changes that took place in the Beatles' lives and work during 1966. He looks at the historical events that had an impact on the group, the music they made that in turn profoundly affected the culture around them, and the vision that allowed four young men from Liverpool to transform popular music and serve as pioneers for artists from Coldplay to David Bowie, Jay-Z to U2.
By talking to those close to the group and by drawing on his past interviews with key figures such as George Martin, Timothy Leary, and Ravi Shankar - and the Beatles themselves - Turner gives us the compelling, definitive account of the 12 months that contained everything the Beatles had been and anticipated everything they would still become.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By tru britty on 03-29-18
New information on a pivotal year in Beatles music
Steve Turner has accomplished a feat. He has written a book about the most documented music group in history and still come up with fresh information and interpretations.
Turner does this by narrowing his focus to 1966. The Beatles were coming off Rubber Soul, where John was trying out a new style of Dylan lyric writing (Norwegian Wood) and the Beatles were getting more experimental in the studio.
This was the year the Beatles put together what some consider their best album, Revolver.
The book examines the Beatles' decision to stop touring and focus on recording. So there's a lot about John's Jesus remarks and the subsequent Beatles record burnings in the American South. The bloom was off the lovable Mop Tops and the s@#$ was hitting the fan.
There's a recounting of the group's tour dates in Japan--where they were criticized for appearing at the Budokan--and the comic misunderstanding in the Philippines that led to a potentially dangerous feud between the group and Imelda Marcos.
Beatles '66 obviously looks at the recording of Revolver and how the songs represent an evolution in their songwriting and studio process.
Simon Vance does an excellent job as narrator, getting down the different speech patterns of John, Paul, George and Ringo. He doesn't try to imitate but you always know which Beatle is speaking.
Other Audible titles you might enjoy:
Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin: The Early Years, 1926-1966 by Kenneth Womack. My one gripe with this book is the American narrator. Who made that decision?
Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day by Joel Selvin. Like Beatles '66, this music history has a narrow focus, the infamous Altamont concert headlined by the Rolling Stones. The book tells the story from the point of view of audience members, music critics who were there, performers, the Hell's Angels and the young man who was killed and his girlfriend.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By G. Hernandez on 06-12-18
1966 was a pivotal year for The Beatles
Just when you thought you knew all about the Beatles along comes “Beatles 66.” It’s astounding how one year in the life of this extraordinary group of musicians helped shape its past, present and future. It’s as if the world revolved around the Beatles that year. History was made and was visited upon John, Paul, George and Ringo. Simon Vance did a terrific narration, especially when reading lines from each Beatle. I could hear each one speaking in that Liverpool manner. This audiobook is certainly a fantastic ticket to ride.