Nearly 20 years in the making, Can't Buy Me Love is a masterful work of group biography, cultural history, and musical criticism. That the Beatles were an unprecedented phenomenon is a given. Here Jonathan Gould seeks to explain why, placing the Fab Four in the broad and tumultuous panorama of their time and place, rooting their story in the social context that girded both their rise and their demise. Can't Buy Me Love illuminates the Beatles as a charismatic phenomenon of international proportions, whose anarchic energy and unexpected import was derived from the historic shifts in fortune that transformed the relationship between Britain and America in the decades after World War II.
"Not just another biography of the Fab Four, Gould's ambitious, decades-in-the-making volume tells their larger-than-life story and uses it as a lens through which to look at the cultural and historical forces that shaped the band - and its ongoing significance." (Rolling Stone)
"Fascinating.... An essential addition to Beatle literature." (The Guardian)
"Brilliant.... Engrossing.... Gould's deft hand makes the book sing. This is music writing at its best." (Publishers Weekly, starred, signature review)
We've sent an email with your order details. Order ID #:
To access this title, visit your library in the app or on the desktop website.
Light on gossip, rich on context
- Tad Davis
Ambitious - this book's strength and weakness
Yes and no. I enjoyed the beginning of the book, describing the Beatles' start, their rise to fame, and the cultural backdrop that contributed to and caused their success. Toward the second half of the book, however, there are several passages that describe in verbose detail the making of albums and the attributes of each song. Several hours could have been removed from this book just from editing those out. One would have to be a HUGE fan of the Beatles and/or a musician to understand much of the later lingo.
Another reviewer indicated frustration with Richard Aspel's odd pauses, and I must confess I found them grating as well. With that exception, he did a very good job of narrating, particularly when he was being flippant.
Overall, this book may appear to music history buffs, cultural history buffs, fans of the Beatles who may want a comprehensive biography... But I am not interested enough in these topics - or perhaps their intertwining as compiled by Gould - to wholeheartedly recommend this book.