Brian Southall discusses the Beatles:
Brian Southall, author
Beatles insider Brian Southall began writing about music in the 1960s on a local newspaper before graduating to the likes of Melody Maker and Disc. From there he pursued a thirty year career in the record business with A&M, Tamla Motown, EMI (where he was Head of Press and dealt with the Beatles' solo projects) and Warner Music. His first book—the official history of Abbey Road Studios—was published in 1982 and he also wrote Northern Songs, The Rise and Fall of EMI Records, Sex Pistols: 90 Days at EMI (Omnibus Press), Beatles Memorabilia: The Julian Lennon Collection (Goodman), Jimi Hendrix: Made in England (Red Planet Publishing), and more. He lives in England.
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Fifty years after Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play, Southall (Northern Songs), former head of press at EMI, presents a tribute to this enduring album. Roughly the size and shape of an album cover, this book is divided into two parts (whimsically referredt to as the "A" and "B" sides). In the first section, Southall imparts solid if fairly unexciting material about the group and the production of the album. The second part zooms out for a look at the political, social, and pop cultural environment of 1967. The author's coverage of the larger music scene is intriguing--his exploration of innovative groups such as Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention offers context for where Sgt. Pepper fit in -- but his laborious, often dry month-by-month look at 1967 is somewhat exhausting. However, this isn't a little that most music lovers will read from cover to cover. Visually enticing, with tons of quotes and photos galore (many of which depeict the Fab Four in delightfully garish hippie garb), it's ripe for browsing. VERDICT: Not essential reading by any means, but a fun addition to larger music collections. Watch it fly off display shelves.
9 3/4 x 9 3/4
Page count: 192
Color and B&W Photos