The Beatles As Musicians

by Walter Everett

The Beatles As Musicians

Given the phenomenal fame and commercial success that the Beatles knew for the entire course of their familiar career, their music per se has received surprisingly little detailed attention. Not all of their cultural influence can be traced to long hair and flashy clothing; the Beatles had numerous fresh ideas about melody, harmony, counterpoint, rhythm, form, colors, and textures. Or consider how much new ground was broken by their lyrics alone-both the themes and imagery of the Beatles' poetry are key parts of what made (and still makes) this group so important, so popular, and so imitated. This book is a comprehensive chronological study of every aspect of the Fab Four's musical life-including full examinations of composition, performance practice, recording, and historical context - during their transcendent late period (1966-1970). Rich, authoritative interpretations are interwoven through a documentary study of many thousands of audio, print, and other sources.


Walter Everett is Associate Professor of Music in Music Theory at the University of Michigan.

"This is an excellent book that will appeal to musicologists, theorists, and general readers with any interest in the Beatles.... Everett has written the most important book on the Beatles to appear so far; it will become an indispensable part of any future work on the group and their music. He nicely and securely balances detailed music-analytical, historical, and biographical information while providing a compelling interpretation of the ways in which the group's music changed and developed."
    ---John Covach, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Impressive.... I've never seen anything like it before.... This unique book offers a seamless narrative of the latter half of the Beatles' career as music makers. What is new in these pages is new not only to the literature on the Beatles but to writing about popular music more generally.... Everett does many things more effectively than any previous writer on the Beatles.... A great book."
    ---Charles Hamm, Dartmouth College

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