Tell Me Why

Tell Me Why

A Beatles Commentary

Book - 2002
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Baker & Taylor
An in-depth musical analysis and cultural history of the Beatles focuses on its music, presenting a discography that covers each song and album to reveal the band's true innovations and artistic impact. Reprint.

Perseus Publishing
A fully updated and revised edition of the classic album-by-album, song-by-song study of the Beatles

Blackwell North Amer
A unique combination of musical analysis and cultural history, Tell Me Why stands alone among Beatles books with its single-minded focus on the most important aspect of the band: its music. Riley offers a new, deeper understanding of the Beatles by closely considering each song and album they recorded in an exploration as rigorous as it is soulful. He tirelessly sifts through the Beatles discography, making clear that the legendary four were more than mere teen idols: They were brilliant innovators who mastered an extremely detailed art. Since the first publication of Tell Me Why in 1988, much new primary source material has appeared—Paul McCartney's authorized biography, the Anthology CDs and videos, the complete Parlophone-sequenced albums on CD, the Live at the BBCsessions, and the global smash 1. Riley incorporates all the new material in an update that makes this a crucial book for Beatles fans.

Publisher: Cambridge, MA : Da Capo Press ; London : Eurospan, 2002
Edition: Revised and updated, first Da Capo Press edition
ISBN: 9780306811203
Branch Call Number: 784.54 BEATL RILEY
Characteristics: xxiv, 457 pages ; 21 cm
Notes: "Album by album, song by song, the sixties and after"--Cover


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Jun 01, 2015

In my opinion, this is one of the best books ever written about the music of the Beatles. It pays close attention to the subtleties in songs you may think you already know so well, like changes in tempo, instrumentation, key, or cool moments involving a bass lick or drum fill. The writing is creative and thoughtful, academic but never dull, and after reading it I found myself even more impressed by the recordings of the Beatles than I already was.

May 22, 2014

Opinionated review of each song with limited facts mixed in. Since it's heavily an interpretative work, readers that agree will enjoy this more than readers who disagree. I think it's wrong for the writer to assign a linear value to LOVE ME DO to SGT PEPPERS or HEY JUDE, for example, and his attempts to do so limit 90% of the book's printed-word content to this continuous weakness. My expectations were more aligned to a fact-based writing rather than only-interperative glossings.


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