What goes on : the Beatles, their music, and their time /

Publication Type:



New York, NY :, United States, p.xxi, 296 pages : (2019)



Call Number:



1961-1970, England, History and criticism., Rock music


Includes bibliographical references (pages 269-280) and index.Introduction: Revolt into sound: Race, class, generation divide, and gender dominate pre-Beatles rock 'n' roll -- The quarry men (1940-1960) -- The Pete Best era (1961-1962) -- Runaway train: British Beatlemania (1963) -- Instant combustion: World embrace (1964) -- Repeat with a twist (1965) -- From the stage to the studio (1966) -- Celebrity psychedelia (1967) -- Listening through a glass onion (1968) -- They may be parted (1969-1970).In a stretch of just seven years, the Beatles recorded hundreds of songs which tower above those of their worthy peers as both the product of cultural leadership and an artistic reflection of their turbulent age, the1960s. Walter Everett and Tim Riley's What Goes On: The Beatles, Their Music, and Their Time blends historical narrative, musicology, and music analysis to tell the full story of the Beatles and how they redefined pop music. The book traces the Beatles' development chronologically, marking the band's involvement with world events such as the Vietnam War, strides in overcoming racial segregation, gender stereotyping, student demonstrations, and the generation gap. It delves deeply into their body of work, introducing the concepts of musical form, instrumentation, harmonic structure, melodic patterns, and rhythmic devices in a way that is accessible to musicians and non-musicians alike. Close readings of specific songs highlight the tensions between imagination and mechanics, songwriting and technology, and through the book's musical examples, listeners will learn how to develop strategies for creating their own rich interpretations of the potential meanings behind their favorite songs. Videos hosted on the book's companion website offer full definitions and performance demonstrations of all musical concepts discussed in the text, and interactive listening guides illustrate track details in real-time listening. The unique multimedia approach of What Goes On reveals just how great this music was in its own time, and why it remains important today as a body of singular achievement.