Please Please Me

Please Please Me : Sixties British Pop, Inside Out

2.86 (22 ratings by Goodreads)
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Sixties British rock and pop changed music history. While American popular music dominated the record industry in the late fifties and early sixties, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Who, and numerous other groups soon invaded the world at large and put Britain at the center of the modern musical map. Please Please Me offers an insider's view of the British pop-music recording industry during the seminal period of 1956 to 1968, based on personal recollections, contemporary accounts, and all relevant data that situate this scene in the economic, political, and social context of postwar Britain. Author Gordon Thompson weaves issues of class, age, professional status, gender, and ethnicity into his narrative, beginning with the rise of British beat groups and the emergence of teenagers as consumers in postwar Britain, and moving into the competition between performers and the recording industry for control over the music.
He interviews session musicians who recorded anonymously with the Beatles, Hermans Hermits, and the Kinks, professional musicians who toured with British bands promoting records or providing dance music, songwriters, music directors, and producers and engineers who worked with the best-known performers of the era. The consequences of World War Two for pop music in the late fifties and early sixties form the backdrop for discussion of recording equipment, musical instruments, and new jet-age transportation, all contributors to the rise of British pop-music alongside the personalities that more famously made entertainment news. And these famous personalities traverse the pages of Please Please Me as well: performing songwriters John Carter and Ken Lewis, Lennon and McCartney, Jagger and Richards, Ray Davies, and Pete Townshend took center stage while the production teams and session musicians created the art of recording behind the doors of London's studios.
Drawing his interpretation of the processes at work during this musical revolution into a wider context, Thompson unravels the musical change and innovation of the time with an eye on understanding what traces individuals leave in the musical and recording process. Opening up important new historical and musical understandings in a repertoire that is at the core of rock music's history, Please Please Me will appeal to all students, scholars, and fans of popular music.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 360 pages
  • 159 x 236 x 22mm | 540g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 12 halftones, 1 line illustration
  • 019533325X
  • 9780195333251
  • 758,538

Review quote

this meaty paperback is an academic, but throughly engrossing stugy of the UK recording industry in the 60s... His text blends facts, personal recollections and period flavour, with enlightening first-hand quotes woven throughout its pages helping to capture the special atmosphere. * Russell Newmark, The Beat magazine * a geniune and important contribution to the cannon of 1960s musical literature... the book offers a highly readable and clearly conveyed account of how the pop industry worked in its most fertile and experimental decade. * Paul Martin, Journal of Contemporary British History *
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About Gordon Thompson

Gordon Thompson is Professor of Music at Skidmore College.
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Table of contents

Preface, Acknowledgements / Introduction / 1. The Velvet Glove: The Art of Production / 2. A Question of Balance: Engineering Art / 3. Mediating Change: Setting Musical Directions / 4. The Write Stuff: Songwriters / 5. Red-Light Fever: Musicians / 6. Please Please Me / 7. London Recording Studios / Discography / Bibliography
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Rating details

22 ratings
2.86 out of 5 stars
5 9% (2)
4 23% (5)
3 36% (8)
2 9% (2)
1 23% (5)
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