Sunday, July 23, 2017

This Bird Has Flown: The Enduring Beauty of Rubber Soul

A few years ago, I bought from the Kindle Store a book about the Beatles' album, "Revolver" ("Revolver: how the Beatles re-imagined Rock'n'Roll", by Robert Rodrigues). The book is divided into three parts: a description of the period into which "Revolver" was introduced, descriptions of all the songs (including the 'scoop' that the bass on "She said, she said" was played by George Harrison after Paul McCartney walked out of the session) and the reaction to "Revolver". I found this book fascinating as it contained many details which aren't in any of my other Beatles books.

On this basis, it is easy to understand why I ordered the book "This bird has flown" yesterday after I came across it on the Internet, looking at the Wiki entry for "Norwegian Wood" (which is a song which I have been playing frequently in the past few days with my new 12-string guitar). As always, I am amazed at the speed and ease of buying a book for the Kindle. The book cost $10.99, which is quite expensive for what might be considered a vanity book.

I read about half of the book yesterday and gave up in frustration: instead of the neat ordering of the "Revolver" book and the critical facilities displayed by its author, this one was all over the place. There is confusion as to whether the book is referencing the British or American versions of "Rubber Soul" (probably both); there is very little about the period preceding "Rubber Soul", but there are all kinds of references to events which happened much later (for example, the sniping between Lennon and McCartney at the time of the latter's "Ram" album). 

It seems that there is very little about "Rubber Soul" itself, but rather a hodge-podge consisting of well-known facts and lesser known suppositions about the Beatles. Descriptions and writings about the songs themselves - which is why I bought the book - are conspicuously lacking, being replaced by other material (for example, why Eric Clapton plays on "Why my guitar gently weeps").

I cannot recommend this book to anyone. So why did I buy it? Because the preface - which is available for reading on the Amazon site - seemed reasonably interesting. I will be posting a negative review there in the next few days.

No comments: