Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World

Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World

by Rob Sheffield


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An NPR Best Book of the Year • Winner of the Virgil Thomson Award for Outstanding Music Criticism

“This is the best book about the Beatles ever written”  —Mashable

Rob Sheffield, the Rolling Stone columnist and bestselling author of Love Is a Mix Tape offers an entertaining, unconventional look at the most popular band in history, the Beatles, exploring what they mean today and why they still matter so intensely to a generation that has never known a world without them.

Dreaming the Beatles is not another biography of the Beatles, or a song-by-song analysis of the best of John and Paul. It isn’t another exposé about how they broke up. It isn’t a history of their gigs or their gear. It is a collection of essays telling the story of what this ubiquitous band means to a generation who grew up with the Beatles music on their parents’ stereos and their faces on T-shirts. What do the Beatles mean today? Why are they more famous and beloved now than ever? And why do they still matter so much to us, nearly fifty years after they broke up?

As he did in his previous books, Love is a Mix Tape, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran, and Turn Around Bright Eyes, Sheffield focuses on the emotional connections we make to music. This time, he focuses on the biggest pop culture phenomenon of all time—The Beatles. In his singular voice, he explores what the Beatles mean today, to fans who have learned to love them on their own terms and not just for the sake of nostalgia.

Dreaming the Beatles tells the story of how four lads from Liverpool became the world’s biggest pop group, then broke up—but then somehow just kept getting bigger. At this point, their music doesn’t belong to the past—it belongs to right now. This book is a celebration of that music, showing why the Beatles remain the world’s favorite thing—and how they invented the future we’re all living in today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062207654
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/25/2017
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 506,276
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Rob Sheffield is a columnist for Rolling Stone, where he has been writing about music, TV, and pop culture since 1997. He is the author of the national bestsellers Love Is a Mix Tape: Love and Loss, One Song at a Time and Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut, as well as Turn Around Bright Eyes: A Karaoke Journey of Starting Over, Falling in Love, and Finding Your Voice and On Bowie.

Table of Contents

Dramatis Personae xv

Prelude: "Thanks, Mo" 1

Meet The Beatles (1962-1970) 7

"Dear Prudence" (1968) 21

"I Call Your Name" (1957) 29

Please Please Me (1963) 37

The Mystery Inside of George 47

"It Won't Be Long" (1963) 57

The Importance of Being Ringo 63

The Scream 71

"Ticket to Ride" (1965) 79

"Think for Yourself" (1965) 83

Rubber Soul (1965) 87

Instrumental Break: 26 Songs About the Beatles 99

"Tomorrow Never Knows" (1966) 117

Revolver (1966) 129

"Strawberry Fields Forever" (1967) 141

The Cover of Sgt. Pepper (1967) 151

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) 157

"It's All Too Much" (1967) 171

Magical Mystery Tour (1967) 175

Beatles or Stones? 181

The White Album (1968) 191

"Helter Skelter" (1968) 201

"Something" (1969) vs. "My Love" (1971) 207

The Cover of Abbey Road (1969) 211

Turn Me On, Dead Man 215

The Beatles' Last Album (1970) 225

"Maybe I'm Amazed" (1970) 229

"God" (1970) 237

Paul Is a Concept by Which We Measure Our Pain 249

When George Sang "In My Life" (1974) 263

A Toot and a Snore In '74 (1974) 273

Rock 'n' Roll Music (1976) 279

"Silver Horse" (1981) 289

The Ballad of Eighties Beatles vs. Nineties Beatles 295

The End: Sorry We Hurt Your Field, Mister 309

Postlude: "Give Me the Courage to Come Screaming In" 319

Acknowledgments 329

Notes 333

Bibliography 343

Index 347

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