Title: Counting Down the Beatles
Author: Jim Beviglia
Publisher: Roman & Littlefield
“As always, these rankings are based solely on my opinions of the songs, not any chart success or cultural impact or anything like that,” Jim Beviglia writes in the introduction of his book, Counting Down the Beatles: Their 100 Finest Songs.
~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-eighteen-page hardbound covers one-hundred songs of the Beatles in an order chosen by the book’s author. After acknowledgments and an introduction, the counted down one-hundred-to-one songs are dissected and explained. The ending includes notes, bibliography, index, and author’s biography.
In this countdown based on the author’s opinions, approximately two pages are written on each song that has the song, album, and year produced in its title. Usually, the paragraphs cover why the artists wrote it, what the song is about, what it sounded like, comparisons to other songs including by other artists, or conflicts about it.
~ Why ~
Without giving the author’s number one favorite Beatle song and not “Because” “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party,” I liked flipping through to my favorites and reading tidbits about the music or behind-the-scenes interactions. I found interesting that McCartney’s “Michelle” was originally a French tune he had played before he became a Beatle, Lennon was paying tribute to Dylan in “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” Harrison took a line from James Taylor in “Something,” and “Rain” had Starr’s favorite bit of drumming in it.
~ Why Not ~
Some may not agree with the countdown list of the author, wishing their favorite song or songs were in the top ten. Others may feel there were too many assumptions on the writer’s part of how or why a song may have been written or arranged.
~ Who ~
A writer for American Songwriter magazine, Beviglia has been reviewing and writing about music for ten years, including books of several musician’s countdowns. He lives in Pennsylvania with his family.
~ Wish ~
Being more of a visual person, my husband wished there were pictures of the albums or band included in the book. I found too many of the listings had references to other songs by the band or other artists.
~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book that is a collection of the why, what, and how of a myriad of Beatles songs, this may be your “Ticket to Ride.”
Thanks to Bookpleasures and the author for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.
GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.