In Their Lives
Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs
Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (5/22/2017)
The Beatles’ influence—on their contemporaries, on our cultural consciousness, and on the music industry ever after—is difficult to overstate. We all have a favorite song from the band that made us want to fall in love, tune in, and follow our dreams. Arranged chronologically by the date of the song’s release, these essays highlight both the Beatles’ evolution as well as the span of generations their music affected. Whether they are Beatlemaniacs who grew up listening to the iconic albums on vinyl or new fans who stream their favorite songs on their phones, all of the contributors explore that poignant intersection between Beatles history and personal history.
With contributions from twenty-nine authors and musicians—Roz Chast on “She Loves You,” Jane Smiley on “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” Rosanne Cash on “No Reply,” Gerald Early on “I’m a Loser,” Rick Moody on “The End,” Maria Popova on “Yellow Submarine,” David Duchovny on “Dear Prudence,” Chuck Klosterman on “Helter Skelter,” David Hajdu on “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number),” and more—the breadth of the band’s impact is clear. From musings on young love and family strife to explorations of racial boundaries and identity, these essays pay tribute to a band that ran the gamut of human experience in a way no musical group has done before or since.
Timed for the fiftieth anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, this anthology captures the full spectrum of reasons fans still love the Fab Four after all these years.
“In Their Lives is full of pleasant surprises.”—New York Times
Praise For In Their Lives: Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs…
“So many of us learned the basics from the Beatles: how to listen, what longing feels like, the pleasure of loving and thinking about art. Here a stunning array of writers shares how that process worked in childhood and youth, and still works within memory and cultural history. Some first-rate music criticism's in here, too.”
—Ann Powers, critic for NPR Music, author of Weird Like Us
“Sharp, witty, incisive, revealing. I must have read millions of words on the Beatles, but there is always room and scope and desire to write even more as every generation discovers them. The writing, all the way through is, terrific. I enjoyed In Their Lives—and learned some new things about the ever-lasting appeal of the Beatles and their music.”
—Hunter Davies, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Beatles
“How lovely to have gifted writers put into words what I’ve been struggling to express for fifty years. The essays are as heartfelt and high-spirited as the songs themselves. As the Beatles would say, ‘I was gobsmacked!’”
—Bob Spitz, author of The Beatles: The Biography
“The Beatles—their music, their style—had an atomic effect on the old romantic traditions of the West, and Western civilization. hasn't been the same since. Here and now some of our best modern writers tell their fascinating stories of what the Beatles meant to them, and to those whom they loved, and everything rings so true. Yeah Yeah Yeah!”
—Stephen Davis, author of Hammer of the Gods and Jim Morrison
“A perceptive, heartfelt collection. Though the anthology is tinged with affection, it's no mere love letter to the group. [In Their Lives is] bound to appeal to serious Beatles aficionados, longtime followers of the group seeking a nostalgic walk down ‘Penny Lane,’ and casual music fans.”
“A charming, delightful collection for Beatles fans and music fans in general.”
“The brilliant and varied essays pull the tablecloth from under so-familiar songs, revealing bits and pieces in new configurations, and in contexts that are personal, technical, social, and universal. A collection that music fans and fans of music writing will love.”
“The collection serves as a miniature history of the Beatles. The essays are uniformly excellent and informative.”
Blue Rider Press, 9780735210691, 320pp.
Publication Date: May 23, 2017