cover image REVOLUTION: The Making of the Beatles' White Album

REVOLUTION: The Making of the Beatles' White Album

David Quantick, . . A Capella, $14.95 (192pp) ISBN 978-1-55652-470-7

Beatles fans know more about the Beatles than the Beatles know about themselves. Thus any addition to the hundreds of Beatles books needs an angle—some inspired criticism or a little new dirt—to make it necessary. Sadly, author Quantick (The Clash;Beck) delivers no such hook in his short, dull tribute to the band's White Album, his all-time favorite record. Quantick tells the well-known stories behind each of the 30 songs on the sprawling double-player. Fans will recall that McCartney wrote "Martha, My Dear" for his Old English sheepdog and that Lennon's "Dear Prudence" was about Mia Farrow's sister Prudence, who was apparently spending too much time indoors, meditating. Quantick fails to clearly articulate why he thinks the album's so brilliant, but rather tosses out impenetrable nuggets such as: "Like all great albums, the White Album is both a snapshot of the time it was recorded and a piece of music that stands alone, outside time and fashion"; and that the White Album is the only Beatles record "that would be superb if it had been recorded by any other greatest rock and pop band of all time." (Sept.)

Forecast: For better help picking apart the Beatles songbook, readers should check out A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song by Steve Turner, or Beatlesongs by William J. Dowlding.