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Review of Rob Sheffield's Dreaming the Beatles 21 of X: Resistance

It's been nearly a month since I posted a review of a chapter or two of Rob Sheffield's superb Dreaming the Beatles because, as I've said before, I don't want this book to end.  I want it to last forever, as I do its subject, The Beatles.  And I'm sure they - the book and The Beatles - will.

We're now into the sad and sadder part of the book.  And amidst the gathering ruins of The Beatles, no longer recording together, soon to experience far worse events, Sheffield manages to ingenuously pull together strands that no one else would or could connect, and weave into a riveting now close to heartbreaking chapter.

This time it's a comparison of John Lennon's "Revolution: (of course recorded with the Beatles) and Paul McCartney's "Silly Love Songs" (of recorded after the Beatles disbanded).  No one but Sheffield could possibly see and convincingly argue that these two songs are really about the same thing, and show that despite the many differences between Lennon and McCartney, they nonetheless were in many ways almost the same person, or brothers.

Both songs, Sheffield explains, are about the The Beatles' resistance to to authority.  Lennon's "Revolution" is about not being dictated to by trendy political truth-tellers, of which we now in 2018 obviously have a myriad, on any screen you see.  McCartney's "Silly Love Songs" is not about not being told what to do - what to sing about - by self-appointed pop-cultural gurus (of which Robert Christgau was a prime example back then, and which we all suffer a myriad of advice from, nowadays as well).  And like I once read somewhere about Immanuel Kant, a philosopher much harder to understand than is Sheffield, once you consider his hypothesis about these songs, you realize instantly that he is right.

Sheffield couples and discusses other Lennon and McCartney solo recordings, such as Lennon's "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" and McCartney's "What the Man Said".  Here I'll say that I've always liked pop more than (I think) Sheffield does - "Afternoon Delight," for example, by the Starland Vocal Band in 1976, was and always will be one of my favorite recordings.  And I don't know if Lennon's "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" is pop.  How could it be, with a line like "Don't need a watch to waste your time" (my favorite line in the song)  which sounds like it could have come out Dylan's "My Back Pages"?

Sheffield also says that "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" isn't played on radio anymore, because of it's "Don't need a gun to blow you mind" line, but I just heard it on The Beatles Channel on Sirius XM Radio.  The times they are a-changing, including an evolution in our understanding and appreciation of The Beatles, of which The Beatles Channel and Dreaming the Beatles are essential parts.

See also Review of Rob Sheffield's Dreaming the Beatles 1 of X: The Love Affair ... 2 of X: The Heroine with a Thousand Faces ... 3 of X: Dear Beatles ... 4 of X: Paradox George ... 5 of X: The Power of Yeah ... 6 of X: The Case for Ringo ... 7 of X: Anatomy of a Ride ... 8 of X: Rubber Soul on July 4 ... 9 of X: Covers ... 10 of X: I. A. Richards ... 11 of X: Underrated Revolver ... 12 of X: Sgt. Pepper ... 13 of X: Beatles vs. Stones ... 14 of X: Unending 60s ... 15 of x: Voting for McCartney, Again ... 16 of x: "I'm in Love, with Marsha Cup" ... 17 of X: The Split ... 18 of X: "Absolute Elsewhere" ... 19 of X: (Unnecessary but Brilliant) Defense of McCartney ... 20 of X: "All Things Must Pass"

lots of Beatles in this time travel 

This post first appeared on Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress, please read the originial post: here

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Review of Rob Sheffield's Dreaming the Beatles 21 of X: Resistance


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