Reviews

“Jackson has a better ear than a lot of music writers, and one of the best parts of this book is his many casual citings of songs that echo others: Marvin Gaye’s first million-selling single, “I’ll Be Doggone,” builds on a riff used in the Searchers’ “Needles and Pins,” one also pinched by the Byrds for “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better” …  A lot of the best insights come from writers who show us the familiar through fresh eyes, as Jackson does when he returns us to a year when a lot of us were young and poor and not as happy as we thought we were, yet there was always a great song on the radio.”

—Washington Post

“This mid-decade moment of enchantment is finally given the scrutiny it deserves in Andrew Grant Jackson’s 1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music … This book deftly supports the claim embedded in its title … Written for music lovers who were there and for those who wish they were, the book is a well-researched cultural history that leaves no rolling stone unturned as it meanders through 1965, connecting dots to create a vivid picture of the cultural landscape as it looked a half-century ago … [Jackson] goes beyond pop, rock, and the new “folk rock,” showing how R&B, jazz, and country were also undergoing dramatic change in ’65, and he foreshadows glam, funk, disco, and hip hop … The most revolutionary year in music is under the radar no more.”

—Huffington Post

“Throughout the book, [Jackson] contextualizes the astonishing surge of musical creativity and innovation during the mid-‘60s, making connections to the rise of youth culture, to the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, to the emergence of “second wave” feminism and gay liberation … He uses his sources well, weaving them into a clear and cohesive narrative, and his own assessments are thoughtful and convincing. He brings a fan’s enthusiasm and a critic’s considered judgment, which makes the book an enjoyable read and a useful reference work.”

—Pop Matters

“This book is a welcome reminder of some truly great music. Recommended.”

—National Review

“Verdict: Utilizing myriad sources, memoirs, and articles, Jackson weaves the story of a year in which a combination of forces that included a sense of experimentation and revolution and the thriving of a competitive spirit among musicians combined with rapidly moving social changes to forever shape American musical culture. It will appeal to music fans and those interested in the Sixties.”

—Library Journal

“Jackson’s rapid-fire jaunt through the musical highlights of 1965—the rise of Motown and Stax Records, the early music of David Bowie, the arrival of the Bakersfield sound—is a helpful survey for readers unfamiliar with the history of popular music.”

—Publishers Weekly. Included in their list of The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2015

“A lot of “revolutionary” things happened in the musical world during the pivotal year of 1965. That was the year, Jackson argues, that rock and roll “evolved into the premiere art form of its time and accelerated the drive for personal liberty throughout the Western world” … Jackson presents a thoroughly entertaining romp through one mighty year in pop-music history.”

—Booklist

“Lively… Jackson does a solid job covering the hit-makers.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“While Jackson wittily and eloquently presents his findings, he lets his readers decide for themselves whether 1965 was indeed the most revolutionary year in music. Either way, he makes a good case.”

—L.A. Weekly

“[Jackson] documents the dazzling, turbulent times in his thoroughly researched new book … While the music is center stage, the author never fails to integrate the cultural, political and social events that inspired it all, keeping the reader grounded in the context of the times … About the creation of The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood,” Jackson opines, “On the surface, Lennon’s short and abstract lyrics were the antithesis of Dylan’s, but the American had freed him up to express alienation and ennui in a way that hadn’t been done before … 1965 is an engrossing account of a meeting at the crossroads of American music history and culture. If you were there, it will take you back; if you weren’t, it may make you wish you had been.””

—Book Reporter

“The author covered a lot more than many of the other books on music history I have read.”

—The VVA Veteran, a publication of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.

“This book will have you humming along with songs you remember (or recognize, if you weren’t around then). Author Andrew Grant Jackson melds history, music, and little-known anecdotes as seamlessly as butter … If you’re an oldies fan, a follower of culture, or if you remember the year with fondness (or regret), how could you turn it down?”

—Philadelphia Tribune

“An entertaining exploration of the cultural events and music that defined a decade.”

—Washington Independent Review of Books

“Concise and keenly observed, this is a must-read for the classic rock fanatic.”

—Music Connection

“From the Beatles to the Byrds, from Dylan to the Stones, from the Beach Boys to Motown, author Andrew G. Jackson brilliantly details how the year 1965 was essentially rock and roll’s coming-out party. 1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music is filled with interesting insight and analysis into how a unique confluence of cultural events helped spur many of popular music’s all-time greats to reach their artistic apex, all within one, short, action-packed twelve-month period. If you weren’t there the first time around — or even if you were — sit back and prepare yourself for one heck of a ‘ticket to ride.’”

—Kent Hartman, author of The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret

“The Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Coltrane, The Dead, Velvet Underground, Motown … what wasn’t happening in 1965? Andrew Grant Jackson painstakingly chronicles this pivotal year in music with an eye for detail and the big picture – an exciting ride with a timeless soundtrack.”

—Joel Selvin, author of Summer of Love and Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues

“1965 is a year that pop fans… revere [for] the sheer volume of innovative music and cultural transformation. A half-century on, it all remains astonishing but Jackson takes us through these 365 earth-changing days with steady hands and an addictive style. I started making a playlist almost immediately.”

—Marc Spitz, author of We Got the Neutron Bomb and Twee

“The title of Andrew Grant Jackson’s new book, 1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music, made my eyebrows rise. Really? 1965? Sure, it was the year Dylan went electric and the Stones lamented their lack of satisfaction, but wouldn’t 1968—the year of “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”, “Street Fighting Man”, Electric Ladyland, the formation of Led Zeppelin, the release of the first LP-length rock opera (S.F. Sorrow), and well, “Revolution” — be more apt? Or how about 1967, the year of Sgt. Pepper’s, The Velvet Underground & Nico, the Summer of Love, Monterey Pop, Motown going psychedelic, and Paul McCartney going on TV to say he’s done acid? Or maybe even 1966 with its Revolver and Pet Sounds and Blonde on Blonde and Aftermath.  The thing is, all of those things are the products of revolution, but not necessarily revolutionary in and of themselves. The major upheavals that made them possible really did happen in 1965. It wasn’t just the year Dylan plugged in and the Stones got topical. It was the year George Harrison picked up the sitar and John Lennon got personal. It was when Brian Wilson expanded The Beach Boys sound after quitting the road a week before the year began. It was the year he and John and George and Ringo and Keith and Brian took their first acid doses. It was when James Brown invented funk, when jazz got free, when Charlie Pride opened up the palette of country, when Pete Townshend took a stand for his g-g-generation, when Ginsberg planted the seeds of flower power, when The Velvet Underground hooked up with Nico and Warhol, when Otis broke out, when The Byrds married folk and rock, and such efforts contributed to such wider revolutionary actions as the Civil Rights Movement, anti-war protests… even the rise of gay rights and women’s liberation.  By covering the year in all its complicated, colorful, violent, genre-hopping, debauched madness, Jackson does a pretty damn good job of making his case that 1965 was, indeed, music’s most revolutionary year. He does so with lyricism and political astuteness while also maintaining an authoritative journalistic voice. Grant didn’t need to get heated up to get me heated up about the injustices rampant in that year: LBJ’s escalation of the Vietnam war, the abject institutional and grass-roots racism that caused black communities to declare war, and the more modest outrages of conservative assholes harassing guys with long hair (the writer recounts the tale of young Mitt Romney and his idiot buddies ganging up on one poor kid to forcibly sheer his hair—an act the guy who could have been president shrugged off as a “prank”). This is a powerful book because a lot of powerful things happened in 1965. A look at any current newspaper reveals how much we’ve progressed beyond that seemingly remote era and how little has really changed.  My only wish is that Jackson’s doesn’t let it be with ’65. He may prove that ’66, ’67, ’68, and beyond weren’t as revolutionary, but I would still love to see him peer into those years too. It would make one revolutionary series.”

—Psychobabble

“[Jackson] beautifully illustrates the overwhelming changes that music, counterculture and politics defined in 1965 … This book also investigates the style of cultural relationships that surrounded the British Invasion, the rise of soul music and the reactions surrounding the charged race issues that characterized the struggles of the decade. He further takes time to explain the meaning behind classic songs like The Beatles’ “Help!,” “Barry McGuire’s “Eve Of Destruction” and The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” using them to explain their significant pop-cultural relevance for their era … It does well in explaining the end of a cultural innocence through the events surrounding a profound year in pop culture history.”

—Salt Lake City Underground

Reviews for Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of the Beatles’ Solo Careers:

“USA TODAY’s music staff offers a weekend tip sheet of sound recommendations spanning the media landscape …The celebration of the Fab Four’s 50th anniversary continues with Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of the Beatles’ Solo Careers. Author Andrew Grant Jackson, a music journalist and filmmaker, delves into the more than 70 albums and 900 songs collectively unveiled by John, Paul, George and Ringo since they disbanded 42 years ago. “There are a dozen brilliant Beatles albums to be carved out of their solo albums,” Jackson has observed. Included, too, are collaborations with other icons such as Phil Spector, Eric Clapton, Elton John and Elvis Costello.”

— USA Today

“Andrew wrote the book I always wanted to write — he’s done a great job, so now I don’t have to!”

— Chris Carter, host of Breakfast with the Beatles

“I’m happy to be able to recommend a new book by a man with the interesting name of Andrew Grant Jackson and it’s called Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of the Beatles’ Solo Careers. Many of us were traumatized by the breakup of the Beatles and you would not believe how often it keeps coming up in my class on the culture and politics of the seventies. The fellow is pretty smart and the book is wonderfully well researched … With the Beatles having been covered to death, this is really new territory, at least for me … It’s really both quite fun and impressive, though he does not hate the songs I hate and I find this a bit unnerving, given how on the ball he is otherwise. Do I really need to rethink My Love?”

— Eric Alterman/ The Nation

“Analysis, commentary, and biography on the Beatles abound, but relatively little has been written about John, Paul, George, and Ringo’s post-Beatles recordings. Freelance music writer Jackson’s first book spotlights what he considers the best of the ex-Beatles’ oft-underrated post-1970 recordings as solo artists, and as members of Wings and the Plastic Ono Band. Jackson, an obvious Beatles fanatic, compiles his chosen cuts into 12 fictitious albums spread across the past 40 years. Jackson critiques and analyzes each song and puts it into biographical context, adding detailed studio session information, recording credits, and sales-chart peaks. The analyses are insightful and informed, with the author relying heavily on previous scholarship and interviews with the ex-Beatles and associates, and adding his own strong opinions. Jackson admirably digs beneath the obvious hits to uncover and discuss deep album tracks, commercial flops, and rare b-sides. Ringo fans will be delighted by Jackson’s insistence on finding room on each “album” for at least one of the funny Beatle’s tracks….VERDICT: This creative, enlightening, and informative work by a welcomed entrant to Beatles scholarship is highly recommended to anyone interested in learning more about the Fab Four’s sporadically great post-breakup recordings.”

— Library Journal

“In this creative history of the solo careers of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, Jackson re-imagines the artists’ individual output into “fantasy albums” that could have been put out had the Fab Four remained an intact group—“The Beatles Albums That Should Have Been” (which would have made a fine subtitle). Nearly 200 songs have been cherry-picked, with extensive information offered, such as musicians, chart history, story behind the creation of the song, and the meaning of the lyrics. The chummy tone and the sheer subjectiveness make this unsuitable as a reference work but loads of fun for Beatles fans.”

— Booklist

“If God is truly in the details, this exhaustive second-act gospel radiates holy ghostliness.”

— Wayne Alan Brenner/ The Austin Chronicle

“Jackson’s analysis of the solo Beatles’ catalog is thorough … Themes emerge, linking the solo outputs of the various Beatles to evolving trends in pop music. Jackson’s treatment of each band member is evenhanded and appreciative, and his book succeeds in inspiring readers, both serious fans and novices, to return to the recordings. This volume does not aim to replace or supersede The Beatles Solo on Apple Records, compiled by Bruce Spizer (2005), but it ably supplements this key resource. Jackson’s commentary situating the output of solo members of the Beatles within contemporary music is particularly enlightening … One-of-a-kind study of a cultural phenomenon … Excellent appendix; discographies. Summing up: Recommended.”

— Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

“Andrew Grant Jackson gives us an indispensable book with the inside story of the second career of the Beatles. The most exciting aspect — the stories of each song and the unusual motives of the writers. The book is a winner!”

— Larry Kane, author of Ticket to Ride and Lennon Revealed

“Addresses the ongoing need for a close critical examination of the post-Beatles catalog.  Some of Jackson’s assessments got me to rethink some of my own long-held opinions.”

— Robert Rodriguez, author of Solo in the ’70s, Revolver: How the Beatles Reimagined Rock and Roll, and Fab Four FAQ

“Skillfully manages to blend in the right amounts of reference material and imagination to make this one of the most enjoyable Beatles books in years … An inevitable yet delightful by-product of reading the book is the “I’d have chosen this song instead of that one” factor (witness the author’s presentation in front of a captive audience at the recent Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago) … And while subjectivity naturally comes into play here, Jackson demonstrates not only a solid knowledge of post-Beatles history, but he astutely balances the biographical back story for each of the songs as well. Beyond the musicians’ credits, release dates, chart positions and such, he captures the songs’ essence eloquently … Aesthetically, Jackson demonstrates an uncanny ability to turn words (his, and the artists) into mini aural landscapes in his descriptions of the songs’ musicality. His take on “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey” paints a picture of the sound so vivid that if one had never heard the actual record, they could virtually imagine it quite precisely.  Jackson demonstrates a deft command of pop/rock culture as well, connecting the dots beyond the Beatles’ world … Intellectually stimulating and at the same time lots of fun, this one should be on every Beatle fan’s bookshelf.”

— Tom E. DeShovelle/ Beatlefan Magazine

“Still the Greatest is a very interesting and creative look at The Beatles’ solo careers, and makes for a more enjoyable read than a typical reference volume. Still the Greatest is an excellent volume and definitely a worthwhile read for music scholars, music enthusiasts, or fans of The Beatles.”

— American Reference Books Annual

“I love his book. Over the course of 300 or so pages, Jackson explores the high points from the solo careers of John, Paul, George and Ringo. More than simply presenting release dates, recording info and chart positions, Jackson delves into the inspiration for the lyrics and where the key players were at in those moments. It’s a new take on a much-chronicled band.”

— OnMilwaukee.com

“Jackson analyzes the best solo material each Beatle released post break-up, compiling them chronologically in a wishful thinking effort to create twelve new Beatles albums from these songs. Going over each track with a fine-toothed comb, Jackson not only gives us details of where each Beatle was at that stage of their career but also what lead them there. On top of that he includes extensive production details for each song, including session musicians and where and when it was recorded … Overall, it’s an interesting take on what might have been; an imaginary glimpse of what The Beatles may have released to the world as a group had they remained together.”

Examiner.com

Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of The Beatles‘ Solo Careers is a new book that focuses on the Fab Four members’ musical output after the band’s 1970 breakup.  Author Andrew Grant Jackson delves into the stories behind many of the recordings produced by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in the post-Beatles years. The 354-page tome also serves as a reference guide, offering details about the more than 70 albums and 900-plus tunes the four famed musicians created since their group’s demise.  Jackson recently launched a website, SoloBeatles.com, that features passages from Still the Greatest, suggested playlists for albums The Beatles might have released had the band not broken up, and links to Fab Four-related videos and news items.”

— ABC News Radio

“Great addition to any Beatles library …”

— Houston Press

“Out now is the new Beatles book, titled, Still The Greatest: The Essential Songs Of The Beatles’ Solo Careers by author Andrew Grant Jackson. Still The Greatest collects the best of the band’s solo material and gives in-depth information about the solo tracks and programs them so they could’ve easily comprised ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s “group” albums.  One track he talks about is McCartney’s 1993 single, “Hope Of Deliverance” — which, to the delight of die-hards — is back in his setlists after a 19-year hiatus: “Weirdly enough, I think it was a huge hit in Germany and overseas, to an extent. But for some reason in America, I think by that point he was more on the Adult Contemporary charts and it just didn’t seem to make as big an impact over here. It always seemed like a very optimistic tune and it had a samba kind of rhythm, reminiscent almost of the ‘Besame Mucho’ tune (the Beatles) used to do back in the Cavern days or in Hamburg. And it was an underrated tune, musically and the lyrics are optimistic and cheer you up — and I think it’s a really great tune.”

— Pulse of Radio

AMAZON REVIEWS:

http://www.amazon.com/Still-Greatest-Essential-Beatles-Careers/dp/0810882221/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1348279048&sr=1-1&keywords=still+the+greatest

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