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The Act You've Known For All These Years
(The Life and Afterlife of Sgt. Pepper)

Clinton Heylin

Average Review Rating Average Rating 6/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Canongate Books Ltd

Published : 2007

Copyright : Clinton Heylin 2007

ISBN-10 : HB 1-84195-955-3
ISBN-13 : HB 978-1-84195-955-9

Publisher's Write-Up

On June 1st 2007, it will be forty years to the day since the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles, an LP which changed the face of popular culture, from its Peter Blake-designed gatefold cover to the extravagant music contained within its grooves - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, With a Little Help From My Friends, A Day in the Life et al.

Arguably the apex of the Beatles' achievements in the recording studio, the album continues to top public and critical polls of the greatest albums ever made. The Act You've Known For All These Years reconstructs the life and times of Sgt. Pepper. Weaving the activities of the Beatles in with those of their contemporaries and rivals - notably the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd - Clinton Heylin reveals the inspirations and explodes the myths behind this talismanic, iconic album - and 'the summer of love' itself. In addition, the book will survey what happened next, telling the history of the LP's 'afterlife' from 1967 to the present day.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Jessica (311209) Rating (6/10)

Review by Jessica
Rating 6/10
If you're from the generation of baby boomers, then this book featuring the stories and times of some of the most iconic albums ever to be made, could be for you.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was the eighth studio album created by the well-known British rock band, The Beatles. It was known as one of the most influential albums of all time - it even ranked the greatest album ever by Rolling Stone in the year 2003. So it is little surprise that author Clinton Heylin has chosen to write a book all about this and the impact The Beatles and their contemporaries had on the world. It is known that Bob Dylan was a much praised musician by rock legends The Beatles and the Stones. I have no doubt that much of their work was influenced by this genius.

Yet I felt some of Heylin's claims were a bit off-putting. He apparently feels that you can only appreciate these artists if you have lived through the 1960's and '70s. I feel this point of view is wrong - there are hundreds and hundreds of children nowadays who find pleasure in playing their parents old records of The Beatles and other such like. There is no reason why we 'youngsters' can't appreciate this kind of music simply because we weren't born when it was around.

There were other moments I had when reading this book which caused me to question just how often does Heylin get things wrong? I suppose it is a case of opinions - each of us have our own beliefs when it comes to the music scene.

I was pleased to come across a collection of photographs - some are of the fresh-faced Pink Floyd preparing for the psychedelic explosion in 1967. Also a couple or so of The Beatles with John Lennon wearing his rounded glasses which, if you ask me, were probably as famous as he was!

This book will probably be really interesting to not only the older generation but also the young people of today who will be rather intrigued to read what's inside this book. I will point out though that some of Heylin's beliefs will certainly cause much consternation in readers of his book, so be prepared.

I'm also not sure if it is a wise thing for Heylin to insult The Beatles Anthology - a book written by non-other then the Beatles themselves. This book is much-praised by all and a very well admired chronicle. I suppose it is each to their own in the case of this book... at the end of it I was in two minds about what I actually thought.
Jessica (31st December 2009)

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