Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Two new books

Brian Southall's "White album" book.
A couple of new books have come our way, from Brian Southall and Peter Checksfield.

The first one of these, "The White Album: The Album, The Beatles and the World in 1968" by Brian Southall is divided in two parts, one part is specifically about the Beatles and their "White album", the second about world events in that revolutionary year in history. Southall was EMI's head of press for a number of years, and earlier Beatles related books of his has been "Abbey Road: The Story of the World's Most Famous Recording Studio" from 1982, "Beatles Memorabilia: The Julian Lennon Collection" from 2010 and last year he also wrote a book about the Sgt Pepper album. This new book is the second in this new series.

The sections, known as A-side and B-side are described like this: A-side: Definitive guide to the album, the recording and the events surrounding it. B-side: The political situation that was unfolding as the band drew inspiration from the world around them, and also looks at all the aspects of the album, including artwork, influence and legacy.

The chapter about the artwork for the album.

The book is richly illustrated with around 150 colour and black and white photos, hardcover, 192 pages and is published by Carlton books. The foreword is written by Chris Thomas, the de facto producer of many of the "White album" songs while George Martin was away on vacation.

Another illustration from the book.

The other book is a totally different beast. A giant tome in soft covers, detailing television appearances by pop artists and groups from the UK: "Channelling The Beat!: The Ultimate Guide to UK '60s Pop on TV" is not illustrated at all, but is a handy (albeit heavy) reference book to quickly find some TV appearance when you need to.

Peter Checksfield's book has forewords by some of the artists who appear in the book.
The Beatles are represented with a chapter detailing their television appearances, but that's already been written about by Mark Lewisohn in his "The Complete "Beatles" Chronicle" as well as by Volker Path and Jorg Piper in their "The Beatles - Film & Tv Chronicle 1961 - 1970". So this book will mostly be finding an audience who wants to know more about all the other British sixties artists and groups who appeared on television. Performances that survive either in an official capacity or circulate among collectors are noted when known.

Sample page from the book
Profiled are over 150 artists of the era. These include the post ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll of Cliff Richard, Adam Faith and The Tornados; the beat explosion of The Beatles, The Tremeloes and Herman’s Hermits; the rhythm ‘n’ blues of The Rolling Stones, The Pretty Things and The Who; and the psychedelia of The Pink Floyd, Procol Harum and Traffic, not forgetting the girl singers such as Cilla Black, Billie Davis and Dusty Springfield.Amongst the 100’s of legendary shows featured are the UK’s "Ready, Steady, Go!", "Top of The Pops" and "Thank Your Lucky Stars", the US’s "The Ed Sullivan Show", "Shindig!" and "Hullabaloo", Europe’s "Beat Club", "Popside" and "Twien", and lots more.
The first page of The Beatles
With more than 700 pages, this independently published book will be of help to any writer about the pop culture of the sixties, and of course a valued source for fans of the music. Although a regular contributor to the Record Collector magazine, this is Pete's first book.  Also, check out his website:

Via a movie short called ‘Look At Life – Sound Of A City’, colour footage shot at a taping of "Ready Steady Go" survives The programme itself was never taped or shown in colour.


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Peter C said...

Thank you for your review of my book 'Channelling The Beat!', I much appreciate your kind comments.

Incidentally, part of that 'Look At Life' film, featuring colour 'Ready, Steady, Go!' footage, was re-used in the official video for 'No More Lonely Nights' (Playout Version): said...

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