How the Beatles Changed the World

192p. bibliog. further reading. index. photos. reprods. Walker. Feb. 2014. Tr $20.99. ISBN 9780802735652; lib. ed. $21.89. ISBN 9780802735669. LC 2013019876.
Gr 5–8—It's been 50 years since the Beatles' groundbreaking performance on the Ed Sullivan Show, and that is where Sandler begins this book about the band's influence on everything from music to movies, and even religion. It is an event that illustrates the scope and intensity of Beatlemania, which would transform popular music, and according to Sandler, other forms of entertainment. How they changed various aspects of culture provides the framework for each chapter, but Sandler still takes a linear approach to the Beatles' history, covering their early days in Liverpool as teenagers to their post-breakup activities. Readers will find that the band introduced or revolutionized several music industry norms such as music videos, merchandising, stadium concert tours, and album cover design. Over the years, the Beatles' sound evolved, but they were the first band to think about their album as a whole piece of art rather than a compilation of individual songs. Sandler offers insights into their musical legacy as well as their work as political activists. The penultimate chapter of the book describes the social turmoil of the 1960s and how the Beatles' music inspired Russian teens behind the Iron Curtain. The book's design mostly allows for continuous reading, with special spreads occurring at natural breaks in the text. Various anecdotes and quotes from the band and others who were close to them enrich the text. Overall, this book is a welcome reminder that popular entertainment can be a powerful force for positive change in the world.—Joy Piedmont, LREI, New York City
Sandler justifies his rather hyperbolic title in thirteen chapters that explore the Fab Four's influence on music, fashion, religion, and other cultural phenomena, as well as how they themselves were changed by their experiences as high-achieving celebrities. His treatment--accurate, if unfailingly laudatory and occasionally repetitious--is illustrated with numerous photos. A detailed U.S. discography chart is appended. Reading list, websites. Bib., ind.
Martin W. Sandler’s angle—exploring the Beatles’ depth and breadth of influence—offers contemporary relevance and shows readers how the band became, according to their publicist, the “twentieth century’s greatest romance.” Documents many Fab Four phases and defining moments, including eight-hour concerts in Hamburg nightclubs during their early days and their 1964 American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, as well as their breakup and subsequent solo careers. Emphasizes lasting cultural changes the Beatles inspired. Regarding men’s fashion, for example, John Lennon once declared that Americans had been “a square and sorry lot” before the group’s colorful “peacock” style of dress took over. Numerous photographs depict the good-natured stars, masses of their devoted—and sometimes hysterical—fans, the band’s contemporaries, and Beatlemania memorabilia.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing