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Sandford, C: McCartney


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Finally, the most controversial and revealing portrait of Britain's most-loved rock 'n' roll rebel superstar!

About the Author

Christopher Sandford has been writing about pop music for twenty years, his articles appearing in The Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Spectator and the New York Times, amongst others.In 1998 Rolling Stone called him 'the preeminent author in his field today' and 'a man with his finger on the pulse of pop culture'.His books on major pop figures have been sold to fifteen countries and have featured on both the Sunday Times and the New York Times bestseller lists.He lives in Seattle with his family but returns frequently to the UK.


McCartney's success has long affronted rock aesthetes as proof that facile talent and showmanship trump soulfulness, an opinion that will be complicated, but not reversed, by this serviceable biography. Sandford, a music journalist and biographer of Kurt Cobain and other rock stars, considers McCartney the Beatles' true visionary, the driving force behind Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and other artistic milestones and a perennially interesting pop innovator throughout his Wings period and recent solo efforts. In contrast, Sandford's unremittingly negative portrait of John Lennon paints the deep one as a musical philistine as well as a morose, spiteful personality, regularly drunk, stoned or strung out on heroin. Nonetheless, McCartney feels far less compelling than his music. He emerges as an ambitious, disciplined artist, a hardheaded businessman and "a genuinely nice, down-to-earth fellow," but his Mozartean gift for melody seems unrooted in any profundity of character. The author has trouble imparting an arc to his story, and the post-Beatles narrative devolves into a busy but aimless routine of record releases, tours, reunion rumors, minor marijuana busts and an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of lawsuits pitting various Beatles against each other and assorted managers, publishers, record companies, memorabilia vendors and copyright violators. Sandford offers more of a comprehensive chronicle than a coherent character study. (Feb. 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

A contributor to the Daily Mail (U.K.) and the New York Times, as well as the author of biographies of Mick Jagger and Sting, Sandford brings impressive skills to this portrait of Sir Paul McCartney. Admittedly, there are more than a couple of books on the former Beatle (who may be the most commercially successful songwriter of the rock era). Sandford's attempt, however, stands out for examining the last days of Linda McCartney's life and Paul's post-Linda life, concerts, and recordings. Sandford seems to favor the notion of Paul as a progressive musical, social, and political figure-a response, perhaps, to the mountain of biographical literature that has painted John Lennon as the most progressive of the former Beatles. Here, he is a more complex man than is sometimes presented, a cross between an egocentric, workaholic stoner who writes cute tunes and the most accomplished musician and nicest guy of the last 40 years. Drawing on sources ranging from court documents to interviews with Paul's family members and colleagues, Sandford's book is well researched and clearly written and would make an excellent addition to any collection that contains pop culture biographies. Highly recommended.-James E. Perone, Mount Union Coll., Alliance, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Terrific stuff If you only read one book about our Paul and the Beatles, this is it." * Angie McCartney *

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