Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Beatles by Number

Counting Down the Beatles: Their 100 Finest Songs – Jim Beviglia (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers)

Sorry, I can’t help it; every time I see that there is a new book being offered about the Beatles my reaction is, “really, another book about the Beatles?”

Music writer and author Jim Beviglia has staked out his own corner of the music journalism world by focusing on counting down what he perceives as the laundry list of the finest songs by truly classic artists. So far Beviglia has served up books counting down the 100 finest songs from the likes of the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. He also gave us e-books of the 100 Best songs from Tom Petty, Elvis Costello and Radiohead (not sure I could even name 20 Radiohead songs let alone choose their 100 best.)

So it would seem almost inevitable that he would turn his focus towards the Beatles, easily one of the most prolific hit making outfits in the history of popular music. Since I am a huge fan of lists, I think in large part because they are guaranteed to spark a discussion, a debate or a knock down drag out argument, I love these kinds of books because of their subjective nature.

While Beviglia earned his stripes writing for American Songwriter in print and online and other music publications, while working my way through Counting Down the Beatles: Their 100 Finest Songs, I have to admit that I couldn’t quite grasp what he used a yardstick to measure what made these songs the Beatles finest.

I guess it really boils down to one man’s finest is another man’s head scratcher. With a band with such a checkered history and so many great songs to choose from when compiling a list of their finest, I’ve got to say that I started to wear a hat while reading out of fear that I’d scratch myself to the point of drawing blood. Then again…isn’t that the goal of lists and books like this?

No comments: