Beatlemania: Technology, Business, and Teen Culture in Cold War America

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JHU Press, Apr 17, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 223 pages
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The fame, talent, and success of the Beatles need no introduction. Nor does the world need another book exploring the band's skill and its influence on music and society in the United States, Britain, and the rest of the world. André Millard instead studies the Beatlemania phenomenon from an original perspective—the relationship among the music business, recording technologies, and teens and young adult culture of the era.

Millard argues that, despite the Beatles’ indisputable skill, they would not have attained the global recognition and been as influential without the convergence of significant developments in the way music was produced, recorded, sold, and consumed. As the Second Industrial Revolution hit full swing and baby boomers came of age, the reel-to-reel recorder and other technological advances sped the evolution of the music business. Musicians, recording studios and record labels, and music fans used and interacted with music-making and -playing technology in new ways. Higher quality machines made listening to records and the radio an experience that one could easily share with others, even if they weren’t in the same physical space. At the same time, an increase in cross-Atlantic commerce—especially of entertainment products—led to a freer exchange of ideas and styles of expression, notably among the middle and lower classes in the U.S. and the UK. At that point, Millard argues, the Beatles rode their remarkable musicianship and cultural savvy to an unprecedented bond with their fans—and spawned Beatlemania.

Refreshing and insightful, Beatlemania offers a deeper understanding the days of the Fab Four and the band’s long-term effects on the business and culture of pop music.

 

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Contents

One The Record
1
Two Beatlemania
22
Three Liverpool
42
Four The Promised Land
58
Five Skiffle
72
Six Rocknroll Comes to Britain
87
Seven The Look
103
Eight The Fans
121
Nine Convergence
137
Ten Technology
154
Eleven In the Recording Studio
170
Twelve The Beatles and the Sixties
184
Notes
203
Index
219
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

André Millard is a professor of history at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the author of several books, including The Electric Guitar: A History of an American Icon, also published by Johns Hopkins.