“A critical tour-de-force…”—The New York Times
Walter Everett and Tim Riley’s first textbook devoted to the band blends historical narrative, musicology, and music analysis to tell the full story of the Beatles and how they redefined pop music.
“What Goes On is a valuable addition to a variety of courses on the Beatles. Its overlapping approaches to content make the book a foundation for courses in not only music history and theory, but also broader historical investigations of pop music in the 1960s. When it comes to the Beatles, there are many musical, literary and cultural veins to mine, and Everett and Riley provide an excellent jumping-off point.”
Alex Ludwig, College Music Symposium
Riley explores Lennon in all of his contradictions: the British art student who universalized an American style, the anarchic rock ‘n’ roller with the moral spine, the anti-jazz snob who posed naked with his avant-garde lover, and the misogynist who became a househusband.
“…Paradoxically, what Riley calls Lennon’s ‘crumbling inner life’ gave vent to some of his finest mid-period Beatles songs: the ‘gleaming arrogance of “And Your Bird Can Sing,” the alternate reality of “Rain” and the shimmering cynicism of “She Said She Said…”’
Mark Edmunds in The Sunday Times
In Fever, music critic Tim Riley argues that while political and athletic role models have let us down, rock and roll has provided enduring role models for men and women.
“Tim Riley’s Fever combines brainy and audacious cultural analysis with genuine musical understanding—a combination rare enough to inspire exhilaration.”
Tim Page, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tim Page on Music
Featuring more than 100 photos from the early days and the glory days, here is a large-format tribute to America’s most daring and enduring musical sensation — Madonna.
“Criticism of unprecedented fulsomeness…”
Examining over thirty years of Dylan’s recordings, films, and live concerts to deliver fresh, and sometimes heretical, judgements of his work, Tim Riley frames Bob Dylan as the most important American rock ‘n’ roller since Elvis.
“Album by album, song by song, sometimes verse by verse, Riley ponders the lyrics, arrangements and delivery of Dylan’s work, from his first album in 1962 to the most recent outing of the Traveling Wilburys.
Riley has adopted (and mastered) the approved idiom of high-toned rock criticism invented by Greil Marcus, an approach that applies hermeneutics, cultural anthropology, textual deconstructionism and social history to the down-and-dirty artifacts of rock ‘n’ roll. And so, with Hard Rain, Riley writes his own ticket into the canon of Dylan tribute literature.”