podcast appearances

What Makes Criticism Click?

Booked on Rock Podcast #69, June 30, 2022

Author and NPR critic Tim Riley is our guest to talk about his prolific career as a music critic, author of several books on rock history, his brand-new website and latest venture The Riley Rock Report: an audio newsletter which was launched in March. It builds on his book-length multimedia anthology of reviews due out in 2023 titled “Millennium Pop: Music Love & Squalor”. Over 100 essays by Riley covering the past 40 years. Starting with the website we veer off into various discussions including older rock artists playing youthful music for older audiences. Who gets it right? Who doesn’t? Is there an expiration date for rock and roll musicians? The state of rock and roll radio today, the recent rock bio movie craze, streaming services, the Beatles and what we get wrong about the John Lennon and Paul McCartney partnership. Also, Tim has some strong opinions on Bob Dylan’s recent music… read more here…

Lennon, the Bust-Up, and What Many Get Wrong about the Partnership…

Media Path Podcast #92, April 14, 2022

Rock Journalist and Music Critic Tim Riley is steeped in Beatles lore and history. He’s written the definitive John Lennon bio, Lennon: The Man, The Myth, The Music, plus Beatles books, What Goes On: The Beatles, Their Life and Their Time and Tell Me Why: The Beatles, Album by Album, Song by Song. Tim is an NPR and print journalism critic, an Emerson College Professor and he brings intriguing insights into the Beatles, their music and their personalities. Plus Fritz and Weezy recommend Life After Death with Tyler Henry, and Bad Vegan, both on Netflix.

The Beatles Get Back to
Where They Once Belonged

SwitchedOn Pop podcast #248, November 30, 2021

2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles’ final album, Let it Be. To commemorate the occasion, the remaining members of the band have remixed the album and unleashed an eight-hour-plus documentary directed by Peter Jackson that lays bare the making of the record. For super-fans this video memoir reveals a lot about the messiness of the creative process: The Beatles nearly broke up while making it! Author Tim Riley says that the band approached Let It Be with an aesthetic challenge: to get back to playing as a live band.

Beatles Books Podcast

October 8, 2021

From Beatles Books: “My guest for this episode is Tim Riley, who joins me to discuss his 1988 book ‘Tell Me Why’. Tim’s book was one of the first to really examine and tackle The Beatles music—and it’s fascinating to hear how his book was created—what he feels now about The Beatles music and how views and opinions have changed from the writing of the first edition.”

I’ve Got a Beatles Podcast

Cue to Episode #151, February 19, 2020

From I’ve Got a Beatles Podcast: “In this episode, Dave interviews author and critic Tim Riley, who is best known for his books on the Beatles (Tell Me Why) and John Lennon, as well as his new Beatles textbook co-authored with music theorist Walter Everett. You will hear about each of Riley’s books, including the new text, as well as his thoughts on other areas of interest for Beatles scholarship. Enjoy!”

Soundcheck WNYC (now newsounds)


More on the Beatles, mash-ups, an ambitious new biography of John Lennon, Martin Scorsese’s Dylan “documentary,” and more… with host John Schaefer


Melissa Ferrick, musician and Northeastern professor, and Tim Riley, NPR critic and Emerson professor, on the biggest trends and songs of the last decade.

Listening Back: 50 Years Of The Beatles’ ‘White Album’

WBUR On Point, with Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield, November 28, 2018

The Beatles’ “White Album” turns 50. We’ll return to Abbey Road.

Reflecting On 2017: The Year In Music

WBUR Radio Boston, December 27, 2017

As part of NPR’s year in review, music critic Tim Riley discusses the music highlights of 2017.

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