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Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963 by James…

Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963

by James B. Murphy

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Judging the thickness of this book (over 400 pages) versus the time span covered (2 years) gives you an idea of the level of detail gone into. That’s a little more than half a page a day. I can’t imagine trying to write an interesting half page about the last week of my own life. For the academic or the die-hard fan a book like this is a fantastic thing: an almost excruciatingly detailed coverage of your subject of interest. For the casual reader or fan, it may be a bit much at times, but that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be read cover to cover, and there is enough interesting material here to make it well worth perusing. ( )
  sausage_mahoney | Apr 24, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
If ever you want to learn everything you possibly can about the Beach Boys then this is the book to read. This book is filled with so much information and wonderful pictures. It's something I can read over and over without getting bored and always learning new things. ( )
  EuroMutt | Nov 25, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book from the Early Reviewers program and it was a bit intimidating. I learned a lot about the Beach Boys and the formation of the group. I also learned a lot about the advent of Rock and Roll and a lot about the recording business in the early Sixties.
Mr. Murphy seems to know a lot and have an extensive collection of Beach Boys memorabilia many of which are photographed in the book.
This book is almost too much information, it kind of bogs down with details and is a little confusing with all the different recordings and versions of the same songs. It got to be hard to follow in places and seemed repetitive in others.
I would recommend it for the die-hard fan or a historian looking for information, but for the casual fan it is a bit too much. Although it did make me want to go back and listen to music that I hadn't listened to since I was a teen myself. ( )
  hredwards | Oct 27, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I found this book a very interesting read and impressive for its detail and passion. The author did a great job of making you feel what the Beach Boys were about. I strongly recommend this book
  tansley | Jul 29, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a wonderful tome for the dyed-in-the-Pendleton-wool Beach Boys fan. James B. Murphy combined his love for the Boys with true scholarship in documenting every twist and turn of the first two years of the group's formation. That the book weighs in at 422 pages of meticulously footnoted text shows the detail the author has adopted. Personal histories of not just group members but their parents and associates are here. Every personal appearance, studio recording, contract and record is precisely described using a vast array of sources. Collectors will appreciate the descriptions of label variations and memorabilia associated with the group.

Becoming the Beach Boys doesn't read like a novel, and it isn't supposed to. Recounting events fifty years in the past, there are often alternative reminiscences from the participants, sometimes self-serving, sometimes simply forgetfulness. Murphy did a good job of using quotes from the participants to state their case, steering away from taking sides.

This is as good an example as I have seen of applying scholarship to a modern musical group, without having biases show and without gushing. ( )
  wdwilson3 | Jul 28, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786473657, Paperback)

Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963 , examines the iconic band's origin story: how five teenagers with no musical training formed a band, wrote a song about the surfing craze gripping the West Coast, recorded it with the help of several key individuals, and scored a #3 hit in Los Angeles. They dodged being called the Pendletones, a musical homage to the Pendleton wool shirts favored on chilly nights at the beach, or the Surfers, when fate intervened and gifted them the name Beach Boys. But what separated them from every other high school garage band? Raw talent, persistence, and a wellspring of creativity launched them on a musical journey now in its sixth decade. Helmed by the musical vision of Brian Wilson, one of the twentieth century's most gifted composers, the Beach Boys blended ethereal vocal harmonies, searing electric guitars, and lush arrangements into an unparalleled musical legacy. Drawn from original interviews and newly uncovered documents, the book untangles many of the myths of the band's convoluted early history. It is the true story of how five teenage boys formed America's greatest rock 'n' roll band and the obstacles they overcame on the way to becoming the Beach Boys.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:48 -0400)

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