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  • Published: 2 February 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099526797
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 544
  • RRP: $24.99

Revolution In The Head

The Beatles Records and the Sixties

This extraordinary work of popular criticism provides the story behind every single Beatles song ever recorded. Unprecedented and unparalleled.

As dazzling as the decade they dominated, The Beatles almost single-handedly created pop music as we know it. Today, their songs are cited as seminal influences by stars like Oasis, Blur and Kula Shaker. Eloquently giving voice to their time, The Beatles quite simply changed the world.

Fully updated to include material from The Beatles Live at the BBC and the Anthology series, this acclaimed book goes back to the heart of The Beatles - their records. Drawing on a unique resource of knowledge and experience to 'read' their 241 tracks - chronologically from their first amateur efforts in 1957 to 'Real Love', their final 'reunion' recording in 1995 - Ian MacDonald has created an engrossing classic of popular criticism in which the extraordinary songs of The Beatles remain a central and continually surprising presence.

  • Published: 2 February 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099526797
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 544
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Ian MacDonald

Ian MacDonald was born in 1948. A writer with many interests, he was Assistant Editor of the New Musical Express during 1972-5. He also worked as a songwriter and record producer, and is the author of The New Shostakovich, The People's Music, Revolution in the Head and The Beatles at No. 1. He died in 2003.

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Praise for Revolution In The Head

The finest piece of fabs scholarship ever published


The masterpiece The Beatles deserved

Max Bell, Vox

The most sustained brilliant piece of pop criticism and scholarship for years. An astonishing achievement

Stuart Maconie

No book has ever taken us closer to the actual music of The Beatles...A brilliant piece of work

Tony Parsons, Daily Telegraph

Consistently brilliant. The Beatles have never been so discriminately adored

Robert Sandall, Sunday Times

An unprecedented critical feat...The most powerful and enlightening work on British pop since Jon Savage's England's Dreaming

Charles Shaar Murray, Time Out

A tour de force of pop/rock criticism...A complex swan-song for the decade when pop music really mattered.

Liam Carson, Irish Tribune

Impassioned, compelling...It's a vigorous testament to the legacy of The Beatles that it can provoke work as challenging as this

Adam Sweeting, Guardian

Beatles books are an industry; this product pretty much closes down the factory

Giles Smith, Guardian

Arguably the most indispensable Beatles book ever published has just become more indispensable...

Terry Staunton, Uncut

In Ian MacDonald, The Beatles at last have a critic worthy of their oeuvre...A pinnacle of popular music criticism


In a hundred years' time, books such as MacDonald's will be crucial texts for anybody who wants to understand what British post-war culture was about

Jonathan Coe, Sunday Times

Fucking amazing book, man...Fascinating, totally.

Noel Gallagher, Mojo

Conveniently compact in size...also gives the reader another chance to appreciate the brilliance of MacDonald's writing

Christopher Hirst, Independent

MacDonald's inspired critique has become the work against which all other Beatles books are measured


A triumph - compelling, seductive, delightful

Nick Hornby

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