Item description for Lennon and McCartney: Together Alone: A Critical Discography of the Solo Work by John Blaney...
Two of popular music's greatest writers and performers, John Lennon and Paul McCartney both went on to intriguing solo careers after their work with the Beatles. This book chronologically tells the story of their post-Beatles music, starting with McCartney's soundtrack for the movie The Family Way and Lennon's Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins with Yoko Ono. The book details Lennon and McCartney's creative highs and lows in an authoritative and engaging critical fashion. Information for collectors includes release dates, catalog numbers, composer credits, recording personnel, recording studios used, and producer credits. There is also a keyed index to help trace each song and the albums it appears on. Lennon and McCartney: Together Alone tells the stories behind the songs of two giants of modern music.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 8.5" Height: 10.75" Weight: 2.36 lbs.
Release Date Mar 28, 2007
Publisher Jawbone Press
ISBN 1906002029 ISBN13 9781906002022 UPC 884088152475
Availability 0 units.
More About John Blaney
Born in Devon, England, John Blaney trained as a graphic designer before starting a career in music retail before taking up his present post as curator of a museum of technology. A massive Beatles fan he has written Paul McCartney: The Seventies vol. 1: The Songs He Was Singing (Paper Jukebox 2010); Paul McCartney: The Eighties vol. 2: The Songs He Was Singing.Never frightened of a challenge, John has just launched a record label called Mega Dodo. The first single is 'Georgina Jones' by Mordecai Smyth and available on vinyl and downloads. An album has just been released too.
Reviews - What do customers think about Lennon and McCartney: Together Alone: A Critical Discography of the Solo Work?
A very useful reference - though errors and omissions abound Aug 3, 2008
This book is a fairly handy reference for those who want to know about the music released by Lennon and McCartney after the Beatles broke up. It's odd, in a way, to combine these two artist's discographies because they are such different sizes. McCartney's solo catalogue easily could occupy its own book. Lennon was essentially retired between 1975 and 1980, and then of course his life was tragically ended. The book covers all the various archival releases and compilations released under the Lennon name, but most of these aren't given much attention (since the songs were already dealt with earlier in the book). So McCartney really dominates this book, and if you aren't particularly a fan of his you might consider skipping it.
I am a fan of both - though with a strong McCartney preference - so I've spent a good amount of time digesting John Blaney's writings. He provides a wealth of information on every individual release - including studio albums, live albums, compilations, singles, and even non-Lennon or McCartney albums that one of them happened to contribute a song to. Release dates, recording personnel, catalog numbers, what formats each release was available in -- all that and more can be found in this book. It would be recommendable on the basis of factual information alone (though errors do crop up throughout, more on that later). Blaney goes beyond - providing background on the recording sessions and even some critical analysis (albeit very light). That is one of the negative points for me - I wanted more critical insight. Blaney too often falls back on the 'critical consensus' for a lot of these releases, dismissing or praising a given record with a sentence or two. I would've liked either deeper analysis or none at all. Blaney could have kept it purely factual if he didn't want to take the time to really examine the quality of each piece of work. I was hoping for something closer to what the late Ian MacDonald did in his superb "Revolution In the Head," which examined the Beatles discography.
As much of an expert as I fancied myself, I learned a LOT of very interesting facts about both Lennon and McCartney's solo work. Blaney covers it all - for the most part - including promo releases and even the most dedicated fans may not be aware of. That said, there were times when careless errors crept in. I don't mean to say they were major errors, but with a book this detailed - and considering how much time and research Blaney obviously invested - it seems like it could have been checked one final time for mistakes. For instance (and I know this will sound like nitpicking) the McCartney b-side "Flying To My Home" is given musician credits that are very different from the credits listed in the liner notes for the 1993 reissue of "Flowers In the Dirt" that includes the song as a bonus track. Who would you believe? I would sooner trust the actual official booklet for the CD before believing an author who doesn't list any other source. Another example: for McCartney's "Ram" album, Blaney credits each track's guitar work to either Dave Spinozza or Hugh McCracken. Yes, both men were hired for the "Ram" sessions but in the case of the opening track "Too Many People" the lead guitar work is handled by McCartney himself. No mention is made of this - even though easily accessible interviews with Spinozza and McCracken confirm that it was in fact McCartney in a one-take overdub. One more example: in the 'Collaborations' section in the index, where Blaney lists every project by another artist where either Lennon or McCartney contributed, he omits McCartney's drumming on a single released by Paul Jones. Why? Either he forgot or didn't know about it - either way it prevents this book from being definitive.
I could list more of these errors, but my examples probably already look like obsessive-fan whining to casual fans. But that's my point: this book clearly wasn't intended only for casual fans - it could've stood as THE information source for all fans, from casual to the most serious. Still worth having if you are a collector of these two artist's work.
Lennon & McCartney - Together Alone Mar 13, 2008
One might think the cover is strange; we have the two faces of Lennon & McCartney merged into one. It's an interesting concept. These were the two that made the Beatles juggernaut move. It also highly suggests that they were the perfect songwriting TEAM. Both were better together in the Beatles than they ever were as solo artists. Sure, things change as one gets older, interests go in different directions. Both men became enamored (fell in love) with their future wives; Yoko Ono & Linda Eastman. Becoming family men does create changes in the direction of one's life. With 20/20 hindsight we can see that these two women were the soulmates of each man.
The book itself is full of information of their respective solo careers. It breaks the careers down by decade which means after 1980 we're left with only Sir Paul. Each album is dissected, each song critiqued. It's obvious that the author, John Blaney, is a fan & an informed individual. He has spent some time reviewing his product &, although a fan, he doesn't pull any punches when something is weak or lacking in the two artists repertoire. He breaks down the songs to include the writers, musicians, producers, studio locations, at times the inspiration for the song & about when the song was recorded. He lists chart positions for each album & single for both the U.S. & Great Britain. He even gives the label information, i.e., the color, wording, different variations; this last item even contains limited edition material such as promotional copies.
But, honestly, it gets a bit deep. From first page to last page, it clocks in at 303. it's a large book measuring 8 1/2 by 11 5/8. The book is informative & is useful to collectors. It's just not what I thought it would be: I thought that their might be more direct comparisons between the two artists. I recommend this book but not to the point to call it necessary. In some ways it's like a coffee table book; it's lovely to look at & snack on but don't try to make a meal of it.
Lennon , McCartney Mar 11, 2008
Lots of great little facts.
Liked it a lot.
Perfect! Dec 28, 2007
I can know Paul & John's historical hootstep very well including after death of John. It is useful for my collection.
Comprehensive but only somewhat compelling Aug 4, 2007
First comment: I hate the hideous cover photo of Lennon and McCartney morphed together. Freakish. Fire the art director.
More relevant: this is a thick book, chock full of info, and accounted for an interesting afternoon or two. Part of the problem is that it discussed the relevance of particular lyrics, but doesn't include the songs' full lyrics. So I found that I had to go to Google to get the full stories behind the songs--which was why I bought the book.
The other unfortunate part--which the author can't do anything about--is that I obviously wanted to immediately hear the songs--or snippets of the songs--as I was reading about them, either to refresh my memory or because I hadn't heard them before. So you either need to read this next to your stereo--with a full McCartner & Lennon collection at hand--or while on this site (to hear snippets for free). That's not a fault of the book, simply the limitations of the medium.
Bottom line, a book about music is a tricky and not entirely fulfilling proposition. But on the whole it's a useful and interesting book; John Blaney has done a nice job.