Tim Riley

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Born
in New York City, The United States
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Influences
Dickens, Faulkner, Shaw

Member Since
August 2007

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NPR CRITIC, AUTHOR, PIANIST, and SPEAKER TIM RILEY reviews pop and classical music for NPR's HERE AND NOW, and has written for the HUFFINGTON POST, THE WASHINGTON POST, SLATE.COM and SALON.COM. He was trained as a classical pianist at Oberlin and Eastman, and remains among the few critics who writes about both "high" and "low" culture and their overlapping concerns.

Brown University sponsored Riley as Critic-In Residence in 2008, and in 2009 he began teaching multi-media courses as Journalist In Residence at Emerson College in Boston.

His first book, Tell Me Why: A Beatles Commentary (Knopf/Vintage 1988), was hailed by the New York Times as bringing "new insight to the act we've known for all these years..."

A staple author in college course
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Average rating: 3.98 · 1,089 ratings · 112 reviews · 11 distinct worksSimilar authors
Tell Me Why: The Beatles: A...

4.12 avg rating — 643 ratings — published 1988 — 7 editions
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Lennon: The Man, the Myth, ...

3.89 avg rating — 375 ratings — published 2010 — 19 editions
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Hard Rain: A Dylan Commentary

3.48 avg rating — 42 ratings — published 1992 — 7 editions
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Fever: How Rock 'n' Roll Tr...

2.42 avg rating — 19 ratings — published 2004 — 4 editions
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Beautiful Testing

3.86 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 2009
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"I'm Lettin' Go... But I Ai...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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Madonna Illustrated

3.50 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 1992
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Tell Me Why: "Beatles" Comm...

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Critical Thinking and Probl...

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Jake & Jacob

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2012
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More books by Tim Riley…
Great tension spills out between her looks and her personality, stumping and intriguing her colleagues, but she  steers more activity through her intelligence than anything else... Read more of this blog post »
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FEVER: HOW ROCK TRANFORMED GENDER IN AMERICAN (Arts & Photography)
0 chapters   —   updated Aug 30, 2007 05:39PM
Description: "Riley is at his very best." --The New York Observer 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. From Elvis Presley to Tina Turner to Bruce Springsteen to Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, Riley makes a persuasive case that rock and roll, far from the corrosive force that conservative critics make it out to be, has instead been a positive influence in people's lives, laying out gender-defying role models far more enduringly than movies, TV or "real life". "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 "In his new book, Fever, Tim Riley goes beyond his unique fusion of technical music knowledge and stunningly perceptive emotional exegesis of lyrics to a wider-angle social vision." --Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer "Fever is a fascinating look at the ways rock has shaped how we think about sexual identity....Riley presents serious academic points within a rock-critic analysis of icons that even a layperson would appreciate.... Witty, acerbic, and smart." --Charles R. Cross, author of Heavier Than Heaven
The War That Ende...
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Groucho, Harpo, C...
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Free Culture: The...
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Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain by Justin Kaplan
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Altamont by Joel Selvin
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The Eichmann Trial by Deborah E. Lipstadt
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More of Tim's books…
“As usual, Ringo Starr uttered the best break-up quote: “This is all news to me.”
Tim Riley, Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music - The Definitive Life

“There was a Ringo album coming down the pike, and a reunion, at least by the three of them (Harrison, Lennon, and Starr), that was all planned out. That was going to be Lennon’s next move after the world tour,” Douglas continues. “He talked fondly about McCartney every night, and he always wanted to redo certain Beatles songs, but he really spoke more like he really loved those guys. The only person that he was pissed at was George, because George put out this memoir [I Me Mine] and John was really, really pissed about that. I remember him saying, ‘How do you write about your life and not talk about the guy whose band you were in?”
Tim Riley, Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music - The Definitive Life

“Harrison’s visit to Dylan’s Woodstock sessions and his invitation to Eric Clapton to solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” convinced him that an outsider could revive stalled sessions. Dylan and the Band treated Harrison as an equal, while in his own band, Lennon and McCartney persistently patronized his material, even as it began to peak. (Lennon, in fact, sat out most of Harrison’s Beatle recordings from here on out.) Taking in an ally could only ease Harrison’s reentry into the contentious Beatle orbit. Along with lobbying for Ringo Starr to replace Pete Best, bringing Preston into the Get Back project stands as a defining move for Harrison: he single-handedly rescued Let It Be, and pushed his material throughout 1969, until Abbey Road featured his best work yet.”
Tim Riley, Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music - The Definitive Life

Topics Mentioning This Author

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Reading Along Wit...: Bill Medley, “The Time of My Life: A Righteous Brother’s Memoir” 1 1 Oct 19, 2015 06:15AM  
“Once Presley grabbed hold, he spoke like an oracle, your new teen mentor, sitting on your shoulder, urging you to embrace romance, kiss that girl, and take a thousand other risks, even as his doubt and hesitation whispered uncertainty and dread.”
Tim Riley, Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music - The Definitive Life

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