Julie's Reviews > Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles

Solid State by Kenneth Womack
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bookshelves: 2019, e-book, netgalley, music, non-fiction, history

Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles by Kenneth Womack is a 2019 Cornell University Press publication.

Come together, right now-
Over me


Beatles fans never pass up an opportunity to read a new book about the group, no matter how many others they have read in the past. The Beatles are endlessly fascinating and even after all these years, when one might wonder what there might be left to talk about that hasn’t already been analyzed to death, it turns out there are always fresh angles to explore and discuss.

Even if you aren’t a diehard fan of The Beatles, this book will still hold your interest, especially if you have any knowledge of recording technology or music history.

While there can be a little confusion about the last Beatles album- Abbey Road was the last official Beatles album all four members worked on together. (Let it Be was released after the group disbanded-and is a story for another day.)

In 1969, the group was coming apart at the seams. While the machine still rolled on, they were in the process of mentally and emotionally divorcing themselves from each other and the group as a whole, having moved on to other planes- at least spiritually, if not bodily.

You're asking me will my love grow
I don't know, I don't know
You stick around, now it may show
I don't know, I don't know


While their frustrations with legal matters, and their palpable burnout simmers within the pages of this book, the forefront of the book is focused on the various recording techniques used in the making of the album and how the songs and music came together to eventually become one of the best albums of all time.

The Moog synthesizer, stereophonic sound, eight track reel to reel, as opposed to 4- track and other studio polish and garnishes used for the first time by The Beatles, which contributes to its historical significance. Oddly enough, at the time, it was this production that led many critics to initially complain about its lack of authenticity.



Of course, the Alan Parsons name drop may also be of interest to those who were not aware of his participation in the making of this album. His most notable claim to fame, besides his own personal projects, was his work on ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ by Pink Floyd- and for his work on the Lord of the Rings movies.

It is amazing how this album came together, considering everything going on behind the scenes. The exciting studio wizardry juxtaposed against the turmoil within the band’s stratosphere, shows the various ways the music is symbolic and a mirror into the lives of the group at that time. While so many things The Beatles did musically inspired people and blazed trails artistically, The Abbey Road album influenced the way music was made and continued to be an example for years to come.

Overall, this is an interesting book, especially for Beatles fans, but also for anyone who enjoys music history.

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right


4 stars
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Reading Progress

June 24, 2019 – Shelved
June 24, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
October 3, 2019 – Started Reading
October 3, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019
October 3, 2019 – Shelved as: e-book
October 3, 2019 – Shelved as: netgalley
October 3, 2019 – Shelved as: music
October 3, 2019 – Shelved as: non-fiction
October 3, 2019 – Shelved as: history
December 1, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-39 of 39 (39 new)

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message 1: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Sounds really interesting Julie, as is your review! ❣️🤗


Julie Maureen wrote: "Sounds really interesting Julie, as is your review! ❣️🤗"

Thank you very much, Maureen!! 💖🎵💖


message 3: by Kimber (new)

Kimber Silver What a fabulously interesting review, Julie! I love the Beatles, and I enjoyed reading your review!😊✨


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Fantastic review, I'm a diehard Beatles fan, got to see them when I was in 7th grade, couldn't hear them because of all of the screaming girls but it was still a thrill. I'll have to check this one out :)


Julie Kimber wrote: "What a fabulously interesting review, Julie! I love the Beatles, and I enjoyed reading your review!😊✨"

Thank you, Kimber! I love all things Beatles!! 😊💖🎵


Julie Dorie - Cats&Books :) wrote: "Fantastic review, I'm a diehard Beatles fan, got to see them when I was in 7th grade, couldn't hear them because of all of the screaming girls but it was still a thrill. I'll have to check this one..."

How awesome, Dorie! My step-mother saw them when she was in her twenties. She said the same thing- you couldn't hear them for all the screaming. This book is maybe a little technical- and a little poignant because you can sense the band separating and going their individual ways. Very interesting, though! 💖🎵😊


RedemptionDenied Excellent review, Julie!


Julie RedemptionDenied wrote: "Excellent review, Julie!"

Thank you, RD!! 😊😊


message 9: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Fabulous review, Julie!


Julie Meredith wrote: "Fabulous review, Julie!"

Thank you, Meredith!! 😊🎵😊


message 11: by Paula (new)

Paula Wonderful review, Julie!


Julie Paula wrote: "Wonderful review, Julie!"

Thank you, dear Paula!! 😊🎵😊


message 13: by Yun (new)

Yun Terrific review, Julie! Glad you enjoyed this! :)


Julie Yun wrote: "Terrific review, Julie! Glad you enjoyed this! :)"

Thank you so much, Yun!! 😊🎵😊


message 15: by Paige (new)

Paige Great review :) I love the Beatles, too


Julie Paige wrote: "Great review :) I love the Beatles, too"

Thank you very much, Paige! 🎵😊💖


message 17: by Ceecee (new)

Ceecee Fantastic review Julie - glad you enjoyed it 🤗


message 18: by Karen (new)

Karen Awesome review Julie! Huge fan since 64’ when I was 6 yrs old 😊


message 19: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Excellent review, Julie. I am a Beatles fanatic. I still have my original Beatles albums. ALL of them. ;)


Julie Ceecee wrote: "Fantastic review Julie - glad you enjoyed it 🤗"

Thank you very much, Ceecee!! 💖🎵😊


Julie Karen wrote: "Awesome review Julie! Huge fan since 64’ when I was 6 yrs old 😊"

Thank you so much, Karen!! 🎵😊💖


Julie Carolyn wrote: "Excellent review, Julie. I am a Beatles fanatic. I still have my original Beatles albums. ALL of them. ;)"

Thank you very much, Carolyn!! I wish I'd kept my old albums. I have listened to the Beatles all my life. Huge fan! 💖🎵😊


message 23: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Fantastic review, Julie . I’ll be singing in my head today !


Brenda -Traveling Sister Great review, Julie!


message 25: by Julie (last edited Dec 02, 2019 06:08AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Julie Angela M wrote: "Fantastic review, Julie . I’ll be singing in my head today !"

Thank you, Angela!! I've had these songs in my head too! But, I'm okay with that. 🎵💖😊


Julie Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends wrote: "Great review, Julie!"

Thank you very much, Brenda! 🎵💖😊


message 27: by Amy (new)

Amy Awesome review!

Have you seen Yesterday?


Julie Amy wrote: "Awesome review!

Have you seen Yesterday?"


Thank you, Amy!! No, I haven't- is that the movie where the Beatles never happened? I've been curious about it. 😊💖😊


message 29: by Amy (new)

Amy Yes, it is. I really liked it. I saw it one Sunday with my mom, and then took my husband that next Friday. He is not a huge Beatles fan, but he liked it as well. It's one I'd probably buy on DVD. <3


Julie Amy wrote: "Yes, it is. I really liked it. I saw it one Sunday with my mom, and then took my husband that next Friday. He is not a huge Beatles fan, but he liked it as well. It's one I'd probably buy on DVD. <3"

Thank you, Amy!! I'll definitely check it out!! 🎵🤗


message 31: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Sounds like a great book! Great review, Julie!


Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* Awesome review, Julie! I am a Beatles fan. This book looks so interesting. 💜


Julie Michelle wrote: "Sounds like a great book! Great review, Julie!"

Thank you very much, Michelle!! 🤗🎵💖


Julie Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* wrote: "Awesome review, Julie! I am a Beatles fan. This book looks so interesting. 💜"

Thank you so much, Mary Beth!! It was very interesting! 💖🎵🤗


message 35: by Peggy (new)

Peggy Great review...will have to check this one out!


Julie Peggy wrote: "Great review...will have to check this one out!"

Thank you, Peggy!! It was really interesting! 💖🤗💖


message 37: by Victoria (new)

Victoria SUPERB! I love how you're delving into the music history genre!


Julie Victoria wrote: "SUPERB! I love how you're delving into the music history genre!"

Thank you very much, Victoria!! Very interesting behind the scenes commentary! 💖🎵💖


message 39: by Kat (new)

Kat Valentine Another fabulous review Julie!!😉💋💖👍


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