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Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of the Beatles' Solo Career

Rock & Roll books, bound but ungagged

Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Fri., Dec. 7, 2012

The Ties That Bind

Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of the Beatles' Solo Careers

by Andrew Grant Jackson
Scarecrow Press, 354 pp., $35

The Beatles in Comic Strips

by Enzo Gentile and Fabio Schiavo
Skira, 240pp., $39.95

Andrew Grant Jackson, wrangling fantasy playlists, goes so deep into the Beatles' post-breakup years that you might need scuba gear to enjoy the complex octopus' garden of facts, opinions, suppositions, and personal gossip here. What inspired who? Which stars showed up to what private jam? Who slept with the wife of the other guy the second time? Where the hell did Harry Nilsson put that dope? If God is truly in the details, this exhaustive second-act gospel radiates holy ghostliness. Enzo Gentile and Fabio Schiavo's coffeetable Comic Strips perfectly complements Still the Greatest, reprinting a swath of the Fab Four's appearances as illustrations in books, magazines, and newspapers. The breadth here will amaze you as much as the visuals themselves: the UK's Valentine romance magazine from 1964; Batman from 1970; Italy's Il Male from 1980; Playboy's Little Annie Fanny from 2001; Alex Robinson's 2005 Box Office Poison; and so many more between and beyond.

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