George harrison

More mesmerising than it should be – Disney+’s The Beatles: Get Back reviewed

My late friend Alexander Nekrassov loathed the Beatles, which I used to think was a wantonly contrary position akin to hating kittens or blue skies or Christmas carols. What could there possibly be not to like, love and admire about the band that gave us ‘Eleanor Rigby’, ‘A Day In the Life’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’? Since then I’ve encountered so many Beatles sceptics that it has given me pause for thought. Some think that the Beatles were just mediocre and not nearly as talented as, say, the Kinks; some even claim that they were as manufactured as the Monkees, that like their bad-guy opposites the Stones they were a

For Ravi Shankar, music was a sort of religion

When musicians from outside the Anglo-American pop mainstream achieve success in the West, there are conflicting reactions. Seun Kuti, the Afrobeat star, once complained to me that most world music celebrities are people who play much the same music as their peers to much the same standard and simply get lucky when a record company stumbles across them. In some cases, musicians from Asia and Africa have to be rocketed into orbit by the boost of an association with a pop giant, even if they then drop away: thus Ladysmith Black Mambazo with Paul Simon, or Buena Vista Social Club with Ry Cooder. Another explanation is offered by the Alchian-Allen