Perhaps the first serious analysis of the Beatles' work and its impact on popular music, Tell Me Why is meticulous in its purpose and long overdue....Of the hundreds of books written about [the Beatles] none bring the musical knowledge and the familiarity with the period that Riley offers here.
Your talk remains the most memorable and instructive presentation we've had since we launched the conference in 2005.
Shrewdly balanced -- with musicology as important as sociology -- [Riley] offers Beatles criticism of unprecedented fullness.
Riley already wrote a useful book about Beatle music, "Tell Me Why", but the added biographical dimension in “Lennon” has deepened his insight considerably. His account of the writing and making of “Strawberry Fields Forever,” for example, is a critical tour de force.