The Beatles Books I Own - My Five Favourites

I've been collecting books about The Beatles since my early teens, and I'm now nearing the age of 50, although I admit my trawl of Beatles-related volumes has diminished in the last ten years or so. Although I still love their music and continue to admire Paul McCartney's endless energy and enthusiasm, there's a few other priorities in life for me now, such as my wife and daughter and earning enough of a crust so we all get to eat one occasionally.

Yet, I find it almost therapeutic to revisit some of those Beatles books I grew up poring over. Some were plainly exercises in cashing in on the most bankable name in rock 'n roll, but others ran a lot deeper than that. I'd like to recommend five from my collection that I can safely class as being amongst the favourites of all the Beatles books I own.

  • the beatles book anthologyRevolution In The Head - author Ian McDonald; the book was first published in 1994, with revisions in 1997 and 2005 (McDonald died in 2003). A song by song analysis of the Beatles work, their modus operandi and the Liverpool group dynamic all amidst the context of 1960's political and social upheaval. An absolute masterwork and arguably the best book about The Beatles.
  • Paperback Writer - author Mark Shipper; first published in 1978. Out of print for years, but a hilarious discourse which challenges the clamour for a Beatles reunion, so prevalent throughout the 70's, arguing that their time had passed and our perfect illusions of the band might be shattered beyond repair if they actually got back together.
  • The Beatles: An Illustrated Record - authors Roy Carr and Tony Tyler; a large paperback of semi-serious critiques of each single and album release with a companion chronology of Beatles-related news and activity. A favourite, despite some of the criticisms struggling to stand the test of time.
  • The Beatles Chronicle - author Mark Lewisohn; staggering in its painstaking detail, it gives a jaw-dropping insight in to how hard the Beatles worked, especially in their 1961-1966 touring days. A valuable document that should provide cultural scholars with much to chew over in years to come.
  • The Beatles Anthology - authors the three remaining members; the ultimate story, from the mouths of the surviving participants, much of it a word-for-word reproduction of the historic, UK TV series. It is bravely open and honest in its recollections.

If The Beatles books are your primary rock 'n roll reading matter, I would suggest a contemporary talent also worthy of your attention is that of James Henry. James' music has much of the warmth and directness we've all come to associate with The Beatles and a previous single of his, 'The Sun Is Cracking The Flags', typifies this. You can get a free download of it, via the link below - it's definitely worth a try.

by Harry Trowels; Tuesday, May 3, 2011 @ 10:34 AM [2236]

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