With the release of Eight Days A Week, Ron Howard’s Beatles documentary, we can expect this September to have a healthy dose of revitalized Beatlemania. To prepare, or just to fully immerse yourself in nostalgia and good music, you have plenty of books to choose from. The Beatles’ bibliography is as vast and wide as their cultural impact. As a result, culling down to a list of ‘best’ books or ‘important’ books is nearly impossible, as books on the Beatles cover so much and there are many niche books. There are books written by the Beatles themselves, books about their songwriting, Beatles encyclopedias, books by their spouses, books of their artwork, full biographies of the band and of the individuals, books of just photos of them, and the list goes on and on. So with that disclaimer, here’s a list of ten books I, a Beatlemaniac since the age of seven, recommend:
1. The Beatles Anthology by The Beatles
A beautiful book that every Beatles fan needs in hardcover. Full of photos, memories, and stories this is a book even the most casual of fans will enjoy flipping through.
2. A Hard Day’s Write by Steve Turner
This book is an in-depth look at the inspirations for the Beatles’ songs, so it’s also a trip into their childhoods, homes, Liverpool, their touring experiences, and an introduction to the people they knew or even had brief interactions with.
3. The Beatles: The Authorized Biography by Hunter Davies
While it was written during the height of the Beatles’ fame, without the ability to look back and see just how the Beatles’ popularity and influence would last past the 60’s, this is the seminal biography of the Beatles. Davies spent time with the Beatles in 1967-1968 and so has unique insight into the band during some of their most impressive years of musical creation.
4. In His Own Write by John Lennon
To fully understand Lennon’s genius and his love of words and creativity, read this. It demonstrates his knack for wordplay and love of absurd humor that found its way into the Beatles’ lyrics, movies, and John’s answers at press interviews.
5. Shout! by Philip Norman
If Paul’s your favorite Beatle, you may not enjoy this book, as Norman is undoubtedly harsh on the ‘cute one.’ However, the biography has been praised, since its publication in 1981, for its research and readability.
6. The Beatles by Bob Spitz
A fairly recent edition to the Beatles’ bibliography, this 2005 tome is chock full of stories and tidbits from a huge number of sources, making for a compelling narrative even the fan who knows everything will love.
7. Tune In by Mark Lewisohn
An even newer addition to the bibliography, this is the first in a 3-volume set. Tune In focuses on the Beatles early years, casting new light on how their families and childhood neighborhoods influenced them, as well as going in-depth into the Hamburg and early formative years of the band.
8. Read the Beatles Edited by June Skinner Sawyers
A selection of journalistic pieces on the band, this book gives perspective on how the band was viewed throughout the years and helps to put in perspective just how influential they were and how deep they reached into the culture.
9. The Beatles: 365 Days by Simon Wells
A collection of over 400 photographs, this book is not for the avid reader however, it is a valuable addition to a Beatlemaniac’s library. It’s a beautiful volume to flip through and see the lads at various points throughout their career.
10. The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years 1962-1970 by Mark Lewisohn
The history of the Beatles and the history of Abbey Road studios are intextricably intertwined, and this book offers details Beatles fans and all avid musicians will enjoy. It delves into details about recording sessions and the creative process for songs you simply won’t find elsewhere. The book is out of print, but it’s worth trying to find a used copy.
Beatles fans will never have a shortage of material to enjoy. These are only ten of the hundreds of publications out there on the Fab Four – which book would you add?
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Featured image via Venture Beat
h/t The Guardian