Thursday, January 8, 2009

Books about the Beatles

The following books are considered the most definitive about the Beatles and/or individual band members. Not all biographies agree on certain facts of the Beatles' music or lives, and The Beatles: The Biography has received much criticism for inaccuracy. Likewise, Cynthia's biography, John, is considered naive by many since she seems oblivious to Lennon's many affairs in the early days of their marriage and Beatles fame. Still, the perspectives of many different authors are necessary to create a mosaic that approximates Beatles' history. The most respected book seems to be The Beatles, by Hunter Davies.

Albert Goldman's The Lives of John Lennon is not included since it intentionally tried to depict Lennon in the most unflattering light possible. While the book does contain much accurate history, and while Lennon was no Boy Scout, the book is very close to defamatory in its biographical tone and is therefore not recommended. Imagine was Yoko's response to the Goldman book.

The Love You Make is a great book and is authored by Lennon friend Peter Brown (mentioned in "The Ballad of John and Yoko." Shout has been a perennial favorite, but Here, There, and Everywhere is one of the most interesting. Written by sound engineer Geoff Emerick (assistant to George Martin), the book chronicles how Emerick translated many of the Beatles' ideas into the sounds we know today. It's an in-depth look at the Beatles and the recording of their music.

John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe is fiction in the vein of a Field of Dreams. Published by a small press in Maine, it has gone viral and is now sold in many bookstores and is also available on over 212 online boostores worldwide, from the United States to Europe to Asia. It has been called by one critic "the best bestseller you have never read." Click on the appropriate widget in the sidebar for more information.

Wonderful Tonight, by Pattie Boyd (with Penny Junor) is a memoir by Boyd. The book is mainly concerned with her life with her two ex-husbands, George Harrison and Eric Clapton. While it contains some interesting facts, it is a poorly organized narrative that often contradicts its own material and confuses as much as it illuminates.

The Beatles: The Biography
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe
A Hard Day's Write
Shout! The Beatles in Their Generation
The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles
Here, There, and Everywhere
The Beatles Anthology
The Beatles
Can't Buy Me Love
Wonderful Tonight

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