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Author Topic: My list of Essential Beatle Books  (Read 1158 times)

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My list of Essential Beatle Books
« on: May 27, 2016, 01:02:01 PM »

Following my original discussion about the Top 5 Beatle books I decided to compile a more comprehensive list of highly regarded books i.e where there seems to be a majority of positive feedback about a particular book. I then put them into four categories:

Original Sources (First hand accounts)

Admittedly the books I listed in "Original Sources" are not necessarily all good books or well regarded (although most of them are) but they are without doubt all written from first hand perspectives which adds some importance to them.

I did actually include links to Amazon but unfortunately it does not show when I add to this site. (I can email anyone a copy with the links if they require it but they are mostly Amazon UK).

I also did a fifth category for books which seem to get some praise but where I haven't been able to establish if they are worthy for inclusion in the main categories. I took some suggestions from these forums and the rest are just from my own research and delving. I plan to keep updating as I find more good books so of course it's not definitive.....yet.

Here is the list:


The Beatles: The BBC Archives: 1962-1970 by Kevin Howlett
Way Beyond Compare: The Beatles' Recorded Legacy, Volume One, 1957-1965 by John C. Winn
That Magic Feeling: The Beatles' Recorded Legacy, Volume Two, 1966-1970: by John C. Winn
"Beatles" Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments from Stage to Studio by Andy Babiuk
Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties by Ian MacDonald
The Complete "Beatles" Chronicle by Mark Lewisohn
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story Abbey Road 1962 - 1970 by Mark Lewisohn
Tell Me Why: The Beatles: Album By Album, Song By Song, The Sixties And After by Tim Riley
The Beatles' Story on Capitol Records, Part One: Beatlemania and the Singles by Bruce Spizer
The Beatles' Story on Capitol Records, Part Two: The Albums by Bruce Spizer
Beatles for Sale on Parlophone Records by Bruce Spizer
The Beatles on Vee-Jay by Bruce Spizer
Beatles on Apple Records by Bruce Spizer
The Beatles Swan Song: She Loves You & Other Records by Bruce Spizer
Recording the Beatles : The Studio Equipment and Techniques Used to Create Their Classic Albums by Kevin Ryan & Brian Kehew
The Beatles' London: The Ultimate Guide to Over 400 Beatles Sites in and Around London by Piet Schreuders
Beatlemania: The Real Story of The Beatles UK Tours by Martin Creasy
The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film by Richie Unterberger
All The Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release by Jean-Michel Guesdon & Patti Smith
The Songwriting Secrets Of The Beatles by Dominic Pedler
Mersey Beat: The Beginnings of The Beatles by Bill Harry (cuttings from the 'Mersey Beat' music newspaper)
The Beatles: The Ultimate Recording Guide by Allen J. Wiener
The Mammoth Book of the Beatles by Sean Egan (contains many contemporary news articles)
Read the Beatles: Classic and New Writings on the Beatles, Their Legacy, and Why They Still Matter by June Skinner Sawyers
The Beatles Covered (A Pictorial Journey Through Beatles Record Sleeves From Around the World) by Joachim Noske
Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of the Beatles' " Let It Be" Disaster by Doug Sulpy & Ray Schweighardt
Introducing ... The Beatles Record Price Guide by Stanley Panenka
Price Guide for the Beatles American Records by Perry Cox

You Never Give Me Your Money: The Battle For The Soul Of The Beatles by Peter Doggett
The Beatles - All These Years: Volume One: Tune In by Mark Lewisohn
The Beatles: The Authorised Biography by Hunter Davies
Shout!: The True Story of the Beatles by Philip Norman
The Beatles Anthology by Brian Roylance
Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America by Jonathan Gould
The Beatles in Scotland by Ken McNab
Magic Circles: The Beatles in Dream and History by Devin Mckinney (Biography/Pop Culture comment)
Baby You're a Rich Man: Suing the Beatles for Fun and Profit by Stan Soocher

Original Sources (First Hand accounts):
Love Me Do!: "Beatles" Progress by Michael Braun
With the Beatles: A Stunning Insight by The Man who was with the Band Every Step of the Way by Alistair Taylor
Hello Goodbye by Alistair Taylor
Magical Mystery Tours: My Life with the Beatles by Tony Bramwell
John, Paul, George Ringo & Me by Tony Barrow
Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust: Off the Record with the Beatles, Bowie, Elton & So Much More, by Ken Scott, Bobby Owsinski
John Lennon Called Me Normal by Norman 'Hurricane' Smith
A Cellarful of Noise by Brian Epstein
The Beatles and Me On Tour by Ivor Davis
The Rocking City: The Explosive Birth of The Beatles by Sam Leach
The Beatles: Messages from John, Paul, George and Ringo by Chris Hutchins
Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles by Geoff Emerick and Howard Massey
All You Need Is Ears by George Martin
As Time Goes By by DerekTaylor
Fifty Years Adrift by Derek Taylor
The Man Who Gave the "Beatles" Away: The Amazing True Story of The Beatles' Early Years by Allan Williams
I, Me, Mine by George Harrison
The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles by Peter Brown
The Ray Connolly Beatles Archive by Ray Connolly
The Beatles Lennon and Me by Pete Shotton
John by Cynthia Lennon
Lennon Remembers by Jann S Wenner
The Longest Cocktail Party by Richard DiLello
BEATLE! The Pete Best Story by Pete Best
Summer of Love: The Making of Sgt.Pepper by George Martin
Ticket to Ride: Inside the Beatles' 1964 & 1965 Tours That Changed the World by Larry Kane
Miss O'Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights with The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the Women They Loved by Chris O'Dell
Standing in the Wings: The Beatles, Brian Epstein and Me by Joe Flannery
Do You Want to Know a Secret?: The Autobiography of Billy J. Kramer by Billy J. Kramer
My Kid Brother's Band... a.k.a. The Beatles by Louise Harrison
A Twist of Lennon by Cynthia Lennon
Tony Sheridan: The one The Beatles called 'The Teacher' by Colin Crawley
Sound Man: A Life Recording Hits with The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles , Eric Clapton, The Faces by Glyn Johns
The Beatles: The Playboy Interview (50 Years of the Playboy Interview)by Playboy, The Beatles
In His Own Write & A Spaniard in the Works by John Lennon
What's It All About? by Cilla Black
I'll Never Walk Alone: An Autobiography by Gerry Marsden
Waiting for the "Beatles": An Apple Scruff's Story by Carol Bedford
The Beatles the Bible and Bodega Bay by Ken Mansfield
Who's The Redhead On The Roof....?": My life with The Beatles by Kevin Harrington
Up Front...: His Strictly Confidential Autobiography by Victor Spinetti

The Beatles Unseen Archives: by Tim / Clayton, Marie Hill
The Lost Beatles Photographs: The Bob Bonis Archive, 1964-1966 by Larry Marion
Looking Through You: The Beatles Book Monthly Photo Archive by Tom Adams
Remember: The Recollections and Photographs of the Beatles by Michael McCartney
Beatles: Help! by Emilio Lari
Photograph by Ringo Starr
Beatles Memorabilia: The Julian Lennon Collection by Brian Southall
Rock 'N' Roll Times: The Style and Spirit of the Early Beatles and Their First Fans by Jurgen Vollmer
The Beatles: The Days of their Lives by Richard Havers
LIFE With the Beatles: Inside Beatlemania, by their Official Photographer Robert Whitaker by Editors of LIFE
Yesterday: The "Beatles" Once Upon a Time by Astrid Kirchherr & Max Scheler
The Beatles in Richard Lester's a Hard Day's Night : A Complete Pictorial Record of the Movie by J. Philip (Also contains extended interviews with Richard Lester)
Kaleidoscope Eyes: A Day in the Life of Sgt. Pepper. The Photography of Henry Grossman by Henry Grossman
Places I Remember:My Time With the Beatles by Henry Grossman
The Beatles: 10 Years That Shook the World by Paul Trynka  (a combination of the best bits of the Mojo magazine Beatles Specials - so not just pics)
Postcards from the Boys by Ringo Starr
Harry Benson: The Beatles by Harry Benson
Mania Days, The Beatles 1964 US Tour by Curt Gunther
Eight Days a Week: Inside The Beatles' Final World Tour by Robert Whitaker
"Beatles" Conquer America: The Photographic Record of Their First American Tour by Dezo Hoffman
Now These Days Are Gone 'Help!' The Beatles Photography by Michael Peto (a volume of nearly 300 rare rediscovered photographs)
A Day In The Life Photographs of The Beatles by Michael Ward (captures 24 hours with The Beatles on February 19, 1963 – a day of singular historical importance.)
The Beatles by Norman Parkinson (With The Beatles Sessions - Abbey Rd September 12, 1963). 
The Beatles: A Private View by Robert Freeman

Maybe for inclusion list:
I Want To Tell You - The Definitive Guide To The Music Of The Beatles Volume 1:1962/1963 by Anthony Robustelli
The Beatles at Rishikesh by Paul Saltzman
Wonderful Today: The Autobiography of Pattie Boyd by Pattie Boyd
The Beatles As Musicians: The Quarry Men through Rubber Soul by Walter Everett
The Beatles As Musicians: Revolver through the Anthology by Walter Everett
Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry Of The Beatles by Kenneth Womack
The Beatles with Lacan: Rock'n' Roll as Requiem for the Modern Age (American University Studies) by Henry W Sullivan
Beatles for Sale: How Everything They Touched Turned to Gold  by John Blaney 
Revolver: How the Beatles Reimagined Rock 'n' Roll by Robert Rodriguez
The Beatles Collected by Pete Nash
Revolution: making of the Beatles' White Album (The Vinyl Frontier by David Quantick
Inside the "Yellow Submarine": The Making of the "Beatles'" Animated Classic by Robert R. Hieronimus
The Beatles: The True Beginnings by Roag Best
The Beatles Forever by Nicholas Schaffner
The Beatles' Let It Be (33 1/3) by Steve Matteo
The Beatles Lyrics: The Unseen Story Behind Their Music by Hunter Davies
Beatles" Complete Chord Songbook by Rikky Rooksby
The Beatles and the Historians: An Analysis of Writings About the Fab Four by Erin Torkelson Weber
The Zapple Diaries: The Rise and Fall of the Last Beatles Label by Barry Miles
Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out the Beatles, Made the Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll by Fred Goodman
The Beatles" Literary Anthology by Mike Evans
The Beatles At Shea Stadium: The Story Behind Their Greatest Concert  by Dave Schwensen
The Beatles in Hamburg: The Stories the Scene and How it All Began by Spencer Leigh
Northern Songs: The True Story of the Beatles Song Publishing Empire by  Brian Southall & Rupert Perry
The Beatles from Cavern to Star-Club: The Illustrated Chronicle, Discography and Price Guide 1957-62 by Hans Olaf Gottfridsson
Beatleness: How the Beatles and Their Fans Remade the World by Candy Leonard
Dear Prudence: The Story Behind the Song by Prudence Farrow Bruns
The Beatles In Cleveland: Memories, Facts & Photos About The Notorious 1964 & 1966 Concerts by Dave Schwensen
TIME The Beatle Invasion!: The inside story of the two-week tour that rocked America by Bob Spitz
The Beatles Off the Record: Outrageous Opinions & Unreleased Interviews by Keith Badman
Richard Lester and the Beatles: A Complete Biography of the Man Who Directed A Hard Day's Night and Help! by Andrew Yule
The Cavern Club: The Rise of The Beatles and Merseybeat by Spencer Leigh
The Best of Fellas: The Story of Bob Wooler  by Spencer Leigh
How They Became the Beatles by Gareth L Pawlowski
Before They Were Beatles by Alan J Porter
Beatles 101 by Richard Buskin
Fab One Hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles by David Bedford
Liddypool: Birthplace of The Beatles by David Bedford

In addition here are some other books which I thought looked interesting:

The Beatles in 'Yellow Submarine': Starring Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 1968 by Lee Minoff
Out of His Head (The sound of Phil Spector) by Richard Williams
Beatles In Canada Origins Of Beatlemania by Piers Hemmingsen
Beatles '66 LP: The Revolutionary Year by Steve Turner
The Beatles and their Revolutionary Bass Player by Dennis Alstrand
I Was There: The Beatles: 500 Fans Tell Their Stories of Seeing the Fab Four Live  by Richard Houghton
Some Fun Tonight!: The Backstage Story of How the Beatles Rocked America: The Historic Tours of 1964-1966 Volume 2: 1965-1966 by Chuck Gunderson
The Beatles Fake Book: C Edition (Fake Books) by The Beatles
The Beatle Who Vanished by Jim Berkenstadt
The Guitar's All Right as a Hobby, John by Kathy Burns
Beat Merchants: Origins, History, Impact and Rock Legacy of the 1960s British Pop Groups by Alan Clayson
The Beatles Play Shea by James Woodall
Linda McCartney's Sixties - Portrait of an Era by Linda McCartney
From a Storm to a Hurricane: Rory Storm & The Hurricanes by Anthony Hogan
Some Other Guys - An Anthology of Some Other Groups That Helped Create the Mersey Sound by Manfred Kuhlmann
Paperback Writers: History of the "Beatles" in Print by Bill Harry
Treasures of the Beatles by Terry Burrows 
Tomorrow Never Knows : The Beatles Last Concert by Eric.Lefcowitz & Jim Marshall
The Beatles Revealed by Hugh Fielder
We're Going to See The Beatles!: An Oral History of Beatlemania as Told by the Fans Who Were There by Garry Berman

PS With the categories I wasn't sure if some books should be classed as reference or biography i.e where a book looks at a particular tour etc

UPDATE: Call me crazy but I've gone through every post on this book forum (All 12 years) and read virtually all the comments to gauge feedback, made one or two more discoveries then updated my list. Now to search the big wide interweb   glassesslip

UPDATE 2 : I decided to start put my list up on my own dedicated Blog site so that I can add to it and carry on researching http://fabbeatlebooks.blogspot.co.uk/
« Last Edit: June 15, 2016, 09:59:37 AM by KEROUAC »


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Re: My list of Essential Beatle Books
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2016, 06:56:25 AM »

I don't know each and every book on this list so I cannot judge this list correctly.
But I do know the Bob Spitz book. It really shouldn't be on your list as it is full of errors and not-researched 'facts'.


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Re: My list of Essential Beatle Books
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2016, 12:31:20 PM »

Thats a lot of books. 


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Re: My list of Essential Beatle Books
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2016, 12:39:30 PM »

Bobber thanks for the feedback. I've removed the Bob Spitz biography from the list. On reflection it seems to get better feedback on Amazon.com than it does on the UK site and I wasn't aware of the issues with it's content. I did find this article though so you are right http://www.beatlesnews.com/news/the-beatles/200510280101/new-beatles-bio-is-riddled-with-errors.html I did hear that some mistakes were corrected in later editions but I don't know if all of them were.

You've also highlighted for me one of the problems of judging a book by the feedback it has received on Amazon. Whilst the general public may love a particular book they won't necessarily be knowledgeable enough to know of any problems or inconsistencies.

I also realised I haven't checked out all the reviews on this forum or other external Beatle forums so I will do that gradually. As I said I will update this list as I go along so any feedback is appreciated and will help whittle it down...or up.  icon_good.

PS I just added The Beatles: The Ultimate Recording Guide by Allen J. Wiener which I just found in my own collection which I picked up on a trip to the US many years ago. I also found a Derek Taylor book about the year 1967 which I didn't know I had (It only partially covers The Beatles so I won't include it).
« Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 11:43:39 AM by KEROUAC »

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