What made The Beatles the international phenomenon they were and continue to be? Their early songs broke the rock sound barrier. They evolved from one of the most popular performing bands in the world to create albums that revolutionized music and society. Today they and their works are part of everyday life. Their music has been repackaged several times. Their songs have been covered by other artists thousands of times. What makes them and their music so enduring and thought-provoking? Just who are the Beatles? Here are the 50 best books about The Beatles, the most influential band in history.
(Trivia fans, see if you can find all the book titles that use a phrase from a Beatles song.)
#1 – Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years
Tune In is the first volume of All These Years by the world’s leading Beatles historian, Mark Lewisohn. A decade in the making, it follows the band members from their childhoods through 1962 when their breakthrough– and their unexpected success– was just days away. This book has been almost universally lauded as the most thorough (944 pages), riveting and accurate story of the Fab Four.
#2 – The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story of the Beatles
Peter Brown was a close friend of and business manager for the band. This book tells the inside story of the music and the madness, the feuds and the drugs, the marriages and the affairs—from the greatest heights to the self-destructive depths of the Fab Four. In-depth and definitive. It’s one of the most comprehensive, revealing biographies of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Newsday called it “the most authoritative and candid look yet at the personal lives…of the oft-scrutinized group.”
#3 – Shout! The Beatles in Their Generation
Philip Norman’s biography of the Beatles is considered by many the definitive work on the world’s most influential band. The updated edition charts the rise of four scruffy Liverpool lads from their wild, often comical early days to the astonishing heights of Beatlemania. It describes the chaos of Apple and the collapse of idealism as the band heads for breakup. It also describes their struggle to escape the smothering Beatles’ legacy and the deaths of John Lennon and George Harrison. Witty, insightful, and moving, Shout! is essential reading for Beatles fans and anyone interested in pop music.
#4 -The Beatles Off the Record
This is a nearly 500-page compendium of unrehearsed interviews and outrageous opinions by each of the four Beatles’ members. Their commentaries on the personalities, events, and issues of the day are arranged chronologically by year from the beginning of their careers to the end of the Beatles in 1970. “This is the most comprehensive oral history of The Beatles ever published. . . .” Midwest Book Review.
#5 – Revolver: How the Beatles Reimagined Rock ‘n’ Roll
Released in 1966, Revolver packed the ammunition to signal a huge change in the Beatles — from a performing rock bank to a studio-based creative force. Revolver sparked a revolution in music. It influenced everything from the psychedelic San Francisco sound (Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead) to the first wave of post-blues hard rock (Sabbath, Zeppelin) through heavy metal and movie soundtracks. The Beatles’ seventh album was the game-changer, the author argues, placing it above Sgt. Pepper as the group’s artistic high-water mark.
#6 – Here There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles
Emerick became an assistant engineer at Abbey Road Studios in 1962 at age 15, and was there as the Beatles recorded their first songs. He later worked with the Beatles as they recorded the groundbreaking She Loves You and I Want to Hold Your Hand. He watched them mature from a young and playful group to professional, polished musicians as they recorded such hits as Eight Days A Week and I Feel Fine. In 1966, as chief engineer, he was responsible for their distinctive sound in Revolver, whose recording techniques changed the course of rock history. Emerick also engineered Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road, considered by many the greatest rock recordings of all time. Emerick talks about the band’s creative process and the personal dynamics, from the relentless competition between Lennon and McCartney to the infighting and frustration that brought a bitter end to the world’s greatest rock band.
#7 – The Beatles
During 1967 and 1968 Hunter Davies spent 18 months with the Beatles at the peak of their powers as they defined a generation and rewrote popular music. As their only authorized biographer, he had unparalleled access to John, Paul, George, and Ringo as well as friends, family, and colleagues. Davies collected a wealth of intimate and revealing material that still makes this one of the classic Beatles books. He remained close with the band and had access to more information over the years. This edition brings the story up-to-date with new material on the Beatles’ solo careers and lives.
#8 – The Beatles: The Biography
Spitz, a veteran music journalist, did a massive amount of research for this huge book which for many years was considered the definitive story of the band that changed the world. Spitz unflinchingly looks not only at the music but also the sex, drugs and the irony that once the Beatles attained the stardom they dreamed of, they became prisoners of their success. The author also looks at the bad business deals that novice manager Brian Epstein made, which cost the band millions. The Beatles: The Biography takes a hard and fair look at the world of rock by the band that reinvented it and changed culture. It’s one of the handful of must-haves for anyone looking to understand the Beatles, their evolution and the ‘60s revolution.
#9 – Revolution in the Head: The Beatles Songs and the Sixties
Many critics and fans consider this the “Bible of the Beatles.” It captures the band’s journey from adorable teenagers to revered cultural emissaries. Each of their 241 tracks is assessed chronologically from their first amateur recordings in 1957 to their final “reunion” recording in 1995. It offers fascinating details about the Beatles’ lives, music, and era, keeping in its sites what made the band so important, unique, and enjoyable. Ian MacDonald was a songwriter, a record producer, and the author of The Beatles at No. 1.
#10 – A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles
For decades the secrets behind the Beatles’ artistic evolution were in a locked room at London’s Abbey Road Studios. Hertsgaard gained access to the archives and the result is an unparalleled look at the band’s music and artistry. It shows how four individual artists became a creative force that changed the popular music landscape. It gets inside the creative process, which is inspiration followed by dogged persistence. The author combines literary analysis with investigative reporting and the ability to tell a good story. The result is a valuable page-turner whose revelations lead to a greater understanding of the rock group that changed the world.
#11 – All The Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release
Philippe Margotin, Jean-Michel Guesdon
These two music historians discuss and analyze every Beatles song, from their debut album “Please Please Me” to their final “The Long and Winding Road.” The book delves into the history and origins of the Beatles and their music as well as the composition of every song, the recording process, and the instruments used. The book, which is arranged chronologically, is a trivia treasure house for even the most hardcore Beatles fan. It features facts ranging from when and where each song was recorded, to how many takes a song took before the group was satisfied.
#12 – A Hard Day’s Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song
This is a lavishly illustrated, lively account of the real people and events that inspired the Beatles’ lyrics. Was there a girl who was “just 17” and made Paul’s heart go “boom”? Who was the real Eleanor Rigby? And yes, Penny Lane is a real place. Music journalist Turner lays to rest many time-worn myths and adds a new dimension to the Beatles’ rich legacy by investigating the ordinary people and events immortalized in the Beatles’ music that have become part of our pop culture.
#13 – Can’t Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America
Nearly 20 years in the making, Can’t Buy Me Love is a masterful work of group biography, cultural history, and music criticism. Gould looks at the Beatles in the broad and, at times, chaotic context of their time and place. The four boys from Liverpool were influenced by Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry as well as The Goon Show and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Gould brings a musician’s understanding of their growth as artists and musicians, as well as the advances in recording technology that made their sound possible. Developments in television and radio helped their explosive success. Gould explores the roles played by manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin. He also studies the influence on the Beatles’ music of contemporaries like Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, and Ravi Shankar. Gould shows that the Beatles were the epicenter of an entire generation’s experience and a pop culture melding of Britain and America.
#14 – You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup
The earth stood still a moment in 1970 when Paul McCartney announced that he was leaving the Beatles. Though the Beatles’ breakup was widely viewed as a cultural tragedy, one of the most fascinating phases of their story was just about to begin.
The author tells the behind-the-scenes story of the personal rivalries and legal feuds that have dominated the Beatles’ lives since 1969. Doggett, a journalist, charts the larger-than-life battles between Lennon and McCartney, the conflict in George Harrison’s life between spirituality and fame, and Ringo’s struggle with alcoholism. The book is a compelling human drama and a fascinating story of the Beatles’ creative and financial empire. It was created to safeguard their interests but wound up controlling their lives. From tragedy to triumphant reunion, and chart success to courtroom battles, this work tells the previously untold story of a group and a cultural legacy.
#15 – Magical Mystery Tours: My Life with the Beatles
Tony Bramwell, Rosemary Kingsland
Bramwell was boyhood friends with three of the Beatles long before they were famous. He was with the band during its entire existence, in different roles from producing and directing Beatles videos to heading Apple Films. He describes the rise and fall of the Apple empire, Brian Epstein’s frolics, Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, Phil Spector’s eccentric behavior, and new stories about Yoko Ono. He uncovers new information about the Shea Stadium concert footage, John Lennon’s late-night “escapes,” and more. Bramwell, the “ultimate Beatles insider” shares his own version of the frantic and glorious ascent of four boys from Liverpool lads who remade and expanded the world of rock music. The Globe and Mail calls it “A sprawling, amiable account of life near the world’s most famous and most gifted pop group. A welcome addition to Beatles lore.”
#16 – Way Beyond Compare: The Beatles’ Recorded Legacy, Volume One, 1957-1965
John C. Winn
Winn spent 20 years sifting through, scrutinizing, organizing, and analyzing hundreds of hours of audio and video recordings. He’s put them into a digestible chronological framework for Way Beyond Compare and its companion volume, That Magic Feeling: The Beatles’ Recorded Legacy, Volume Two, 1966–1970. In doing so, he’s answered questions about every known Beatles recording through 1965, telling you where to find them, what makes them unique, and how they fit within the context of the Beatles’ amazing musical and cultural journey.
#17 – That Magic Feeling: The Beatles’ Recorded Legacy, Volume Two, 1966-1970
John C. Winn
From Revolver to Let It Be, this book continues the chronicle of the group’s spectacular career from its creative zenith to final split. As the Beatles moved into the mid and late 1960s, their collective and individual musical talent and innovations evolved at an unparalleled pace. Like its companion volume, Way Beyond Compare: The Beatles’ Recorded Legacy, Volume One, 1957—1965, this work thoroughly chronicles all known and available Beatles recordings during this period of incredible creative growth.
With more than 500 entries, it includes recording sessions, concerts, newsreel footage, press clips, TV and film performances, home movies, radio interviews, documentaries, studio outtakes, home demos, and alternative mixes–all of which are given complete coverage for the first time.
#18 – The Complete Beatles Chronicle: The Definitive Day-by-Day Guide to the Beatles’ Entire Career
In 1979, Beatles expert Mark Lewisohn set about establishing a complete list of the group’s live appearances from 1957 through 1966, when they stopped giving concerts. The seven-year project was published as The Beatles Live! Shortly thereafter, EMI Records invited Lewisohn to be the only person outside of the Beatles and their production staff to go into Abbey Road and listen to the entire collection of Beatles session tapes and to interview practically everyone involved in their making. The result was published in 1988 as The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions. The Complete Beatles Chronicle combines and updates all the vital material in the two previous books along with a definitive account of the Beatles’ work in radio, television, and film. The Complete Beatles Chronicle has been called the Beatles Bible. No other book provides such an accurate and detailed account of the Beatles’ daily routines.
#19 – The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years 1962-1970
This definitive guide by renowned Beatle expert Lewisohn covers every recording session done by the Beatles at EMI’s famed Abbey Road recording studio. It includes the number of takes for each song; who contributed what; previously unpublished studio documents and interviews with many of the key recording personnel. It also includes facsimile reproductions of Abbey Road recording sheets, tape boxes, album sleeve roughs, memos, contracts, press releases and more. Illustrated with over 350 photographs (including rare images by Linda McCartney). The volume also features an exclusive introductory interview with Paul McCartney.
#20 – The Beatles Anthology
Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr agreed to tell their combined story for this book. Together with Yoko Ono Lennon, they also made available the full transcripts (including all the outtakes) of the television and video series The Beatles Anthology. Through painstaking compilation of sources worldwide, John Lennon’s words are equally represented. The Beatles also opened their personal and management archives for this project, allowing the unprecedented release of photographs which they took during their careers, as well as documents and memorabilia from their homes and offices. This is the Beatles story, from the first rough gigs, their meteoric rise to fame, the musical and social changes during this period, through their breakup.
#21 – All You Need Is Ears: The inside personal story of the genius who created The Beatles
George Martin was the man who spotted the Beatles’ talent, who recorded and produced them from the start, and who brought their musical ideas to life. In this witty and charming autobiography, he describes exactly what it was like to work in the studio with the Beatles–from the first audition (and his decision to scrap Pete Best on drums) to the wild experimentation of Sgt. Pepper (complete with sound effects, animal noises and full orchestras in evening dress). This is a singular look at the most important musical group of all time, and how they made the music that changed the world. It’s a unique inside look at their creative process, and the play of genius and practical improvisation that produced their incredible sound.
#22 – With a Little Help from My Friends: The Making of Sgt. Pepper
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band is considered by many critics and fans as the greatest rock album ever. Released in June 1967, it was the Beatles’ ninth official album release and was an immediate success. It spent 27 weeks at the top of the albums chart in the UK and 15 weeks at #1 in the U.S. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it #1 in its list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” It won four Grammy awards, including the first ever Album of the Year. Martin is often referred to as the “fifth Beatle” because of his extensive involvement with each Beatle album. Martin, the group’s producer, arranger and mentor, describes in detail what went into the creation of each song artistically and technically, as well as his long and intimate history with The Beatles from the beginning of their career through Sgt. Pepper.
#23 – A Cellarful of Noise: The Autobiography of the Man Who Made The Beatles
From his first encounter with the struggling group in 1961, through their meteoric rise, to his untimely death in 1967, Brian Epstein was in many ways the heart and soul of the Beatles. Their manager and peace-keeper, Epstein helped create and guide the phenomenal group. This autobiography reveals the inside story, from their initial struggles to their wild, unprecedented ride to success. It includes hundreds of details and little known facts about the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and other stars of the time. The new edition features an introduction by renowned Beatles expert Martin Lewis, which, along with Epstein’s own words, creates a compelling insightful exploration of the life and times of a gifted man with an ear for genius.
#24 – The Man Who Made the Beatles: An Intimate Biography of Brian Epstein
This is an in-depth look at Epstein’s life with contributions from family, friends, artists and business associates. The author examines the childhood and adolescence of a talented, kind and troubled man. Things kick into gear when Epstein discovers the Beatles and agrees to become their manager. This was new territory for Epstein and with the group’s explosion in popularity, they all were soon in a huge new game whose rules needed to be written. Both Epstein’s life and the business were often messy but it’s clear that Epstein was devoted to his bands and held a special love for the Beatles. Coleman does not shy away from the facts and handles Epstein’s inner turmoil and final years with a journalist’s objective eye.
#25 – In My Life: The Brian Epstein Story
Debbie Geller, Anthony Wall
Without Manager Brian Epstein, there would have been no Beatles. He traded their black leather jackets for suits, created the iconic mop-top hair style, polished their inherent charm and encouraged their creativity. He pushed them, promoted them and in doing so, the well-to-do businessman created the playbook for the rock business. He was smooth and charismatic but in private the Jewish homosexual suffered arrest, beatings and blackmail. He was often depressed with suicidal tendencies, combatting the turmoil with alcohol and drugs. Geller tells the story using many of Epstein’s diaries as well as interviews with Paul McCartney, George Martin and Marianne Faithfull, as well as friends and family. It’s a fascinating look at a charismatic talent who, unwittingly created a cultural revolution while destroying himself.
#26 – Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out the Beatles, Made the Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll
Allen Klein was a granite tough business manager who gained infamy for supposedly making way for the Beatles breakup and robbing the Rolling Stones. However, the truth, as journalist Goodman shows, is complex and nuanced. As the manager of the Stones and then the Beatles (along with Sam Cooke, Donovan, the Kinks, and others), Klein taught young performers how to be businessmen as well as rock stars. But Klein was as merciless with his clients as he was with anyone else, earning himself a reputation as a major show biz villain. Now, with access to Klein’s archives, Goodman reveals the full story of the Beatles breakup, how the Stones achieved the greatest commercial success in rock history, and how the music business evolved into what it is today.
#27 – The Beatles Lyrics: The Stories Behind the Music, Including the Handwritten Drafts of More Than 100 Classic Beatles Songs
For the Beatles, writing songs was a process that could happen anytime — a scribble on the back of an envelope or on hotel stationery. These original documents have ended up scattered across the world. Many have never been published before. More than 100 songs and lyrics are reproduced in this book, giving Davies a unique platform to tell the story of the music. These reproductions bring an immediate connection with the minds of their creators. Sections are crossed out and rewritten. Some words made their way into songs that never made it to paper. It’s hard to get closer to an artist than to study his words, in his handwriting, as he stumbles through the creative process, as all artists do. The Christian Science Monitor called it “A fascinating, intimate glimpse into the creative process behind some of the greatest pop songs ever written.”
#28 – Beatles: Here, There, and Everywhere
Nancy J. Hajeski
Hajeski maps out the crazy, at times mind bending journey of the Beatles, from their performances in Hamburg’s red light district to their innovative recordings at Abbey Road Studio. The journey includes the Beatles’ audition at Decca studios, the flat at 57 Green Street, their American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, plus other stops as they sped upward in popularity. Attention is also given to each British album, notes on instrumentation and solo careers, and other facts.
#29 -The Beatles “Speaking Words of Wisdom”
Mark Swearingen, Don Christian
This book includes more than 130 transcribed interviews with the Beatles from their first known interview in 1962 until the announcement of their breakup in 1970. It also features pictures of the interviewers and the locations as well as statistical data about the interviews. The beauty of this book is that it’s told in the words of the Beatles themselves as events were happening. It brings to life the heady days and months of the Beatles’ hectic lives along with their unique wit and charm.
#30 -The Beatles: The BBC Archives: 1962-1970
This is a carefully curated collection of the surviving transcripts of the Beatles’ appearances on BBC Radio and Television from 1962 to 1970. It also features commentary from author/Beatles expert Kevin Howlett and rare photographs and memorabilia from the BBC. The book includes never-before-seen BBC transcripts, historical documents, and rare photos. Howlett uses material from the BBC television and radio archives as well as previously unpublished transcripts of interviews, and reminiscences from presenters, producers, and studio staff. The result is a fresh look at the creative and personal evolution of the band—from the witty, irreverent foursome of the early 60s to the more reflective individuals before the split at the end of the decade. Each chapter details a full year in the life of the band and is introduced with text by Howlett that puts the material into historical context.
#31 – The Beatles: Six Days that Changed the World
Award-winning photographer Eppridge was given unique access to the Beatles’ first trip to the U.S. The result is a unique inside look at historic tour that marked the beginning of the British Invasion. In February 1964, Eppridge was on assignment for Life magazine to cover the band’s arrival at JFK airport. They invited him to continue shooting in their room at the Plaza Hotel and during the days that followed, including the Ed Sullivan Show rehearsal and performance; in Central Park; on a train ride to Washington, D.C., for the concert at the Washington Coliseum; at the British embassy; and at their famous performance at Carnegie Hall. The book is an intimate account of a visit that introduced the Beatles to America and changed the course of music.
#32 -The Beatles Invasion!: The inside story of the two-week tour that rocked America
The Beatles’ first excursion to the U.S., February 7 to February 21, 1964, was a seismic event in American culture. It was a musical earthquake that defined music going forward and a cultural youth quake that defined generations to come. That 14-day tour solidified the Beatles’ careers as we invited them to dominate pop culture through the rest of the 60s. Spitz, the New York Times bestselling author of The Beatles: The Biography takes readers through those whirlwind days — from The Ed Sullivan Show to Carnegie Hall, giving us a sense of how America fell in love with the Beatles and moved from staid Eisenhower era to the go-go Sixties almost overnight.
#33 – The Beatles At Shea Stadium: The Story Behind Their Greatest Concert
The Beatles’ Shea Stadium concert on August 15, 1965 has been called one of the most exciting and important concert events in the pop music history. Produced by Sid Bernstein and introduced on stage by Ed Sullivan, the Beatles performed for a record crowd of 55,600 fans. It was the height of Beatlemania and launched the modern era of outdoor stadium shows. The book tells the story of this concert through commentary and exclusive interviews with Beatles insiders, friends and fans. The story begins in 1963 with Bernstein scheduling the then-unknown group for two concerts at Carnegie Hall and the first wave of U.S. Beatlemania. The author follows the events leading up to the concert as the Beatles arrive in New York and tape The Ed Sullivan Show. We go backstage as they nervously prepare to face their largest live audience. The concert and excitement surrounding their performance are described in detail based on unedited live recordings and eyewitness accounts, and gives new insights into making the television special.
#34 – The Beatles Are Here!: 50 Years after the Band Arrived in America, Writers, Musicians & Other Fans Remember
The arrival of the Beatles was an unforgettable cultural touchstone. Rowlands explores the emotional impact―for many it was hysteria―of the Beatles’ February 1964 touchdown on American soil. Contributors, including Lisa See, Gay Talese, Renée Fleming, Roy Blount, Jr., and many others, describe in essays and interviews how they were inspired by the Beatles.
This intimate and entertaining collection arose from the author’s own Beatlemaniac phase: she was one of the screaming girls captured in an iconic photograph that has since been published around the world―and is displayed on the cover of this book. The stories of these girls, who found each other again almost 50 years later, are part of this volume as well. The Beatles Are Here! gets to the heart of why, half a century later, the Beatles still matter to us so deeply.
#35 – How the Beatles Changed the World
Martin W. Sandler
The Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show has been called “a night that changed the course of American culture.” More than 70 million viewers – the largest-ever audience for an entertainment show – watched the Beatles’ performance February 9, 1964. The Beatles were more than the most successful musical group of all time. They changed popular culture. As their work matured, they were the embodiment of the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. When they became prisoners of their own success they retreated into the recording studio. They became even more influential by creating songs and albums of such uniqueness, breadth and depth that pop music was profoundly altered. “Overall, this book is a welcome reminder that popular entertainment can be a powerful force for positive change in the world.” School Library Journal
#36 – The Beatles: The Long and Fabulous Road: Beatles Biography: The British Invasion, Brian Epstein, Paul, George, Ringo and John Lennon Biography–Beatlemania, Sgt. Peppers (Volume 1)
The story of the boys from Liverpool: their hits, their movies, their tours, their women, and their legend. The ample, entertaining text–complete with over 100 photos and memorabilia–is peppered with Beatles quotes, “Fab Facts” and Beatles lyrics. The story begins in England in the 1950s, moves around the world to the Beatles solo careers and into the 21st Century. Rodriguez captures the band, the members, and a profound moment in time.
#37 – Beatleness: How the Beatles and Their Fans Remade the World
A compelling book with a fascinating concept. The Beatles hit the U.S. in February 1964 and were immediately everywhere with sounds, words, images, and ideas. Leonard argues that the Beatles influenced young Americans through six critical years of child and adolescent development. They provided an alternative curriculum, more fun and engaging than anything in school. As a result, first generation fans have a relationship with the Beatles that is unique in human history—a powerful attachment much more profound than mere nostalgia. Part generational memoir and part cultural history of the 60s. Beatleness enables the reader to experience—again or for the first time—what it was like to grow up with the Beatles and shows the impact of “Beatleness” as an ever-evolving stimulant in young lives.
#38 – Lennon vs. McCartney: The Beatles, inter-band relationships and the hidden messages to each other in their song lyrics
Thomas shows how the Beatles’ song lyrics contain secret conversations between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Varying between strong affection and outright hostility, these hidden messages clearly mirror the fluctuations the two Beatles were experiencing in their personal relationship at the time. The Beatles themselves have made only fleeting references to this troubled phase. Paul McCartney acknowledges what he calls the “song wars” period, confirming that, at the time, “I was really writing a lot of songs to John.” John Lennon meanwhile played down the negative tone of his messages saying “I’m entitled to call Paul what I want and vice versa. It’s in our family.”
#39 – The Making of John Lennon: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of the Beatles
The author focusses on the question of what might have caused the downfall of one of the most confident and brilliant musicians of the past century. Kenny emphasizes three main influences which helped shape Lennon’s creative process and stayed with him throughout his life: his strong roots in his hometown of Liverpool; his troubled mental health; and a turbulent family background. Kenny explores how Lennon’s troubles affected his relationship with the other Beatles, his family, the press and the public. It’s an intriguing look into one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
#40 – The Beatles and Me On Tour
In the summer of 1964, the Beatles took America by storm and changed rock ’n’ roll forever. In this first chronicling of that revolutionary tour from the inside, Davis shares the stories behind the stories as only an insider can. In the rowdy and riotous recollections Davis, a reporter for the London Daily Express, had unrestricted access to the Liverpool lads as a member of the Beatles entourage. From inside the band’s hotel suites to the concert arenas to the private jets, the madness and magic play out through Davis’ personal accounts of hanging with the Beatles for 34 jam-packed days. These are well-told stories of all-night Monopoly games with Lennon, the Beatles’ living-room jam with Elvis, and the night Bob Dylan introduced the band to pot. This is a definitive account of the band at a defining moment in the history of rock.
#41 – I Want To Tell You – The Definitive Guide To The Music Of The Beatles Volume 1:1962/1963
A musician and lifelong Beatles fan, Robustelli takes the reader on a unique journey with an in depth, song-by-song analysis of the first two U.K. Beatles albums, Please Please Me and With the Beatles. This is a definitive guide to the music including the band’s musical prowess, their composition techniques, recording process and their many musical influences. Robustelli shows how their music came to be and how it changed rock music forever. This is the first of a projected seven volume set on the songs of the Beatles. It’s a fascinating insight for musicians and Beatles fans alike.
#42 – Sex and the Beatles: 400 Entries
The Beatles lived the whole “drugs, sex and rock n roll” lifestyle. This is the book on the sex part. This book takes the reader through the sexual escapades of The Fab Four from adolescence to adulthood. It focuses mainly on the Quarry Men and Beatles years, but continues right through the solo era to 2013. It’s salacious and humorous, citing anecdotes from nearly 50 sources. When you’re tired of reading analyses of their music and how they dominated the world and changed culture, browse through the 400 entries about sex and the Beatles. How hard can it be?
#43 – The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story
Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson
Another volume on the “untold true story” of Brian Epstein, the visionary manager who discovered and guided The Beatles — from their gigs in a tiny cellar in Liverpool to international stardom. This study is an uplifting, tragic, and ultimately inspirational human story about the struggle to overcome huge obstacles. Epstein died at age 32, having helped The Beatles prove through Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band that pop music could be an inspirational art form. Given the fact that Epstein was homosexual when it was a felony UK, Jewish in anti-Semitic surroundings, and from the dingy port town of Liverpool, it is a remarkable story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.
#44 – Lennon Remembers
This candid book reveals new information on the breakup of the Beatles, fellow musicians such as Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones, Lennon’s attitudes towards revolution and drugs, and his relationship with Yoko Ono. This edition includes new introductions by Ono and Wenner, and new material never before seen in print. The book presents a compelling portrait of a complex musical genius at the height of his career. Sometimes anguished and angry, often tender and poignant, these interviews are indispensable to understanding who John Lennon was and why his legacy continues. “Arguably the most legendary interview ever conducted with a major celebrity.”—Library Journal
#45 – John
This book by Lennon’s first wife was published 25 years after his death to tell the true story of their lives together. Julian, the couple’s only child, provides the forward. Cynthia describes their marriage, the Beatles’ meteoric rise and the problems that success added to the marriage. Cynthia describes John as brilliant and loving but also jealous and sometimes abusive. She blames his use of LSD as the final straw in a fragile relationship, along with John’s relationship with Yoko Ono. It’s an intensely personal account of a wife and mother fighting to hold on to a marriage that is doomed. We see one of the most famous men in the world in a lifelong battle with personal demons. It’s a moving – and sad – story.
#46 – Ringo: With a Little Help
Michael Seth Starr
This is an in-depth biography of Beatles drummer Richard Starkey who adopted the name Ringo Starr and became the most famous drummer in the world. It traces his days as a sickly child with long hospital stays and not much education. He grew up in Dingle, one of the roughest sections of Liverpool. He became a locally known drummer who replaced Beatles drummer Pete Best. He lived a life of rock excess, floundered when the band broke up, overcame alcohol abuse and went on to create a successful solo career. He remains, along with band mate Paul McCartney, an active elder statesman of rock.
#47 – George Harrison: Behind the Locked Door
George Harrison, the youngest Beatle, was also the most spiritual, discovering Eastern religion, persuading his bandmates to visit India and get attuned to Eastern spiritual beliefs and music. When the band broke up, Harrison created his own life filled with music, charity, spirituality and gardening. With scores of interviews with friends and collaborators, Thomson creates a fascinating look at “the quiet Beatle” who also seemed to be the most evocative.
#48 – I, Me, Mine
This volume is based on Harrison’s conversations with Beatles spokesperson Derek Taylor. The Beatles guitarist and songwriter discusses everything from early Beatlemania to his love of gardening. Also included are the lyrics to over 80 of his songs, many in his own hand, accompanied commentary. Fifty archival photographs of George with The Beatles and solo capture a journey of creative and spiritual transformation. His wife, Olivia, provides the introduction to “the quiet Beatle” who gently introduced the Western world to Eastern religion and philosophy.
#49 – Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s
Paul McCartney walked away from the Beatles and faced a huge world of no Beatles and countless choices. He and his wife Linda settled in his farmhouse in Scotland while he battled depression. He eventually worked himself out of what could have been a career-killing funk and started at ground level with his new band, Wings. His career could have also ended with his highly publicized drug bust in Japan and his nine days in jail. Just when he had found some stability and a direction, John Lennon was murdered. But the “cute Beatle” always springs back, as he’s proven over the decades. The years and experiences could have done in a lesser human, but McCartney emerged victorious, energetic and in full control of his creative powers. Music journalist Tom Doyle expertly documents the fall, rise and reinvention of one of the most prolific artists in rock history.
#50- Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now
McCartney seems to have a stash of eternal youth elixir as he continues to perform, write songs, play and do interviews. This comprehensive biography gives us an inside look at the man who was one half of one of the greatest song writing teams ever. It’s based on hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews over a period of five years, and complete access to Paul’s own archives. It includes Paul’s recollection of the genesis of his and Lennon’s collaborations and the fascinating details about their immortal tunes which continue to be covered by artists in all genres a generation later.
Other Books About the Beatles Worth Noting
The Beatles’ Shadow: Stuart Sutcliffe & His Lonely Hearts Club by Pauline Sutcliff by Douglas Thompson
Let’s Put the Beatles Back Together Again 1970-2010: How to Assemble & Appreciate the 2nd Half of the Beatles’ Legacy by Jeff Walker
The Beatles: Where We Grew Up: Their Formative Years In Hamburg; 1960-1962 by Jonathan Clark
Brian Epstein Story: BEATLES by Debbie Geller
John Lennon: The Life by Philip Norman
The Beatles: Paperback Writer: 40 Years of Classic Writing by Mike Evans (Editor)
The Beatles Through Headphones: The Quirks, Peccadilloes, Nuances and Sonic Delights of the Greatest Popular Music Ever Recorded by Ted Montgomery