With 452 ratings
By: Hunter Davies
Purchased At: $9.26 (16 used & new offers)
Many books have appeared over the years about the Beatles lyrics -- about the words of those songs which the whole world knows and sings, and will sing for ever, as long as we have the breath to hum the tunes. But no one has ever tried to track down and publish the original versions of the classic songs -- showing the words in the Beatles' own handwriting, how they first wrote them, how they scribbled them down on pieces of paper or backs of envelopes, with all the crossings out and changes.
By revealing and publishing these original manuscripts for the first time we gain a unique insight into the creative process of Lennon and McCartney, how they did it, what they were thinking, how they changed their minds, and then came up with the words we now all know.
Such a book has never been published, firstly because of copyright reasons, with ownership divided between Michael Jackson and Sony, and secondly because no one has been able to track them all down. The author of the only authorised biography of The Beatles, Hunter Davies, has sought out nearly one hundred Beatles lyrics. His expert introduction describes the creativity of the greatest ever rock band -- then he lists and illustrates each song, in chronological order, putting each song in context: what the Beatles were doing at the time, how and when they came to write and then record it, how the original version differs from the final one. The wonder is that almost every Beatles song has a great story behind it -- whether it is 'In My Life', 'For No One', 'Yesterday', 'Eleanor Rigby', or 'Yellow Submarine'.
One of the delights of this tome is that it can be opened to any page with certainty that what one finds there is both interesting and fun. It can be read front-to-back, or the reverse, or just starting from the middle, if what interests you primarily are the songs.
If, like me, you like to know context and background, the traditional approach -- begin at the beginning -- is probably best. But if (like me) you have loved the Beatles for 52 years, just pick up the book, let it fall open where it may, and enjoy!
Davies has, over some 50 years, acquired a large number of original bits of ephemera. Scraps the f paper with jottings, squiggles and amendments, showing the development of many memorable songs. In the recording studios, he retrieved ( with permission) bits of ciggie packets, notepaper etc on which early working notes were made. He's also trawled the world for access to other known written records, so this is a truly comprehensive insight. Combined with his personal knowledge of the Beatles, it's an authoritative and informed account.
There are numerous pictures of the scribblings; some not so easy to read on a kindle, but clearer on a tablet. Some of the originals were faded before being reproduced. Davies goes through the Beatles recordings in order, placing each disc in context with some background info. The lyrics and how they sometimes changed make fascinating reading and this is a book I've really enjoyed. A must for any Beatles fan, but also a compelling slice of social and popular music history.
'original' handwritten copies of various Beatles songs, this book ultimately disappoints. I would describe
it as 'Beatles Lite'; there's just isn't a whole lot of new information here for anyone who knows anything
about the Fab Four. Also, the handwritten lyrics are difficult to read on the paper they're printed on-
they should have been printed on glossy paper and bound together in the middle or ending of the book
( 'P.S. I Love You' -Appendix A, page 3').
If you simply MUST own everything written about The Beatles, buy Mr. Davies' book. Otherwise, just give it
a glance at your local bookseller-if you can find a local bookseller.
Otherwise an interesting read which revitalised my enthusiasm for the group that shaped my early teen years. Worth a read for anyone who lived through their music.
Sometimes interesting new info, sometimes info you have already read ten times.
All in all a good readable book.
I received it quit fast and in good shape - considering it is second hand.