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Top 10 Beatles Books

What is THE best Beatles book? Thousands of books about The Beatles have been published and sold around the world in last 50 years. Some are precious gems and a significant contribution to world literature, some of them garbage written only for pulling money from pockets of never-fully-satisfied Beatles fans. Another thing is that ridiculous number of Beatles books are only copies of copies and have nothing (new) to say (but it´s ok :)).

Let’s try our Top 10.

1. Mark Lewisohn – The Beatles – All These Years: Vol 1, Tune In

Three-part history by Mark Lewisohn is an entirely new, revitalized and fascinating story full of countless insights, anecdotes and photographs. No one was better qualified to write this book. Lewisohn’s words breathe life into familiar moments and reveal thousands of new engaging stories about the greatest band of all time. Mark Lewisohn’s biography is the first true and accurate account of the Beatles, a contextual history built upon impeccable research and written with energy, style, objectivity and insight. This first volume of Lewisohn’s three-part biography covers the crucial and less-known early period – the Liverpool and Hamburg years.

2. Ian McDonald – Revolution In The Head

An impressive publication about the legendary band. In contrast to other books related to Beatles, this text provides an atypical look through songs and their individual histories. Each of the compositions has its own life in the context of the time in which it originated and is analysed. Many critics and fans consider this the The Beatles Bible.

3. Hunter Davies – The Beatles: The Authorized Biography

During 1967 and 1968 Davies spent eighteen months with the Beatles at the peak of their powers as they defined a generation and rewrote popular music. This book brings fresh insights to their legend. As their only ever authorised biographer he had access John, Paul, George and Ringo and also to friends, family and colleagues and collected a wealth of intimate and revealing material that still makes this the classic Beatles book, the one all other biographers look to.

4. The Beatles Anthology

Paul, George and Ringo all agreed to tell their story for this accomplished Beatles 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.

5. Michael Braun – Love Me Do: The Beatles Progress

Probably the first ever published book about the Fab Four. The year is 1963 and Love Me Do is the Beatles’ first number one hit, closely followed by Please Please Me. John, Paul, George and Ringo celebrate their new found success with a hectic six-week tour, briefly interrupted by an historic live appearance at the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium. This is the beginning of Beatlemania and American writer Michael Braun is there to document it. This book details what really happened in those first magic weeks.

6. Jann S. Wenner – Lennon Remembers

The first totally authentic, raw transcript of an interview given by John Lennon to the American Rolling Stone magazine after the break-up of the Beatles. For the first time Lennon spoke openly about the break-up of the fab four, but also about the events that preceded it. “Arguably the most legendary interview ever conducted with a major celebrity.”—Library Journal


7. Barry Miles – Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now

This detailed biography gives us an inside look at the man who was one half of one of the greatest song writing teams ever. 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.

8. George Harrison – I Me Mine

Cherished by fans, I Me Mine is the “closest we will ever come to George Harrison’s autobiography”. The new edition has been significantly developed since the 1980 original so the book now covers the full span of George Harrison’s life and work. Featuring George Harrison in conversation with Derek Taylor, I Me Mine brings everything from Harrison’s upbringing in Liverpool and the growth of Beatlemania, to his love of India, gardening and racing cars. With over fifty archival photos and lyrics, this book offers an insight into the Harrison’s life and work.

9. Mark Lewisohn – The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions

A day by day account of the Beatles’ recording sessions for EMI from their audition in June 1962 to the release of the Let It Be album in May 1970. A lot of insight into recording techniques, songwriting, arrangements, and what exists in the vault. This definitive guide covers every recording session done by the Beatles in the famous Abbey Road studio and includes the number of takes for each song, who contributed what, studio documents and interviews with many of the 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 images by Linda McCartney).

10. Phillip Norman – Shout!

Philip Norman’s biography of the Beatles is considered by many as „the definitive work on the world’s most influential band“. The updated edition charts the rise of four Liverpool lads from their wild, often comical early days to the astonishing heights of Beatlemania. It also describes the chaos amd collapse of Apple and the Beatles breakup. Witty, insightful, and moving, Shout! is essential reading for Beatles fans and anyone interested in pop music.

No.. I’m afraid it simply isn´t the full and complete list of the best and most interesting books as intended. There´s many more.  I´ll start working on Top 10, Volume II . Top 20, Top 25, Top 50..?

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