A big, bold coffee table extravaganza of a book, jammed with photos, this will entertain those who want a nostalgia session, and pleasantly inform anyone else on the life an times of the Fab Four. How did they rise to such fame and fortune? Why did everyone love them so much? I sometimes wonder how it is that a wander down the aisles of a British supermarket or music store will reveal that they are the only pop band in the world still selling albums at full price thirty-five years on. Then I start to recall the songs and go for just one more listen to Sgt. Pepper.
This report prepared by Michael JR Jose
In more ways than one, the BIG bestseller of 2000. A huge coffee-table size history of the Beatles, chockful of hundreds of photographs, color and black and white, with text consisting solely of interviews with and commentary by the lads themselves. Extensive print and broadcast interviews with Lennon are woven seamlessly into the mix, and there are contributions from some of the other players -- e.g., George Martin, Neil Aspinall, Derek Taylor. For someone who has read the Hunter Davies, Philip Norman, _Lennon Remembers_, _Apple to the Core_, _A Hard Day's Write_ and other accounts, perhaps the biggest surprise of this version is how sharp and independent George Harrison is (and was). Lennon always had the image of the working-class rebel, but even in the 1960s, he often sat docile for the stupid things the Beatles were expected to be and do, while Harrison sometimes said, "I don't have to do that." The book is especially illuminating for the period of touring Britain in 1963 between their first EMI sessions and heading to the U.S. Harrison is especially honest about drugs, McCartney remains somewhat coy. An enthralling book for any Beatles fan (tons more fodder for trivia challenges: which songs have only two Beatles playing on them? what did Paul buy John for his 21st birthday?) or child of the 1960s.
This report prepared by David Loftus