The "Beatles" Anthology

The "Beatles" Anthology

  • Paperback
By (author) The Beatles

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So much has been written about the most famous and successful band of all time and yet one story has not been told - the band's own story. Spanning their early lives, their rise to pre-eminence, and a year-by-year account of the golden period of fame right through to the break-up in 1970, THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY is the Beatles' own book. To the never-before-disclosed recollections of Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are added the memories of associates such as road manager Neil Aspinall, producer George Martin and spokesman Derek Taylor. Interwoven with these are the recollections of John Lennon, and almost all of these have never been published before. Add to this the astonishing collection of over 1,000 photographs drawn from the Apple Corps archive and The Beatles' own personal collections and you have a truly unique book. Created with their full co-operation, THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY is nothing less than The Beatles autobiography.

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  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 250 x 334 x 44mm | 2,399.53g
  • 31 Jul 2003
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Weidenfeld Nicolson Illustrated
  • London
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 1000
  • 1841881414
  • 9781841881416
  • 1,520,163

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If you haven't heard of the Beatles, then this probably isn't the book for you.

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Review text

Almost 40 years after the Beatles' first hit record and 30 years since Paul McCartney began court proceedings to wind them up, interest in 'the lucky band who made the grade' shows no sign of abating. It is heightened this autumn by what should have been John Lennon's 60th birthday but is, sadly, the 20th anniversary of his death. The Beatles Anthology has been the better part of a decade in the making and is intended as a companion to the CD sets and the television series, both aired in 1995. In it, the three surviving Beatles tell their own story in their own words for the first time. Lennon is represented by extracts from various interviews, notably that from Playboy in 1980. We hear, too, from their surviving road manager, Neil Aspinall, and from Derek Taylor, their former press man who went on to run Apple, the Beatles' utopian company, and who oversaw this project until his death in 1997. There is little that is actually new here, although we hear more on Stuart Sutcliffe's departure from the group which led to McCartney's reluctant taking over of the bass, and about the replacement of Peter Best by Ringo, a change driven by George, who preferred the latter's drumming. For the first time, Paul talks about Jane Asher; the impression has always been given that theirs was a wholly innocent friendship. In fact, they went to Greece together in 1963 and, in 1969, when he married Linda, the others were surprised, having expected Asher to become Mrs M. Their own stories make for a great read and, as we join them on a crazy trip that took them from a dank Liverpool cellar to a suite at the Plaza in no time at all. The Beatles' story is also the story of the birth of rock'n'roll - they started, as everyone did then, in showbiz, which meant joining the jugglers and the clowns on the famous roundabout at the end of Sunday Night at the London Palladium. For a while, it was all a great game but they were soon prisoners of their fame. Once the fun of meeting the likes of Elvis (who didn't bother to turn off the television and who had in fact tried to have them refused entry to the USA, so worried was he about his status as 'king') wore off they retreated to the studio. Rudderless after manager Brian Epstein's death and each groping for their independence, they broke apart as the 1960s closed, leaving a legacy that represents the zenith of achievement in popular music. With more than 1300 photos and illustrations, Anthology is an absolute must for every Beatle fan. The only real criticism of it is that the print is too small and too closely set to make for a comfortable read, specially for the baby-boomers who represent its core readership. It's a big book, which could be bigger, and a lavish production that's well worth the money. (Kirkus UK)

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