The Beatles Lyrics
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The Beatles Lyrics : The Unseen Story Behind Their Music

3.88 (393 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Over 100 handwritten manuscripts of the Beatles' original lyrics, tracked down from friends of the band, museums, universities and collectors.

Hunter Davies, author of the only authorised biography of the Beatles, worked with the band in their heyday. Here he reveals each song's context with vivid behind-the-scenes stories and gives a unique insight into the creative process of the world's greatest songwriters. From 'Yesterday' and 'Eleanor Rigby' to 'Yellow Submarine', The Beatles Lyrics is the definitive story of the band, uniquely told through their music.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 25mm | 335g
  • WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • num. facs.
  • 1474606873
  • 9781474606875
  • 53,223

Review Text

[Davies] has managed to track down handwritten versions for 100 of the band's 182 lyrics, and it's undeniably fascinating to observe these scribbled seeds, particularly when they contain alterations, crossings-out and abandoned verses... The other main attraction of the book is Davies' unrivalled access to the group. As the only authorised Beatles biographer during the band's existence, he spent time observing Lennon and McCartney as they wrote songs, and his vivid account of the pair holding court amongst friends in the latter's music room... is just one of several fascinating behind-the-scenes moments Andy Gill THE INDEPENDENT
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Review quote

You may never read a more comprehensive, unpretentious account of the creative processes behind a band's body of lyrics. It seems fitting that band should be The Beatles... The book runs chronologically from A to Z through every self-penned song the Beatles recorded in their eight action-packed years together. With all those original handwritten manuscripts, it's a must buy for die-hard Beatles fans and, no doubt, many calligraphers too -- Joe Dermody * IRISH EXAMINER * Even fans who think they know it all already will treasure this forensic exploration of the Beatles' songs...a handsome coffee-table book by Hunter Davies that manages to shed new light on the creative process behind such songs as Eleanor Rigby, Across the Universe and Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds...a treasure of a book, a forensic, song-by-song exploration of the band's creative process -- Paul Howard * THE IRISH TIMES * This delightful book will appeal to the millions of Beatles fans around the world who will surely enjoy reliving these iconic songs and learning something of their history * SIXTYPLUSSURFERS * A fascinating look at how these classics came into being as the manuscripts show how lines were altered and whole verses dumped * THE SUN * He wrote the first comprehensive biography of The Beatles and now, in The Beatles Lyrics, Hunter Davies returns to examine each of the band's songs in forensic details, offering insights into the creative process and putting the songs in their social and personal context * CHOICE * Fascinating facsimiles of scribbled lyric notes jotted onto scraps of paper... afford insights into the development from the germ of an idea to a finished song * THE INDEPENDENT 'Books of the Year' * No Lennon/McCartney obsessive should be without Hunter Davies' The Beatles Lyrics -- Olivia Cole * GQ Magazine * A forensic song-by-song exploration of the band's writing process... If you're a songwriter, the song manuscripts along are fascinating, and if you're a Beatles fan, the info here can't help but give you a fresh insight into their music * GUITARIST * They were just scraps of paper set for a cleaner's furnace - but now The Beatles' lyric sheets are precious jewels that reveal the secret history of the world's greatest band... beneath the scrawls and corssings-out lies a shadow history of The Beatles * LIVERPOOL ECHO * What's amazing is that these songs were so often scribbled down on whatever bits of paper were at hand - pages from notebooks, hotel stationery, backs of envelopes - and it's fascinating to see them with their hasty revisions, crossings out, lines being rewritten, ideas rethought even before they are fully complete, almost as if The Beatles can't keep up with their own creative momentum, colourful doodles and stoned illustrations accompanying some of them -- Allan Jones * UNCUT * This is not just one for the Beatlemaniacs and it is liberally illustrated with lyrics as they were originally written on table napkins, notepads, or on the back of a birthday card * RTE GUIDE * Davies has tracked down and reproduced more than 100 of the Beatles' original handwritten manuscripts for their songs, nearly all of which are reproduced for the first time in this handsome coffee-table tome. Each song is given its context: what the band were doing at the time, how and when they came to write and record it, how the original version differs from the final one. A pretty essential addition to the library/bathroom of any serious Beatles fan * IRISH NEWS * Painstakingly researched and skilfully laid out over 350 engrossing pages, Davies gives us an incredible insight into the remarkable creative process of the band, and tells the story of the Beatles' lives through their work -- Colm O'Regan * HOT PRESS * [Davies] has managed to track down handwritten versions for 100 of the band's 182 lyrics, and it's undeniably fascinating to observe these scribbled seeds, particularly when they contain alterations, crossings-out and abandoned verses... The other main attraction of the book is Davies' unrivalled access to the group. As the only authorised Beatles biographer during the band's existence, he spent time observing Lennon and McCartney as they wrote songs, and his vivid account of the pair holding court amongst friends in the latter's music room... is just one of several fascinating behind-the-scenes moments -- Andy Gill * THE INDEPENDENT *
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About Hunter Davies

Hunter Davies is the author of over thirty books which include such modern classics as the authorised biography of The Beatles, The Glory Game and A Walk Around the Lakes. He has written several other walking books and also a travel biography of Christopher Columbus which took him to the West Indies and the Americas. He is also well known as a broadcaster and journalist and writes for the Independent, Sunday Times, Daily Mail and New Statesman. He was married to the novelist and biographer Margaret Forster from 1961 until her death in 2016.
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Rating details

393 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 30% (116)
4 37% (146)
3 27% (105)
2 6% (23)
1 1% (3)
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