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Old Feb 17, 2007, 04:49 PM   #21
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I dig diLello's book; that's one of my favorites.
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Old Feb 18, 2007, 02:31 AM   #22
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I think the Beatles tell it the best. My favorite biography is the Anthology.
Hmmh... The Anthology is a valuable source but if we believe the historians, autobiographies aren't the most trustworthy accounts. There will always be the selective memory and ramblings around the topic.
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Old Feb 18, 2007, 02:41 AM   #23
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Yes I agree.They tend to recount the same old stories, some of which are uncertain.
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 10:51 AM   #24
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I think the hunter davies book is the best beatles biography. Anthology is also another good beatles biography.
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 10:59 AM   #25
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I think the hunter davies book is the best beatles biography. Anthology is also another good beatles biography.
I agree with both of those.
Rare is the bio that has actual in-depth interviews with the Fabs themselves.

I also enjoyed George's I, Me, Mine.
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 10:47 PM   #26
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Andy Babiuk, whom I met at a Fest has written excellent technical books about the Beatles' musical equipment.

I love Coleman's book about John; I love Joshua Greene's "Here Comes the Sun..." about George.

Check out Amazon.com - you will find a plethora of lists, synopses of books, reviews and titles over there.
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Old Apr 02, 2007, 11:41 AM   #27
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I agree with both of those.
Rare is the bio that has actual in-depth interviews with the Fabs themselves.

I also enjoyed George's I, Me, Mine.
Thanks Georgie Girl for the nice comment. I have actually read George Harrison's book and I liked it a lot.
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Old Apr 02, 2007, 03:58 PM   #28
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For me, I'd say the Anthology tells the main story the best. It's the basic "party line" book that lays out the whole Beatles myth which every other book sort of orbits. Lots of pictures, too. Yippee!

Two books I've read lately that I recommend are Geoff Emerick's "Here There and Everywhere" and Cynthia Lennon's "John". Neither of them give a stark, definitive depiction of the Beatles as people, but both books are great about putting the boys in context. Emerick's descriptions of how he recorded Pepper are eye-opening. I also like how he gives his unvarnished view of each individual Beatle and George Martin. Cynthia's book reads less like a professional endeavor and more like a normal, emotional woman's account of her marriage and how it failed. That's the books major strength, I think. When she describes how she discovered John and Yoko together in their house for the first time, my heart broke with her. Also, some good insight into Julian.

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Old Apr 05, 2007, 11:48 AM   #29
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I've been skimming through Phillip Norman's "Shout" since someone earlier in this thread (and the book's jacket itself, way hey) suggested that it was the definitive biography of the Beatles. So far, I'm unconvinced. This is a guy who said "John Lennon was three-quarters of the Beatles," a stance which any knowledgeable Beatle fan knows is merely a provocative lie. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, then, to find myself a bit put off by Norman's blatant negativity toward Paul. I mean, how do you title your chapter on Paul's solo career "Those Freaks Was Right When They Said You Was Dead," a brutal line from "How Do You Sleep?" and expect anyone to perceive you as an objective biographer? If he were some character from The Beatles story, (like the authors of the two books I mention above, Cynthia Lennon and Geoff Emerick), I could understand why he'd choose to write the book from a particular perspective. A book like that would require a certain viewpoint. But this book claims to be a "definitive" history of the band. That requires a balanced view. He sort of fesses up to his Paul hatred in the foreword (I'm reading a revised edition) but that doesn't undo the damage of his approach throughout.

I'm not impressed with it, so far. I'll keep reading though and see if I change my mind.
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Old Apr 07, 2007, 03:38 PM   #30
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The Love you Make by Peter Brown is the greatest IMO.

There a book done by Derek Taylor I think. I forgot the name, (it was a long time ago) but I read some it and it was alright.
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Old Apr 07, 2007, 03:44 PM   #31
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Yeah it is but I still love it! haha!

co-sign

The best one.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 01:47 PM   #32
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I've been skimming through Phillip Norman's "Shout" since someone earlier in this thread (and the book's jacket itself, way hey) suggested that it was the definitive biography of the Beatles. So far, I'm unconvinced. This is a guy who said "John Lennon was three-quarters of the Beatles," a stance which any knowledgeable Beatle fan knows is merely a provocative lie. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, then, to find myself a bit put off by Norman's blatant negativity toward Paul. I mean, how do you title your chapter on Paul's solo career "Those Freaks Was Right When They Said You Was Dead," a brutal line from "How Do You Sleep?" and expect anyone to perceive you as an objective biographer? If he were some character from The Beatles story, (like the authors of the two books I mention above, Cynthia Lennon and Geoff Emerick), I could understand why he'd choose to write the book from a particular perspective. A book like that would require a certain viewpoint. But this book claims to be a "definitive" history of the band. That requires a balanced view. He sort of fesses up to his Paul hatred in the foreword (I'm reading a revised edition) but that doesn't undo the damage of his approach throughout.

I'm not impressed with it, so far. I'll keep reading though and see if I change my mind.
Couldn't agree more. I'm finishing it, and I would say that it's good at best. He's so heavy handed in John's favor, which I never like. And he obviously is heavy handed toward Yoko, which I don't like either.

I find that for me, biogrophies written by people who didn't directly interview their subjects many times are not the best. The books I tend to prefer are by the ones who lived it, or who lived a bit of it. Cynthia's, George Martin, Geoff Emerick, Derek Taylor, Tony Bramwell, Alistair Taylor. They all have their biases, but you just try to sift through that and get to the point and piece together the whole story. One inside whose book I detest is Peter Brown's. Too many half truths in there for me. It was the first Beatles book I ever read, and I am sad about that.

The best collective bio has probably got to be the Hunter Davies one, basically just because he interviewed them for it. It's slightly annoying that he couldn't tell the whole truth in there (like the partying), but you can hardly fault him for that. The things you can fault him for are the factual errors (don't have it in front of me, but I am recalling errors in birthdays and things like the day John and Paul met).

Other than Hunter's book, I really enjoyed Bob Spitz's book. It has errors (haven't read a Beatles book yet that doesn't have 'em!), but his approach feels balanced, and the writing is good.
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Old May 04, 2007, 12:41 PM   #33
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I liked the one written by Hunter Davies.
But I think this is the best:

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Old May 04, 2007, 01:04 PM   #34
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I have heard only good about that Gospel book, and since it's written by Steve Turner it tells a lot too.

I'm currently reading Cynthia's book and I love it, I don't care if she makes some mistakes because I don't expect her to tell about anything else than what she remembers. She's anyway the only one who could tell us about John's honest opinions on the first recording sessions when the band did about twenty takes of "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You". John said that he does not ever want to hear those songs anymore.
I have read Cynthias book and yes it is a good bio.

I have read and recently finished Steve Turner's The Gospel According To The Beatles, it is a fantastic read it gives a deeper insight into what made John, Paul, George and Ringo The Beatles and what influenced them. It also covers how they developed following The Beatles.

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Old May 08, 2008, 12:20 PM   #35
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Do you think this is a good deal for a used book:

THE BEATLES 1+2, HUNTER DAVIES - for 17 €

http://www.bolha.com/oglas2779448
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Old May 08, 2008, 12:38 PM   #36
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From the cover it looks old so is probably the first edition. In which case you should try and find the second updated edition.The first edition was incomplete.(It was written in 67).

I've just finished reading Pattie Boyd's book which is great.Lots of stuff on George of course but also on Eric Clapton.
She confirms that George slept with Ringo's wife and that Ringo was very upset. You don't get THAT in Anthology!
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Old May 09, 2008, 03:38 AM   #37
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I've just finished reading Pattie Boyd's book which is great.Lots of stuff on George of course but also on Eric Clapton.
She confirms that George slept with Ringo's wife and that Ringo was very upset. You don't get THAT in Anthology!
I agree zipp, Pattie's book is a good read and does give little snippets of information that others who were not there wouldn't know!

I think she has done a good job with it and hasn't been disloyal to anyone in the writing of it!

I would happily recommend it to anyone who wants an insight into how their lives were lived by someone who was in the midst of it.
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Old May 09, 2008, 04:05 AM   #38
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I have Bob Spitz's book.
It's my first Beatles bio.

I'm only about 100-some pages into it and it hasn't gotten into too many facts so, personally, I can't say how credible the facts are.
They haven't even introduced George and Ringo into the book yet.
What I do like is the way he's set it up.
You go through their childhoods and stuff.
I like it but I've nothing to really compare it to except Anthology and I haven't gotten far enough into it to where the Anthology DVD really covers.

I'm sorry, that probably wasn't very helpful.
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Old May 09, 2008, 07:51 AM   #39
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Bob Spitz's The Beatles:

- Some people don't like it because it had some annoying trivial mistakes but the general story it tells is great. What Spitz does is contextualization of the whole Beatles era, it is really interesting reading as a whole.
I agree, partially. It is my fav, cause it's writen like a novel, in free form. Why partially? Cause he is biased, he obviously likes Paul more than John, and couldn't restrain himself from letting that be known in the book. I haven't read a Beatles book that's not biased, so that's why I still put it at no1, even though i'm probably one of the heaviest john-fanatics, and, have to say it, i'm anti paul, couldnt restrain myself either, but he doesn't admit he's got something against john, and that he's a paul fanatic. For example, he more or less explicitely says Hey jude is the best beatles song. I thought one cannot disscuss taste, so hold that subjective opinion for yourself, Bob! And I wass pissed as hell when he said very little about Youve got to hide your love away, while lionising I'm down.

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well the anthology's probably the most accurate. the love you make is entertaining, and many years from now is rather interesting. dispite a few errors, cynthia's 'john' is pretty good.

the people that have gotton up close and personal with the beatles probably writes the best stuff. i haven't read the bob spitz book, but i bet it just repeats the same stuff everyone else has already said.
im really not sure that anthology is the most accurate. Its contradictory. And even about crucial things. For example, as I recall, only Paul says All you need is love wasn't written especially for Our world broadcast. As for Spitz, I also disagree, it has info in it, I havent found anywhere else, (which doesnt mean it's not in some other book, havent read every Beatles book!, but still) For example the question iposed about where Paul first sang Obladi oblada, noone was able to give an answer for weeks, and the info was from Spitz.

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I'd go for Norman.But in a few years we should be getting the definitive story from Lewisohn.
yeah, 3 volumes, ive heard. But I thought it was gonna be published each volume separatelly. Anyway, I hope he won't be biased, although it seems to me he is leaning a bit toward John, ok i'll even like that, just to "balance " out the Spitz bias, which i hate, but had to put him at no1, just cause of loads of info, he goes into ridiculous details.


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The best collective bio has probably got to be the Hunter Davies one, basically just because he interviewed them for it. It's slightly annoying that he couldn't tell the whole truth in there (like the partying), but you can hardly fault him for that. The things you can fault him for are the factual errors (don't have it in front of me, but I am recalling errors in birthdays and things like the day John and Paul met).
Other than Hunter's book, I really enjoyed Bob Spitz's book. It has errors (haven't read a Beatles book yet that doesn't have 'em!), but his approach feels balanced, and the writing is good.
yeah, i think it's the only "official" biography, in the sense all 4 Beatles have read it, were thrilled by it, and agreed with what he said. From which it's easily concluded it's not particulary biased. Though you never know with John, he was probably on an LSD trip, if not heroin, when he was reading it, so....he probably didnt see letters, but rabbits or something.

It doesn't feel balanced too me. I really think he's leaning toward Paul, and satanising Yoko, which is trite by now, already. He says "Paul was her only true great ennemy. She had to destroy him". Cmon! the man's obviously a Yoko hater, of which there are many, and that's something that I hate.
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Old May 09, 2008, 02:34 PM   #40
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Do you think this is a good deal for a used book:

THE BEATLES 1+2, HUNTER DAVIES - for 17 €

http://www.bolha.com/oglas2779448
The guy just sold it, so I'm looking on.
But I saw there's so many different editions of that book. Which one is the best, the most recent one or the ones with the most photos?
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