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The Beatles - The Biography: Tune in v. 1 Hardcover – Oct 10 2013

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Hardcover, Oct 10 2013
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (Oct. 10 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316729604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316729604
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 6.2 x 24 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bootsy Bass TOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 13 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the most accurate and up to date book about the Beatles from youth to 1963 that you will ever need. At a whopping 900 plus pages it is thorough. Mark Lewisohns writing is clear and concise and full of humor. The book carries the reader right up to the cusp of their release of their "Please Please Me" single. For the casual Beatle fan and even the fan who thinks he knows it all this book is full of surprises and information. Blatant untruths that have been forwarded over 40 years or more by author upon author are exposed and explained properly. Mr Lewisohns research is amazing. He even read all the local papers for areas and towns the Beatles played in when they were not "famous" to glean information. Thats a LOT of reading alone. Add to that all the Government archives and registrars and other Beatle!

The book is volume 1 of a planned 3 book series. Apparently this book took approximately 10 years to write, with plans for the next volumes at 4 year intervals. I am very much looking forward to the next books in the series.A very good interview with the author (over an hour long) is available from iTunes as a podcast by The Fab 4 Free 4 All guys. It is episode 73, and very much worth the listen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Andrews on Jan. 13 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Several people who bought this book have a plethora of other Beatle books detailing how John met Paul, how George joined the band and Ringo replaced Pete Best, but not to the detail of this new classic. Lewisohn shows that he clearly did his research including interviews with those people who dealt with John, Paul, George and Ringo on a daily basis. He uncovers several details that were unknown to me such as the story of Japage 3, accurate stories of the Nerk Twins and the history of George Martin and Brian Epstein before they met the future Fab Four. I felt that I had an above average knowledge of the Beatles early years, but Lewisohn both introduced me to some new information and clarified points that were incomplete or not accurate in other Beatles biographies. I especially enjoyed the detailed explanation of how Parlophone and EMI signed the group to a contract in 1962 not because of their musical talent, but to make a profit from the songs of Lennnon & McCartney.

Other Beatle books have provided a somewhat romanticized and dream-like view of how the Bealtes conquered first Britain, then the world after they signed with Parlophone in 1962.

In this book, Lewisohn paints a more accurate picture of an initial group of three boys with a love of Rock'n Roll and R'nB, who through perseverance, luck, good timing and some solid talent became the biggest band of the 60s and are known by millions world-wide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By PGB on June 19 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A thorough, in-depth treatment of an always fascinating subject. Lewisohn is not afraid to reference material from other biographies (especially that of Hunter Davies, the only heretofore "authorized" Beatles bio). What separates this from the (many) others is Lewisohn's lifelong fascination with the subject, and his unparalleled access to the surviving Beatles and interviews with them and with so many of those who were close to all of them. This includes friends, relatives, former girlfriends, employers, teachers, the list goes on. He leaves no stone unturned. This is a wonderful result of clearly a lot of hard work. It's also, clearly, a labour of love.

As I say in the title of this review - wide and deep. The most intriguing parts have to do with debunking the various myths surrounding the Beatles related in endless bios and memoirs: for instance, the sacking of Pete Best receives exhaustive treatment, and Tune In has easily the most credible and reasonable of all the various versions of this story. Best was, by consensus of the other Beatles, Epstein, George Martin, etc, simply not good enough - "end of", as they say. Add to that the fact he didn't get along well with the other three. Ringo, by contrast, had everything they needed: personality, boldness, compatibility with the other three, and, most importantly, chops. He could lay down a metronomic beat (though he couldn't do a proper drumroll, as if that was needed!), which was crucial, and was inventive (anyone doubting Ringo's abilities are advised to listen to the remastered 2009 releases, on headphones - he will astonish you (very quietly) at times).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By scribe on April 12 2014
Format: Hardcover
As a lifelong Beatles fan, I had read a bit about the group, but often found myself wanting more. This book answered my wishes. Despite its length, it is a good read throughout and never gets tedious or dull. Lewisohn does a superb job illuminating the Beatles' personalities and backgrounds, as well as key figures such as Brian Epstein and George Martin. This is truly a definitive work and I look forward to reading the next volume.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Absolutely superb book about the Beatles, from birth to the moment when they were ready to emerge on the national stage in the UK. Before reading this, I deluded myself into believing I was an expert on the Beatles. Almost every page contains some surprising fact, a nugget which puts known facts into a new context, some behind-the-scenes action which even the boys didn't know about at the time, and many, many examples of "facts" which are commonly accepted, but which turn out to be either a half-truth or completely false. Yes, it's thick and detailed (with extensive footnotes), but it is beautifully written, and the story is so compelling that it doesn't seem long at all. The sheer improbability of their success, and the many coincidences and lucky breaks make this a thrilling adventure. Lewisohn shows the reader just how hard it was for four kids from poor and broken families--coming from a grimy working-class city devastated by the war-- to get recognition in snobbish London. It gives a fabulous image of the personalities involved (including Brian Epstein and George Martin), and how their drive to succeed on their own terms propelled them beyond others who had easier paths to success. And it hints at the hidden conflicts and compromises which were made in the early 60s and which would inevitably lead to their breakup. Any Beatle lover (and who could not be?) should read this book.
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