All You Need Is Love: An Oral History of the Beatles

St. Martin’s. Apr. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9781250285010. $32. MUSIC
Brown and Gaines coauthored 1983’s The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story of the Beatles, and their new title is a collection of interviews conducted from 1980 to 1981 for that previous book. In light of Peter Jackson’s 2021 three-part documentary series Get Back and perennial interest in the Beatles, this is a fun, deeper-cut addition for fans. From the first page, this book is chock-full of anecdotes and additional context for well-known stories in Beatles lore. Nearly all interview subjects are easily recognizable names, but a few outliers help round out the interviews and get another side of the story. The book’s overarching focus is figuring out why the band broke up, how impactful the death of the Beatles’ manager was, and the effects of other business decisions that culminated in the late 1960s. Some interview transcripts seem more rambling than others, but this can easily be overlooked for the trivia and reminiscences that make this an entertaining book for fans. While Brown and Gaines insert some biases and not all the participants are portrayed positively, they allow readers to judge for themselves.
VERDICT Recommended for Beatles fan and for readers who want more insight into why the group broke up.
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