The Complete Beatles Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Song

Morrow. Nov. 2015. 352p. photos. discog. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062447340. $40. REF
In this updated version of the author's A Hard Day's Write, veteran pop music journalist Turner shares the backstories of all Beatles original compositions recorded and released by the band, putting over 200 songs, both the legendary hits and the lesser-known deep tracks, into historical and cultural context and offering biographical glimpses of the Fab Four. Turner works his way through the Beatles canon chronologically, beginning with the earliest singles and other originals from 1963's Please Please Me album and ending with compositions that did not appear as Beatles tracks until the 1990's Anthology compilations, including the two tracks written and demoed by John Lennon but finished by the three then-surviving Beatles. Turner's deep research entailed interviewing real-life song subjects and tracking down personal and public records, resulting in credible, objective accounts. The work also includes full lyrics, a detailed discography of all UK and U.S. releases, a selective bibliography of books solely or tangentially about the Beatles, and a wealth of fascinating and sometimes rare photographs. This is a fine companion to Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon's All the Songs, which focused on musical and recording details rather than the band's lyrics.
VERDICT This fun and informative read features few revelations but is packed with many riveting minor details. A great light read for Beatles aficionados and highly recommended for readers starting their journey into serious fandom.
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