The Beatles | On Film and in Photos

There are two new engaging options for Beatles fans. One title deviates from standard biographies and music analysis, the other showcases mostly unseen images of the Beatles from the end of 1963 through early 1964.

Hoy, Rory. All You Need Is HELP. New Haven Publishing. Jun. 2023. 242p. ISBN 9781912587902. pap. $22.99. MUSIC
There’s nothing diehard fans of the Beatles like more than new information, so legions of them will love poring over this book. In a deviation from the standard Beatles bio or musical analysis, award-winning music producer/DJ/filmmaker Hoy (The Story of Big Beat) lists the collaborations between the Beatles and other artists, whether by producing, performing, or composing. The book addresses myths around a few misattributed recordings, confirming or debunking industry stories, rumors, and gossip. Periodically, there are minor errors. For example, George was “L’Angelo Misterioso,” not “Badge Misterioso,” on a collaboration with the band Cream. Linda McCartney is indeed listed as a background singer on a couple of James Taylor recordings, and although he played bass on the recording, Paul was not the composer of the song “Live Long Rock and Roll.” There is also a fair amount of repetition, opinion, and personal history from the author. But it’s difficult to imagine Beatles fans who won’t find something new and delightful here. VERDICT A fun collection of Beatles-related information that adds to the canon. Readers looking to see what extra work the group from Liverpool did outside of their own recordings will find it in this title.—Bill Baars

McCartney, Paul. 1964: Eyes of the Storm. Liveright: Norton. Jun. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781324093060. $75. PHOTOG
McCartney opens his personal photo archive to reveal mostly unseen images of the Beatles from the end of 1963 through early 1964, marking the 60th anniversary of the band becoming a global mass-culture phenomenon. The book showcases photos from McCartney’s insider perspective, but it also looks out at what was happening around him at the time and offers personal reflections. Bookending explanatory notes by historian Jill Lepore and Rosie Broadley of London’s National Portrait Gallery provide a deeper understanding of the culture and era. The content and the context render the results extraordinary. Technology also plays a major role in this collection. Numerous fantastic images appear digitally enlarged, from printed contact sheets rather than negatives. This project is mindful of Ringo Starr’s 2013 Photograph, which was similar in concept with candid photos and recollections by the artist. Unlike Starr, however, McCartney focuses primarily on a single year. Readers will likely hope he continues with subsequent volumes covering the Beatles and beyond. VERDICT This beautiful art book serves as a most welcome companion to Beatles scholarship and 1960s culture in general.—Gregory Stall

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