The Beatles Anthology

( 60 )


This extraordinary project has been made possible because Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr have agreed to tell their combined story especially for this book. Together with Yoko Ono Lennon, they have also made available the full transcripts (including all the outtakes) of the television and video series The Beatles Anthology. Through painstaking compilation of sources worldwide, John Lennon's words are equally represented in this remarkable volume. Furthermore, The Beatles have opened their personal...
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This extraordinary project has been made possible because Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr have agreed to tell their combined story especially for this book. Together with Yoko Ono Lennon, they have also made available the full transcripts (including all the outtakes) of the television and video series The Beatles Anthology. Through painstaking compilation of sources worldwide, John Lennon's words are equally represented in this remarkable volume. Furthermore, The Beatles have opened their personal and management archives specifically for this project, allowing the unprecedented release of photographs which they took along their ride to fame, as well as fascinating documents and memorabilia from their homes and offices.

What a book The Beatles Anthology is! Each page is brimming with personal stories and rare vintage images. Snapshots from their family collections take us back to the days when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Richard Starkey were just boys growing up in Liverpool. They talk in turn about those early years and how they came to join the band that would make them known around the world as John, Paul, George and Ringo. Then, weaving back and forth, they tell the astonishing story of life as The Beatles: the first rough gigs, the phenomenon of their rise to fame, the musical and social change of their heyday, all the way through to their breakup. From the time Ringo tried to take this drum kit home on the bus to their much anticipated audience with Elvis, from the making of the Sgt. Pepper album to their last photo session together at John's house, The Beatles Anthology is a once-in-a-lifetime collection of The Beatles' own memories.

Interwoven with these are the recollections of such associates as road manager Neil Aspinall, producer George Martin and spokesman Derek Taylor. And included in the vast array of photographs are materials from both Apple and EMI, who also opened their archives for this project. This, indeed, is the inside story, providing a wealth of previously unpublished material in both word and image. Created with their full cooperation, The Beatles Anthology is, in effect, The Beatles' autobiography. Like their music has been a part of so many of our lives, it's warm, frank, funny, poignant and bold. At last, here is The Beatles' own story.

340,000 words and over 1300 images including unseen photographs and personal memorabilia.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The quintessential Beatles book: In 300,000 words and 1,300 images, the Fab Four present a personal history of their epoch-making group. This book is, in effect, the Beatles' autobiography.
London Sunday Telegraph
The book will provide the frankest account yet of the band's rise to the top of the pop world in the 1960s...
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Who knows why the Beatles happened?" John Lennon asked in 1980: if anyone did, it would be the Fab Four themselves, who tell their own story--with plenty of visual aids--in this giant compendium. Festooned with more than 1,300 photographs, posters and documents (many in color), the weighty (6.6 lbs.) volume offers the Beatles' "own permanent written record of events up to 1970," some of it previously published, but much of it transcribed from new or unpublished interviews. Paul, George, Ringo and Beatles-related folks (Brian Epstein, George Martin, Derek Taylor) contribute text from interviews conducted for the book and for an accompanying TV program. Words from the late John Lennon have been gathered from print, broadcast and manuscripts (each with an indicated date), then spliced together to create coherent pages and paragraphs. The book opens with the band members' separate accounts of their childhoods, then moves into a year-by-year organization that allows for great detail and many digressions. Here are what the Beatles have said, or say now, about particular sessions and gigs. Here, too, are comments and reminiscences on every topic in their career-- from marijuana to Manila to Murray the K, from Hamburg to "A Hard Day's Night" to "Hey, Jude." Most of the text appears oral-history style, in short paragraphs with rapid switches between one Beatle and another: the format makes it sound as if all the Beatles (including John) were being interviewed simultaneously. The visuals bring in cartoons, signed letters, scrawled drawings and photos. As a whole the volume is beautiful, big and a bit intimidating, somewhere between the Yellow Submarine and the Death Star. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Hyped, anticipated, and cloaked in secrecy, the Beatles' autobiography is articulately told through quotes from John, Paul, George, and Ringo, as well as the group's closest aides: George Martin, Neil Aspinall, and Derek Taylor. Taken largely from interviews for 1995's Beatles Anthology documentary, the quotes were further expanded by interviews exclusive to the book. Lennon's quotes are seamlessly cobbled together from scores of sources (listed in the back) and smoothly integrated with the others' comments. Topics are discussed in more depth than the film, though a few significant career points (e.g., the "Lady Madonna" single) are ignored. Many of the over 1300 images come from the private archives of EMI Records, the Beatles' own Apple Corps., and the band members themselves. Unfortunately, the lavish design sometimes takes precedence over substance, as many previously unseen documents, including original hand-written drafts of song lyrics, are hard to read because the texts are either superimposed in color onto other illustrations or are printed like a watermark behind the main text. Captions for only a small percentage of the illustrations are listed in an appendix, often making the reader flip to the back to look for a caption that doesn't exist. The density of the text is daunting, but the book's browsability makes it as appealing to casual readers as it is indispensable to Beatlemaniacs. Despite its price, this is essential for most libraries.--Lloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Mim Udovitch
Entertaining and, to a degree that depends on your previous grasp of the information, informative...Anthology also highlights, as no work by an outsider could, how close the members of the group really were to one another...
New York Times Book Review
In effect, the Beatles tell their own story, without critical commentary. Revelatory pictures, many never seen before, accompany the text.

What makes this oral history of the band gripping is not only the documentation of their spectacular rise and rancorous fall but the ample evidence that each Beatle was smart and self-aware (yes, Ringo too).
Washington Post Book Review

From the Publisher

Text and images copyright Apple Corps Ltd 2000. Reproduction or reuse of any of the images or text is strictly prohibited. "Apple," the Apple logo, "Beatles" and "The Beatles" (in both cases with and without the stylized letter "T") are all trademarks of Apple Corps Limited. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811836364
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 3/28/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 108,643
  • Product dimensions: 9.75 (w) x 13.25 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Interviews & Essays

From the Authors:

John: "The Sixties saw a revolution among youth--not just concentrating in small pockets or classes, but a revolution in a whole way of thinking. The youth got it first and the next generation second. The Beatles were part of the revolution, which is really an evolution, and is continuing. We were all on this ship--a ship going to discover the New World. And the Beatles were in the crow's nest."

Paul: "To thine own self be true." I think that was very apt with The Beatles. We always were very true to ourselves--and I think that the brutal honesty The Beatles had was important. So sticking to our own guns and really saying what we thought in some way gave some other people in the world the idea that they too could be truthful and get away with it, and in fact it was a good thing."

George: "The moral of the story is that if you accept the high points you're going to have to go through the lows. For The Beatles, our lives were a very heightened version of that: of how to learn about love and hate, and up and down, and good and bad, and loss and gain. It was a hyper-version of what everybody else was going through. So, basically, it's all good. Whatever happened is good as long as we've learnt something. It's only bad if we didn't learn: "Who am I? Where am I going? Where have I come from?"

Ringo: "They became the closest friends I'd ever had. I was an only and suddenly I felt as though I'd got three brothers. We really looked out for each other and we had many laughs together. In the old days we'd have the hugest hotel suites, the whole floor of a hotel, and the four of us would end up in the bathroom, just to be with each other."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 60 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    The Best Beatles Biography

    Next to Cynthia Lennon's biography, "John" based on Beatle, and ex-husband, John Lennon, Beatles Anthology is by far, one of the best books I have ever came across. It is probably the only autobiography written by the Beatles themselves - in their own words. I have had my share of good biographies, based on the band out there, though most of those books are usually written by either their fans, or historians who look into their personal lives and careers, though I'd say it's better that John, Paul, George and Ringo speak for themselves. The book is quite large and isn't necessarily a novel, but filled with rare, unseen photos of the Beatles, and their personal feelings and opinions on their childhood, careers, and even marriages. Personally, I have not finished the book, due to the fact that it does take a good amount of time to actually sit down and read the book, but it's absolutely worth buying the book, if you are a true Beatles fan who loves them for more than the music.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2008


    This is exactly what the ultimate Beatle fan would want. Everything you want to know, said by the Beatles themselves. The perfect book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2004

    The Best

    This is the best Beatles book I've ever read. It describes presicley what was happening and I liked a lot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2003

    The quine Beatles book ever

    It was supurb. I would have given it 6 stars but i couldn't.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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