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The Beatles Anthology

Overview

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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Overview

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
Futterman
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: 9/1/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 76,399
  • 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

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2006

    The Ultimate Beatle Book

    I encourage anyone interested in learning the Beatle's story to get this book. It will give you insight into the band told by the band themselves.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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 February 3, 2007

    A giant interview book.

    This is a nice coffee table book full of interviews with the fab four. There is no narrative. It reads like one long magazine article. That's not to say that it's bad, but to fully understand the Beatles' history you may be better served with some of the older books written on them. Still, there is a lot to enjoy in this gigantic tome.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2002

    The Beatles Anthology is a Very Informative Publishing!

    An outstanding book i should say! I am pleased with how they put all of the illistrations in the book. I know two people that have The Beatles Anthology. The book tells you more about their biography than any movie The Beatles ever made! It tells about what they did when they were little kids and before they were The Beatles.I congragulate and give my thanks to George Martin, Brian Epstien, John Lennon, Paul McCartny, George Harrison and Richard Starky (Ringo Star). And the publishers that made the book. Thanks Everybody!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2001

    One of the best Beatles books ever!!!

    The Beatles Anthology is a great book for anyone who's ever wanted to hear the Beatles tell how life was as a Beatle. I realize the book tends to be critized for suppossedly not revealing any deep dark secrets, or that it priced way too high, but I beg to differ. With all of the books written about that Fab Four, and only about a small percentage that are completely accurate, it's nice finally have both words and interview from the Beates themselves, not some amature writer who only wants to make a fast buck using the Beatle name. And once more, the pictures included inside this books are some of the most amazing I've ever seen. That alone, to me, is worth the price of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2001

    The Ultimate Beatles!

    This book transcends its overt purpose of being an anthology of the Beatles. Anyone who loves the music the Beatles gave us will find much rewarding material here. Those who want to know about how success can be accomplished in popular music will be riveted. Those who like to look back on popular culture in times past will have a happy trip. If you just love exciting photography, there is much to attract you to this volume. I found myself singing the Beatles' songs to myself as I read the text and looked at the illustrations. That was the best part! To me, the most thought-provoking part of this book was its rags-to-genius quality. The Beatles were unlikely candidates to become leading musical innovators. Most of them were so poor that their families lacked indoor bathrooms when they were growing up. None of them could read music. The combined number of music lessons they had was less than ten in total. They could not afford musical instruments. Their families could not afford to subsidize their careers. Yet they were observant about the new, in contact with what moved their hearts, listened intently for better music, and worked with a never-ending frenzy to fulfill their passion for the music. It's vastly more heartwarming and fascinating than any rags-to-riches story ever can be. I had never understood John Lennon's complaints about the 'packaged, predictable' Beatles until I read in this book about the type of band they were while evolving their style. Particularly in the Hamburg gigs, they were more like a jazz combo that played rock and roll. The music was free form, and they stretched some songs into being as long as an hour and a half. In fact, their commercial success was a tremendous tragedy for their artistic success because they were probably at the edge of developing a whole new musical genre that would have become the dominant one today. I'm sorry it never happened. I feel even more sorry for them, in realizing that they knew what they lost and must feel it very deeply. I was also moved by the story of their tempestuous friendship. These guys went through tremendous stresses, strains, and deprivations together. They fought, they disagreed, they slugged each other, and they appreciated each other. Yet, there was a strong enough pull towards each other that allowed the group to continue through its amazing journey, despite the difficulties. To have had such friendships, even if they are eventually lost, must be an amazing experience. Few will know this closeness in their lives. I came away from this book with a new appreciation for the Beatles. Before this book, the Beatles were all about (for me) how they sounded and looked, and how I reacted to that. Now, I see them as being role models for important aspects of human experience that we should all appreciate. Before closing, I do have two words of caution. This book is very open about the major and minor vices of life. As such, this book could make the wrong impression on adolescents. They don't need too many new ideas about how to rebel, and this book could be read that way. That's not what the Beatles were doing, but a 13 year old could see it that way. Second, as revealing as the book is, more is ultimately still hidden below the surface than is revealed. These young men knew a lot of pain, and that pain was an important source of their brilliance. Don't be offended that they did not share more. It was probably very painful to share as much as they did. I would like to give the editors major credit for developing a successful dialogue style in the book that included quotes from John Lennon. It must have been the dickens to read through all of his many quotes, and to weave them into material comparable to what can be developed in a simple interview where the others could be aware of what each other said. 'Take a sad song, and make it better.' Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,0

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    One for the permanent library

    As a long time Beatles fan who read the ink off of teen magazines like "16" and "Tiger Beat" back in 1964... I have to say, as thrilled as that made me back then, this is the grand daddy of them all.

    It is just so beautifully done.

    The perfect gift for the 60's fan, or the newer Beatles fan.

    I love to read about them. I guess I always will. There are many good books out there, but this is truly the cream of the crop!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Must Have For Beatles Fans

    This book was absolutely amazing! To read about their lives before and during the Beatles in their own words was facinating! The accompanying pictures were of great quality though the hardback makes it difficult to take with you if you want to read it. This book is a must for all Beatles fans or those who are merely curious about them!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2008

    Amazing

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2001

    GEORGE AND JOHN WILL LIVE FOREVER

    GREAT GREAT BOOK. PLEASE REMEMBER GEORGE. WITHOUT HIM, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO BEATLES. BUY THIS BOOK.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2001

    A must buy for Beatles' fans

    A super book that gives startling detail of the lives of the Fab Four.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2001

    All You Need Is Love

    I love this book, and the four sane, compelling people who wrote and experienced it. I only pray that the pain each has experienced while giving such pleasure to the world will ease someday. We in the 60's were so incredibly lucky to have them in our orbit, and the warmth of their message will resonate forever.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2001

    The Best!

    this is the best beatles book ever written! i wasn't alive during the '60s, but i've always liked the beatles. after my parents bought this book, they've kept it on the coffee table in our living room and i can't stop reading it! i love just picking it up and reading excerpts from it here and there. after reading it and buying sgt. pepper, i can't stop listening to the beatles. like one other person who reviewed this book, i used to like the backstreet boys too, but now i can't stand them! i think i'll be into the beatles for many years to come.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2001

    They touched us all.

    The Beatles touched us all in some way-- even ultra-conservative types who did not like Rock'n'Roll grew their hair a little longer in the 70's. Their music is timeless. Their rags to riches experience is inspiring and filled with paradox. The Anthology paints one of the best pictures of one of the most influential, if not THE most influential, acts of the Rock'n'Roll era

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2001

    Get Some Perspective

    The Anthology is the remaining Beatles' attempt to make sure their own version of events becomes accepted as history (like Paul's recent authorised biography). It glosses over some things and exaggerates others and as such is unreliably subjective. There are better and more credible accounts out there so don't be fooled by the latest cynical ploy by the survivors to relieve you of even more of your hard-earned cash...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2001

    IT WAS AWESOME!!!

    I loved this book. It was amazing. I definitely have never read such a good book. I bought it London cause I thought I would get more into it and I did. I couldn't put the book down. I used to never like the Beatles cause I used to be into like the Backstreet Boys and I can't stand them. Now all I listen to is the Beatles and Led Zepelin and music like that. I would definitely get this book and if you do I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2001

    It's Worth It-Must Read If You Care at All

    The Beatles first came into my life at age 11. I was a typical, screaming pre-teenybopper and made everyone's life miserable with my obsession until I grew up...which pretty much coincided with a time between the national broken heart we suffered when they split, and the broken spirit for the revival of the dream we shared when the Chapman maniac gunned down John Lennon. I've read a number of Beatles books over the years, and with the chief caution that Paul McCartney has gratuitously rewritten and self-servingly censored some of their history (including his own, especially the early days with Linda and the breakup with Jane Asher)without benefit of contradiction (John, we needed you for that, too, I guess), it is far and away the most excellent. Those who feel they don't really know Ringo or George will especially appreciate the weight and balance of their inclusion. It also offers a little more insight into John's relationships with Cynthia and Yoko and the dynamics of his songwriting partnership with Paul. It becomes very clear that Paul was the pretentious showman and John the earthy rock and roller...and even more inexplicable his endorsement of Yoko's avant-garde leanings but for the fact he admired her independent mind vs. Cynthia's stereotypical devotion. While you're out there listening to #1 as a backdrop, read Anthology. Even you non-believers from the 60's will finally begin to understand the magic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2001

    The Icing On The Cake

    The Beatles Anthology is nothing less than a 'literary masterpiece' transcending generations. With the Beatles '1' CD being released around the same time as the book it gives new fans a chance to 'discover' The Beatles just as I did 15 years ago at age 11. The Beatles 'Anthology' provides non-stop reading as well as a chance to see some previously unpublished photos from each of the remaining Beatles' and the Lennon estate's personal archives. VERY interesting and a must for any die hard Beatles fan or a fan of good music period.

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