While An Illustrated Record is, ostensibly, a photographic record, and it is generously illustrated with many rare color and black and white pictures of the Beatles, it is also a complete critique of all of the Beatles' recordings from their first offical studio recording in 1962 and up through their tumultuous breakup in 1970 and on through their collective solo efforts up to, appropriately, John Lennons' swan-song release 'Double Fantasy'. First issued in 1975, 'An Illustrated Record' has been updated on several occasions through the years.
Rock critics Roy Carr and Tony Tyler, musicians in their own rite, write in an informative and thoroughly enjoyable manner that captures the Beatles' genius for musicianship and songwriting that consistently characterized their unparalleled career. As well, Carr and Tyler do not pull any punches when pointing out some of those inevitable tracks that were less than stellar or outright stinkers. Although mostly fair and even-handed throughout the book, the authors tend to show a pro-Lennon bias over McCartney--dismissing two of his most beloved songs 'Yesterday' and 'Eleanor Rigby' as, in turn, 'overly-praised...schmaltz' and 'sentimental & melodramatic'. Their distain for George Harrison's' Indian influenced Beatle songs and for his solo masterpiece album 'All Things Must Pass' is most curious considering that both were considered revelations at the time of their release.
Never the less, this is a must-have book for both seasoned fans and for those newer to the eternal Beatles phenomenon.