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The Beatles Anthology Paperback – 31 Jul 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (31 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841881414
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841881416
  • Product Dimensions: 25.3 x 3.6 x 33.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 331,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Amazon Review

Finally, long after all the chauffeurs and chefs, groupies and hangers-on have cashed in on their memories, here is the story of the greatest entertainment phenomenon of the 20th Century--as told by John, Paul, George and Ringo themselves. More than simply soundtracking the Swinging 60s, The Beatles have entered into legend, becoming the yardstick against which every other band is measured. But back at the beginning they were just a bunch of Liverpool lads who struck it lucky and this is their rather sweet account of times gone by. There are breathless reports of meeting Elvis, being mesmerised by his TV remote control, and of discovering the joys of double-tracking at Abbey Road...

Most people already know the Beatles story by heart, but Anthology fills the gaps nicely: John, convinced he was "too old" to make it at 21; George remembering their first stage make-up ("we looked like Outspan oranges!"); and Ringo: "We were flying from London to Glasgow once, and there were only three seats left on the plane, and in my naivety I said 'I'll stand!'" Perhaps most revealing are the first-hand accounts of the early years: their two-up, two-down childhoods, playing around in bomb-scarred Liverpool during the years of post-war austerity; dumping Pete Best and then turning to "a guy ... who had a beard and was grown-up and was known to have a Zephyr Zodiac!" (George: "Pete would never hang out with us ... with Ringo, it felt rocking.") With Ringo, Brian Epstein and George Martin on board, the pieces fell into place and by 1964 America too had succumbed. Paul: "I remember getting into the limo and hearing a running commentary, "They have just left the airport..." It was like a dream. The greatest fantasy ever." The transitional Rubber Soul is revealed as "the pot album" and George's favourite. Bob Dylan, as ever, put his finger on it immediately: "Oh I get it, you don't want to be cute anymore!"

There are few revelations here--the story is, after all, the best-known in pop history; but this is a truly handsome volume, beautifully designed and lavishly illustrated with rare photos from private collections and a wealth of fascinating detail and illuminating quotes to lend colour and depth to this fresh perspective. As the four individuals at the epicentre of a world gone mad, The Beatles were in no position to appreciate the seismic changes they were setting in motion, but writers like Philip Norman, Michael Braun, Hunter Davies and Mark Lewisohn have long since set their achievements in context. Here, for the first time, is the Fab story as seen from the inside--by The Beatles themselves. --Patrick Humphries --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By rdolan9007@aol.com on 5 Feb. 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have admired the music of the Beatles more and more over the last few years and I eventually wanted to know a bit more about their history. I simply wasn't sure about the best place to start finding out until now.
The Beatles anthology answers that question to the above. It is beautifully readable, and painstaking work that must have gone in to it to achieve that standard almost beggar's belief.
The story is told form the point of view of the individual Beatles, their producer George Martin, Neil Aspinall their road manager and Derek Taylor one time spokesperson.
Although John Lennon was killed twenty years ago, the way his account is interlaced with the other members of the bands is seamless and provides a poignant reminder of just what the world of music lost as well as the far greater tragedy for his wife, family and friends.
This book covers the Beatles entire history from the early Liverppol pre-Cavern days through to and now looking back, the inevitably bitter break up in 1970.
The best areas of the book are the detailed accounts of their early Hamburg days, and the wonderfully chaotic yet disasterous running of Apple, the record company the Beatles set up in the late sixties.
Through out the whole story of the beatles, the anecdotes are illuminating, and in the detail fascinating. For example the inspiration behind some of their songs, is breathtaking in how seemingly insignificant phrases and ideas can be turned into gold by sheer unadulterated talent.
All four of the Beatles characters do come through vividly, although it is hard to tell how much is revealed to us by accident or by deliberate act.
For example Ringo appears almost hopelessly and fantastically positive about everything to do with the Beatles.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Oct. 2000
Format: Hardcover
For the diehard Beatles fan, this probably rates 10 stars. As a gift (this is a surprising large and lavish book) it's probably worth 11 stars. As a book for the rest of us (interested in the Beatles, not obsessed) it's a four. So the five-star rating is a blend, based on how you think of the Beatles.
The book is packed with photos, scanned images of handwritten song lyrics and notes written by the Beatles, and tons of interviews. In terms of Beatles trivia and information, it's absolutely first rate and fascinating. If you're the kind of Beatles fan who likes to listen to their live recordings, rare studio outtakes, alternate recordings, etc. -- you probably "have" to own this book.
The only drawback of the book -- if you're not 100% obsessed by the Beatles -- is that the interview format really is a slow way to tell the Beatles story. For each event in their career, you get four different versions of how it happened (sometimes more, because other leading Beatles characters are interviewed, too), and it can take a long time to get through the thread of the story. So, if you want to string together how their career happened and how the band imploded, it takes a little longer than one would like. But if you're a Beatle-ologist and want to revel in the small details of their career, it's absolutely first rate.
In summary, any Beatles fan -- casual or serious -- would love this, especially as a gift. The more casual you are about the Beatles, though, the more likley you are to skim the book rather than absorb every detail.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 July 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book succeeds spectacularly on several levels. Bearing in mind that the Beatles are the most famous group ever, the biography on a basic note is an utterly comprehensive and enlightening account of their meteoric rise to and maintainance of, fame. The initial introductions to each member of the group add context to the story, whilst serving to introduce - particularly in Lennon's account - one to the ideas and philosophies that the Beatles would come to address. The gradual progression of a mundane skiffle group to 1963 and success is punctuated with irreverent wit and hence never loses the reader's wide-eyed engagement with the text; furthermore, the section never allows the development of the afore-mentioned ideas and philosophies to be subverted - one of the most poignant images is of McCartney wishing Stuart Sutcliffe in particular out of the band; one sees the constant strive for perfection.
After the 'Love Me Do' entering the charts at number 17, the fascinating account of the dichotomy of Beatles and fame begins. Beatlemania and the blistering world of touring are dealt with in illuminating detail, the band members conveying the tension of 'screaming' with encapsulating language; perhaps the foremost example of sharp description in the book however is perhaps where the band describe how disabled people for instance were brought to the Beatles as though they could heal them. The distressing nature of these images arte well conveyed.
The technical aspects of music making are covered shrewdly and thoroughly, as one sees the evolution of their sound through 'Rubber Soul', 'Revolver', 'Sgt Pepper', and 'The White Album' - a possible critiscism here however is that at times the band assume too much knowledge of the reader.
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