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All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Subtitled, "The story behind every Beatles release" this is a HUGE volume (nearly 700 pages) - a virtual treasure trove of information and an obvious labour of love. Much of the information contained in this book has been made available before, in works such as The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, but this is a great collation of information nevertheless and it is well laid out and clearly designed. Another minus point is that the book deals solely with every Beatles release, so does not cover songs they did not put out on record. However, the pluses of this book more than make up for the minuses.

This is a more of a coffee table book than anything else, ideal to dip into. It lists, comprehensively and with great detail all the album and single recording sessions - using UK releases as the basis for the book, but also mentioning American releases (often different, especially in the early years). This mammoth read takes us from Love Me Do to You Know My Name (Look Up the Number). Each release has copious details; for example the chapter on the album Help! lists when it was released, where it charted and for how long, singles taken from it, the background to the album, instruments used, the genesis of the work, production and technical details for each track. There are also lots of interesting snippets, such as songs that were discarded, singles released and even explanations for all sorts of tiny noises in the background and who made them.

Of course, any book on the Beatles recording sessions must contain information on both Abbey Road studios and George Martin, who did so much to translate the Beatles visions into recorded music. Nick Mason, of Pink Floyd, said, "every time the Beatles worked at Abbey Road, the atmosphere of the studios was transformed. You could feel their presence." Although their last recording session there was in 1970, their presence, and influence, is still felt - both at Abbey Road and in the world of music. If you are interested in how that music was made, then this is the book for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2014
When listening to the Beatles, this is the one book by my side. I've got all the great Mark Lewisohn books as well as Ian MacDonald's Revolution in the head. The later I feel was good but a bit opinionated. I feel with this book 'All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release' the authors have really listened to the music and given a more accurate discription of the instrumentation, recording and mixing of the music with less detail than Ian MacDonalds did. For example, when the authours attribute a bass line to anyone but Paul you can see/hear the difference in playing... even when a solo is attributed to John or Paul you can tell the authors know what they are talking about. With this book you can pick out the styles of the Beatles guitarist if you haven't already... I disagree with a previous reviewer about the pictures which I feel go with the flow of the book. If you have this book and Mark Lewishohn's, then you kinda have what you need for a great Beatles lock oneself away readaton... and of course PLEASE PLEASE ME to LET IT BE lps with the PAST Masters playing close by so...1, 2, 3, 4 well she was just seventeen...............
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on 17 May 2015
Good but not as erudite as Ian MacDonald's seminal work.
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on 29 December 2014
A gift for a friend who appreciated it very much.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2014
If you are a seasoned Beatles fan, this may not be for you. Basically, the authors have drawn upon half a dozen or so sources (Recording The Beatles/Lewisohn's Complete Recording Sessions/McCartney's Barry Miles ghost-written book/Lennon's Playboy interview etc) to relate the story behind the genesis and recording of every Beatles song.
It's a massive book - mainly due to the incredible amount of photographs used to flesh-out the sometimes sparse text, some of which I must confess I haven't seen before. It's not without it's flaws either - There ARE drums on PS I Love You, not just bongos and maracas.
Having said all that - I quite enjoyed reading it and am quite pleased it's considerable bulk provides a certain amount of reference material in my Beatle library.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2014
Everything you want to know about the music of the Beatles you find in this book.Also you'll find who wrote wich song.
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on 15 June 2015
Excellent resd
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on 8 March 2015
Gear Fab etc
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2014
A great book, all anyone would want to find out about the amazing life, times and interesting details of The Beatles songs. It's also a reference to dip in or study in depth.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2014
This was bought as a present for my Son, he just loves it he said it is so useful and it is full of so much information.
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