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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let It Be- On Your Shopping List
As a long time Beatles fan i'm always interested in books on the Band. This one is certainly worth buying. Each single and album is assessed by the author. I don't always agree with his assessments (he is far too critical of I Want To Hold Your Hand for instance) but i respect his views.
The best part of the book for me were the articles actually written at the time...
Published on 28 Aug 2009 by Kenneth Melville

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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful, but by no means a five-star read
Although the Beatles are my favourite band by a very, very long way, I am not prepared to vote five stars to any book that happens to be about them. (I don't even think that all their albums are five stars: Beatles for Sale is for me a chore to listen to.) I have to disagree with the more enthusiastic reviewers of this book. Sean Egan has done a valuable job in collecting...
Published on 6 Nov 2009 by lexo1941


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let It Be- On Your Shopping List, 28 Aug 2009
By 
Kenneth Melville (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Mammoth Book of the Beatles (Mammoth Books) (Paperback)
As a long time Beatles fan i'm always interested in books on the Band. This one is certainly worth buying. Each single and album is assessed by the author. I don't always agree with his assessments (he is far too critical of I Want To Hold Your Hand for instance) but i respect his views.
The best part of the book for me were the articles actually written at the time the Fab Four were active. Even the critical articles from those who didn't like the Band are interesting and sometimes amusing.Well done for including these.
I was particularly pleased to see a section on The Beatles Cartoon Series(shown in the US 65-67). Now virtually forgotten, it reminds us the series was a massive success in the States,attracting startling audience figures.
Its a well written and well balanced book. Giving us a good insight into the effect John,Paul,George and Ringo had on the 1960's. Their social impact as well as musical.
A good purchase for anyone interested in The Beatles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift for a big beatles fan, 21 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Mammoth Book of the Beatles (Mammoth Books) (Paperback)
This book is a gift for my dad for Christmas, He's been a beatles fan since he was young and has alot of books on them, I think it's a nice gift to add to his Christmas box :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars quick service, 28 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Mammoth Book of the Beatles (Mammoth Books) (Paperback)
Was very quick with sending it out odered it the sun and gt it two days later on the tues
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5.0 out of 5 stars :D A great biography, 12 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Mammoth Book of the Beatles (Mammoth Books) (Paperback)
This book is great because it compiles both modern essays and contemporary reviews giving a fuller picture of the Beatles career as it as documented throughout history than most other biographies. My only criticism comes from some of the extracts written by the Compiler and editor, Sean Egan, who acts as a guiding voice throughout to keep the book chronological. While 80% of the time his words are very welcoming, he constantly injects his own opinions on the Beatle's music which can be quite off-putting if you disagree with him. He frequently mentions which are the weaker songs as if this is fact, and up until about 1968 almost dismisses George and Ringo's role within the band. But this is only a minor point, and more often than not his enthusiasm and research exceeds his critical reviews. (: If you've never read a Beatles biography before I recommend this as a great starting place, although a certain pre-knowledge of the important figures and tunes will be helpful.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mega Beatles!, 27 Aug 2010
By 
BeatleBangs1964 (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Mammoth Book of the Beatles (Mammoth Books) (Paperback)
This is a wonderful Beatle book that Beatle fans will undoubtedly enjoy. It is a treasure trove of interviews, articles and critiques that fill every reader from the inveterate Beatle fan to the person just coming into them with a well-guided Magical Mystery Tour. The price is reasonable too, considering tht this book is almost 600 pages! articles, etc. that together present an insightful tour down memory lane.

Sean Egan's writing makes readers feel that they have that Ticket to Ride the Magical Mystery Tour bus and take in a plethora of Beatle information. He is a gifted writer who brings the Beatles and their life experiences to readers. He keeps his tone objective and one gets the impression that he is coming at this from a reporter's angle.

Egan does critiques of the recordings in an objective, yet respectful tone. He uses clear guide posts or markers for travelers down the Beatles' Long & Winding Roads. He wisely and aptly titled his book sections Life & Art; Dissenters; Film & TV; Beatle Women; Interviews; and In the End.

Other voices are included in this book such as Hunter Davies, who wrote a very sanitized, toned down Beatle biography entitled "The Beatles." Maureen Cleave's article about John Lennon's infamous 1966 comment, "more popular than Jesus" along with early Beatle influences such as Astrid Kirscherr, George Martin, Paul McCartney as well as Cynthia Lennon. You also get treated to a discography of Beatles and post-Beatle releases.

This is amust-have for Beatle fans especially. It deserves a place of honor among Beatle fans. For those who are marginally fond of the Beatles, just coming into the Beatles or who aren't even fans will get a lot out of this book as well. It explores Sixties culture and the part the Beatles had in shaping the soundtrack of our lives and defining an entire generation as well as generations to come.

Excellent book. I highly recommend it and urge people to buy this as a gift for the rabid Beatle fans they know. This gets a hearty YEAH, YEAH, YEAH!
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful, but by no means a five-star read, 6 Nov 2009
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lexo1941 (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Mammoth Book of the Beatles (Mammoth Books) (Paperback)
Although the Beatles are my favourite band by a very, very long way, I am not prepared to vote five stars to any book that happens to be about them. (I don't even think that all their albums are five stars: Beatles for Sale is for me a chore to listen to.) I have to disagree with the more enthusiastic reviewers of this book. Sean Egan has done a valuable job in collecting under one cover some important archive material about the Beatles, including William Mann's much-mocked but actually intelligent and insightful 1963 Times article in which he praised Lennon & McCartney as songwriters, and Maureen Cleave's legendary "bigger than Jesus" interview with Lennon. But not a lot of the rest of the material is very useful. This being a Mammoth book there was bulk that had to be padded out, and Egan's own mini-essays on the Beatles' output, presumably written to serve that very purpose, are not very good. The style is undistinguished, and in general they repeat things that have been said already, and in most cases said better.

However, it was brave and smart of Egan to include some of the more memorable anti-Beatle ranting in a section called 'Dissenters'. This consists of a hundred pages of people hating the Beatles, and it's refreshing to read, even if you're a fan, if only because you soon see how people who profess to hate the Beatles are usually not talking about the Beatles' music. The section is led by a 1964 article by Paul Johnson, in those days (as Egan puts it) a 'harrumphing left-wing journalist' instead of the 'harrumphing right-wing journalist' that he now is, which combines breathtaking racism with a tin ear and a complete lack of historical prescience. Johnson essentially uses the Beatles as a stick to beat jazz, which he entirely wrongly believed to be the roots of 60s pop music. "You can overhear grown men", Johnson says with appalled disbelief, "who have been expensively educated, engage in heated argument on the respective techniques of Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington." This is itself a somewhat bizarre comment, since anybody who knows anything about jazz knows that Parker played alto sax and Ellington played piano, so it makes no sense to argue about their 'respective techniques' - but to Johnson, such distinctions are meaningless. Johnson clearly considered jazz criticism to be a bizarre and pretentious intellectual fungus growing over the "monotonous braying of savage instruments". Clearly, as far as Johnson was concerned, music made by black people was just a mindless din; never mind that Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington were, in their very different ways, highly sophisticated musicians whose work is not only almost endlessly fascinating, but which is at the very foundation of whatever jazz has become lately. Parker's playing is still a benchmark of excellence in improvising, while Ellington is simply one of the greatest composers of the 20th century - but not to Johnson, who appears to dismiss all music made by people who aren't white, simply on the grounds that it's by people who aren't white. I'm quite surprised that such a self-appointed guardian of all that's good and sacred in civilisation never seems to have been challenged about such eye-popping racism.

Johnson goes on to reassure his readers that the "menace of Beatlism" (the title of his article) is a mere fad, and that "the core of the teenage group - the boys and girls who will be the real leaders and creators of society tomorrow - never go near a pop concert". Hmmm...didn't Tony Blair own a Strat? And wouldn't David Cameron like to be able to play one?

The rest of the anti-Beatle articles include Lester Bangs' The-Beatles-are-boring rant from the mid-70s - and I love Lester Bangs' work, but really, he should have laid off the Gallo port from time to time; and a couple of 90s articles by people called Dave Simpson and Gary Hall in which the writers' arguments amount to the not very interesting claim that a certain type of obnoxious Beatle nut is no fun to be around. Big swing, as we say in Dublin. It's quite possible to love the Beatles and also love hardcore punk, Frank Zappa, John Dowland, Deep Purple, Eric B & Rakim, Anton Webern, J.S. Bach, Rabih Abou-Khalil, John Zorn, Blur, Bongwater, Henry Cow, Jay-Z, [fill in the blank]. At the moment, no particular style seems to be in the ascendancy, which is bad for journalists because they have nothing to get all excited about but good for music fans because it means that anybody can listen to anything and not worry about the stupid old prohibition: "Is this cool? Should I be listening to this?" As soon as the main criterion for musical enjoyment becomes "Is this fashionable enough?", then music is under threat.

To sum up: it's a useful book, but I think it's worth paraphrasing the old line commonly misattributed to Samuel Johnson (although he never seems to have said it anywhere): this book is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not (very) good.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars To much Egan, not enough archive, 4 Oct 2009
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This review is from: The Mammoth Book of the Beatles (Mammoth Books) (Paperback)
Disappointing book as there is too much of Mr Egan and not enough archive material. Surely original reviews of the albums would be of more interest than rather sterile reviews by Egan 40+ years after their release.

If you buy only one Beatles book make it "Revolution in the Head" by Ian MacDonald! Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the mammooth book of the Beatles, 23 May 2009
This review is from: The Mammoth Book of the Beatles (Mammoth Books) (Paperback)
Book looks fairly good. The book runs about a 40-60 split between archival material and newer items written by Sean Egan. Egan's material is thorough and opinionated. It's the archival essays, though, that are the real attraction. We wish there were more. Still, though, this is a good book to have. And with nearly 600 pages, there's a lot to read.
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The Mammoth Book of the Beatles (Mammoth Books)
The Mammoth Book of the Beatles (Mammoth Books) by Sean Egan (Paperback - 23 April 2009)
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