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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 January 2014
Over a period of many years I have read just about every book I could find on the subject of the Beatles (having witnessed their live performances in the early days of their success and remained a fascinated fan ever since.)

Prior to reading this collection of articles by Ray Connolly, I had just completed reading Mark Lewisohn's The Beatles - All These Years - Extended Special Edition: Part One: Volume One: Tune In and The Beatles - All These Years - Extended Special Edition: Part Two: Volume One: Tune In, which proved to be the most detailed Beatles biography I had ever read.

However as 'All These Years' represented only Volume One (Parts One and Two), with other volumes to be released in the future, Ray Connolly's Beatles Archive covered many of the years beyond the scope of Lewisohn's book and incorporated plenty of new material and interesting perspectives that I, personally, had never encountered before.

Consequently I would highly recommend Ray Connolly's book to anyone wishing to explore Beatles facts from the viewpoint of a writer, in whom the Beatles often confided and whose interviews and perceptions facilitated insights, that incorporated an honest understanding of what the Beatles were really about....
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on 19 June 2011
Just finished Ray Connolly's Beatles anthology and enjoyed it very much. I may have read some of them in the Standard but never in the Mail. I'm astonished that he never saw the Beatles at the Cavern. What on earth was he up to? I saw them there once, at lunchtime (I was only 15 and wasn't allowed to go in the evening) and also at the Empire: I think Craig Douglas was top of the bill! Ray says it cost 1/6 to go to the Cavern at lunchtime; my memory says 1/- but who knows. I can still remember the smell of Dettol, sweat and frankfurters and Ray's articles bring back not just that period but take us right through the ongoing Beatles story - up to the present. He obviously had good access to John and Paul so writes with a rare authority. I thought the "What if" piece (what might have happened to the four of them if The Beatles had flopped) was brilliant and I generally felt rather sorry for Ringo. Strange life. Anyway - perfect kindle book.
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on 13 June 2011
Never read a book on the Beatles so don't have a benchmark. My guess is that nothing comes close to this amazing archive of events from the 60's to present day. In terms of style and execution it left me breathless and rocked me back in time. A new and different concept; beautifully executed as a personal diary. Full of anecdotes about Connolly's first hand experiences with the most famous people of all time it is emotional, funny and enthralling. The best book I've read in ages.
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on 5 July 2011
I'll tell you something, I think you'll understand: this is indispensable background material for any student of the Beatles, written by a man with unimpeachable Beatle connections. Connolly knows his stuff, he can work it out.....
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on 16 February 2015
My expectations were fairly modest as I started reading "Ray Connolly Beatles Archive", a collection of interviews and previously published articles on members of the Fab 4, especially John and Paul. I have read a great many of Beatles books, including Mark Lewisohn's epic work, "The Beatles: All These Years -Tune In". I didn't believe there was much more new material out there. However, I soon came to realize how much exclusive access Connolly had to them. Progressively the stories became very interesting and insightful.

Though not a biography, the book does have biographical elements. More than anything Beatles Archive is a behind the scenes peek at the world of a Beatle, both when the group was together and also as former Beatles.

Each chapter of Ray Connolly's Archive provided something I had not known previously. And I didn't just learn Beatle facts and dates. This book also reveals insights into how each member felt about the group, their post-Beatle careers, their songs, each other, and even themselves.

Any Beatle ardent fan would enjoy the book, as would anyone wanting to gain an understanding of the group that set the world on its collective head in the 60's, leaving it more melodic and lyrical yet today.
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on 8 January 2012
There have been so many Beatles books since Michael Braun's 'Love Me Do' in 1963, the story's been rehashed so many times, you'd think it would be hard to find anything new to say. But for Beatles fans occasionally a book comes along that does manage to shed new light on the whole familiar business. This is one of them. Not that it takes a quirky angle or makes a new interpretation of events or anything, it's just a collection of articles from the time by a journalist that knew them really well and had incredible access to them, especially to Lennon and McCartney. Originally published in a variety of newspapers and magazines the pieces cover all the main events and periods, often with really close-up insights into what was going on behind the scenes. As a close friend and confidante of the band Connolly could have written a conventional memoir of The Beatles he knew. Instead he has given us his contemporaneous take on things, hot off the press as it happened, which lends the collection a freshness and vibrancy that many retrospective accounts lack. Serious Beatles fans have read all the best books, from Hunter Davies's authorised biography to Geoff Emerick's 2007 book about being their recording engineer. I've read loads of them myself, starting when I was fifteen (I'm fifty two now). For Beatles fans of a certain age and set in their ways reading-wise, it's time you got an eReader so you can get this book. If you haven't read it you really don't have the whole story.
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on 12 January 2013
I am a Beatles fan and have been since 1963 I saw them four times in Glasgow and I use saw as the operative word as I certainly didn't hear them. I found this book fascinating as living in Glasgow a lot of the Evening Standard stuff I had never seen before. I have read heaven knows how much about them but still found stuff in this that I didn't know. This is possibly one of the most original books I have read on The Beatles as it shies away from the sort of his granddad did this and he was born in this place etc. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who is a Beatles fan.
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on 21 September 2014
I have read many books about the Fab Four, most of them good with the occasional stinker but this book is a delight. Of course there are no ground-breaking revelations but we do get different perspectives from someone who was there.

A personal favourite of mine is the chapter at the end of the book which examines the "What If?" Conundrum, but there are many highlights, each chapter also has present day updates for the older articles, and some of the articles were previously unpublished. Well worth a read!
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on 5 June 2014
Ray Connolly's Beatles Archive is as verbatim as you'll ever get it. Amongst the plethora of recent so-called 'authoritative' biographies, diaries, movies and theories, this book shines brightly with the truth. Ray was there, not only as a first class journalist with his finger on the pulse of all The Beatles' news at the moment it happened, but often as a counsellor and sounding board for both John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who each confided in him as perhaps the only newsman they could trust. When he wrote many of his articles there were details that he couldn't reveal, at the time. But here you'll read his revealing comments added to many of the articles that broke the biggest news stories of the day. And Connolly's not just an accurate observer, his special relationship with The Beatles was one on which real trust was built, especially with John who got 'sick and tired of reading things from...'. All he wanted was the truth. And here it is.
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on 28 September 2011
I read this on my Kindle over a weekend and really couldn't put it down. Fascinating insights into the lives of The Beatles, particularly Paul and John. If you're a fan of the Fab Four get this on your Kindle straight away! Very good value for money too.
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