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71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALL THE LOVE YOU NEED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, 10 Oct 2013
This review is from: The Beatles - All These Years: Volume One: Tune In (Hardcover)
If you've read any of Mark Lewisohn's previous books, you'll know he's the definitive Beatles historian, and now he has been given special access to various sources and material to write the definitive story of the fab four. `Tune In', is the highly anticipated first part of a trilogy titled `All These Years' that has taken almost a decade to complete and as Lewisohn clarifies "all the information is tested, accurate, and free of airbrushing".
While many will ask do we need another Beatle book? It's clear from the opening pages here that the author is digging deeper than the official Anthology did a decade ago, so deep in fact that Volume 1 is over 800 pages and details the early days of childhood right up to the end of 1962, and the release of their first single.
While most of their 214 tracks recorded in 7 years will be dealt with in Volumes 2 and 3, here we get the complete story of the 1100 hours performing (and 38 weeks spent) in Hamburg, which Lennon commented "we went in young boys and came out old men". These are the formative years, the less visible years, and possibly the most fascinating and exciting period of their career.
The opening chapters cover the period up to 1945 and Lewisohn is clever here. All the Beatles family trees are well rooted, but he keeps it brief, keeps the reader entertained throughout, switching between the births of Ringo and John, while his factual account of John choosing between his mother and father is the ready made script for a Hollywood movie. By the time we get to July 1954 the author has John, Paul, George & Ringo's lives intersecting with each other on every page, writing that Tarantino would have been proud of.
While The Beatles story has been told many times and Lewisohn has read over 500 of those books, he covers plenty of material a lot of the die-hards probably haven't read before. From calling themselves Japage, to who George bought his first fully electric guitar from, and Paul getting his girlfriend pregnant in 1960 it's all here
It's fascinating to read that when they shared a bill with other bands they would go off and rehearse obscure songs that the other bands wouldn't know, keeping ahead of the pack, or the day of reckoning when John offered Paul an ultimatum to choose between working in a factory, and a gig in the cavern. Paul choose the latter and effectively created pop music's most famous song writing duo, and later as a group they would stand up to George Martin, insisting on recording their own material, without doubt a defining moment in their career.
Whether it's John & Paul's compositions together (Too Bad About Sorrows and I Fancy Me Chances), Paul's `I Call It Suicide', John writing `Calypso Rock', George Martin's mistress, or what city their Beatle hair-cut originated in, it's all revealed here with numerous rare photographs from those early years.
While there is a Premier edition of this book also available (about 2,000 pages) I'm more than happy to say this is the definitive story of The Beatles up to New Years Eve 1962 with world -wide domination only around the corner.
There's no doubting the quality, time, dedication and research Lewisohm has put into this and it shows throughout, and I'm sure he'll do the same with Volume 2 in 5 years time. As he humorously claims Saturday 18th August 1962 was the start of the Liverpool 60s. Liverpool F.C. returned to the top division and "up to that point it was John, Paul, George and a drummer, now it was John, Paul, George and Ringo".
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Oct 2013 11:24:16 BDT
Steven says:
great review. so it is 5 years until volume 2 is out? I guess a book of rthis size takes a while to write...

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Oct 2013 11:30:51 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Oct 2013 11:41:24 BDT
Mick Lynch says:
yeah, in 5 years time it'll cover from Jan 1st 1963 - (probable end of 1966) and VOl 3 the rest, and he may even do a 4th volume (up to John's death).

Posted on 10 Oct 2013 12:38:05 BDT
Mark Sach says:
Great review. According to ML himself, he hasn't even began writing Volume Two yet, but has projected a 2017 for that one and 2020 for Volume Three. He has stated that all the actual research has been done, it is just the actual typing he has to do now.

I started reading my copy yesterday and as you say, he knows how to keep one interested. For the record, I have bought this version for my iPad/Kindle and a physical copy of the extended version for the bookshelf !

Posted on 11 Oct 2013 12:19:29 BDT
Thanks for a comprehensive and excellent review.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Oct 2013 23:17:19 BDT
Simon F. says:
Mark Lewisohn is now 55 years old. He expects to be in his mid 70's by the time this project is complete....

Posted on 16 Oct 2013 11:13:24 BDT
You write: "while his factual account of John choosing between his mother and father is the ready made script for a Hollywood movie." I've read this section of the book, and I bid to clarify this assertion. In fact, Lewisohn pointedly debunks the oft-repeated 'Hollywood' myth that a tearful young John had to choose between his mum and dad in a dramatic stand-off. Lewisohn states instead that it wasn't really a fraught moment of choice between Fred and Julia at all, but a calmly handled discussion to determine whether John would go back to a more secure upbringing in Liverpool, or end up staying elsewhere with friends of Freddie Lennon.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Oct 2013 18:24:54 BDT
Boswell says:
I'm in my late 60's so can't see myself living long enough to complete the trilogy! Still, at least I know how it ends.

Posted on 20 Dec 2013 16:11:41 GMT
MR says:
I have this book and am yet to start reading. My point is, has anyone else has issues with the condition their bookarrived in? I requested a replacement for the first copy as it turned up with black marks on the cover. A replacement has now arrived which is even worse! Am I alone or have other people had this problem? Or am I expecting too much from a book with a white dust jacket?

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2014 10:02:42 BDT
fanofthefab4 says:
I haven't read this book yet,but I have read all of the over 200 mostly great reviews for it on Amazon.com US and now the reviews on amazon.UK And quite a few people have said that Mark dispels the ''myth'' that when John was only 5 years old his parents forced him to choose which parent he was going to live with.Johh even dealt with this trauma in his primal scream therapy with psychologist Arthur Janov.

And in Ray Coleman's excellent up dated John Lennon biography,Lennon(Ray was an award wining music journalist and former editor of The Melody Maker Magazine and a good friend of John's from 1962-1980) in his 1992 introduction on page 40 he quotes John's father's then much younger wife Pauline Lennon from her book,Daddy Come Home:The True Story of John Lennon and His Father who came to see John with his father on John's 30th birthday.She says that John confronted his father in a rage and this is part of what he said,''Look at me! I'm bloody insane.I'm due for an early death like Hendrix or Joplin and it's all your fault.John then said,''Do you know what it does to a child to be asked to choose between his parents? Do you know how it tears him apart,blows his bloody mind?''

Ray says that her book is unnervingly and surprisingly strong with verbatim reports of electrifying conversations and he says there is even the precise exchange when John called his father from New York called his father on his death bed in a hospital in Brighton in 1976 and that John said to him,''I'm sorry to have treated you the way I did Dad. I should never have gone to the head shrink.It was a big mistake.And his father Freddy said to him,forget it John it's just bloody marvelous to talk to you again.

Posted on 23 May 2014 10:05:22 BDT
fanofthefab4 says:
In 1954 John was only 14 and hadn't even met Paul who was only 12 or George who was only 11!
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