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Beatles in Their Own Words Paperback – 1 Feb 1979
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Anyway, this is the book that started me off on the long and winding road, as McCartney would say. After all these years, looking at my old tattered copy of it, I'd have to say "Beatles In Their Words" is still amongst the top ten Beatles' books of all time. Top three in terms of nostalgia. I would recommend it for new Beatles fans, along with books written by Hunter Davies, Nicholas Shafner, Peter Brown and Mark Lewisohn. Philip Norman's "Shout! The Beatles In Their Generation" is, however, the greatest Beatles book of all time.
The book's cover notes that the contents are "compiled" by the author "Miles" (aka Barry Miles) from "interviews and clippings assembled by the author," and also from extensive interviews of McCartney, Lennon and Harrison conducted by the author in 1966 and 1968. Nothing is notated as to source.
Every word in the book is from the mouth of a Beatle. The topics covered include "the story," really a collection of topics ranging from the early days to the break-up. A section titled "press conferences" of Q&A with unnamed correspondents. A section titled "Songwriting" discusses the songwriting partnership and process between Lennon and McCartney, and "The Songs" section is a song-by-song commentary from the band. Other sections cover the films, politics and drugs. Black and white photos appear throughout the book, none of which are particularly rare.
Overall, it's a fascinating look into not only the Beatles as a group but the individual personalities of the Beatles. I would particularly recommend this to a neophyte or casual fan of the Beatles.