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The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road years 1962-1970 Hardcover – 5 Aug 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 5 Aug 2013
£320.00 £319.00
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Bounty (5 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753725452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753725450
  • Product Dimensions: 29.3 x 2.1 x 29.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 410,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

One of the most important documentaries on rock music ever published, this is EMI Records' official diary-format history of every Beatles recording session.

About the Author

Author Mark Lewisohn has long been recognized as the leading authority on the Beatles, his books on the Fab Four include the definitive Complete Beatles Chronicle. Based in Hertfordshire, England, he also writes in a freelance capacity for a number of magazine publications.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm overjoyed to see this book back in print.

If you don't have it and you are a Beatles fan, buy it NOW before you finish reading this review.

It lists every recording session of every song throughout the Beatles recording career with session info, how they got the sounds they did, take information. It's a goldmine of information and the next best thing to having a Beatles album. I bought mine 2nd hand from a previous printing and it's very well thumbed.

Mark Lewisohn is a renowned expert on the Beatles and is very accurate and thorough so you are getting top notch reference material. If you've ever wondered how the Beatles being the best band in the known universe, buy this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Originally published way back in 1988, Mark Lewisohn's THE COMPLETE BEATLES RECORDING SESSIONS makes a thoroughly welcome return to our bookshelves. Having been somewhat superseded by his own THE COMPLETE BEATLES CHRONICLE (a work detailing virtually every working day of The Beatles' career), it is nevertheless very pleasing to see a book which gets to the knub of what The Beatles were all about - the music - being made available once again.

Mark Lewisohn has long since established himself as a prime authority on the Fab Four and his research here has given fans an exhaustive yet thoroughly readable account of the band's time at EMI's Abbey Road studios. The most intricate details of how The Beatles' classic albums were recorded and ultimately put together as finished packages are all laid bare here and it makes for fascinating reading. It also goes to show that, no matter how much musicians - The Beatles included - may have mocked EMI's what was then notorious by-the-book, men-in-white-coats approach to the running of the studios, EMI's stringent policy regarding day-to-day record keeping has been duly vindicated by providing a supremely comprehensive archive of material upon which Lewisohn could base his work. (Incidentally, The Beatles worked at various other London studios during their career together and it's worth noting that other sessions which took place, such as the 'Hey Jude' recordings at Trident and the GET BACK/LET IT BE sessions at Apple, are also detailed herein.)

For this particular fan, THE COMPLETE BEATLES RECORDING SESSIONS is possibly the best Beatles book ever compiled, for it side-steps all of the latter-day bickering, the bruised egos and the business squabbles to instead tell the story of four musicians - not forgetting, of course, producer George Martin - knuckling down to create a body of work which continues to enthrall music-lovers the world over.
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Format: Hardcover
This may seem like a reference book and certainly it can be used in that way: to look up a fact about a specific recording. But it is more than that. If read in its entirely, which is what I recommend, it is a history of how the Beatles created a world-changing catalogue of music and, especially, how it progressed so quickly after giving up touring. It was there in the studios that the Beatles changed the course of popular music.

The book is organised as a chronological listing of what happened each day in the Abbey Road studios. That sounds inestimably boring. But it isn't, because what Marl Lewisohn has done is to mix in anecdotes and explanations from the other parties involved. So on 20 August 1968 for example, recording 'Mother Nature's Son': "Paul wanted an open effect on his drums ... and we ended up leaving the studio itself and putting the drums in the corridor, halfway down, with mikes at the far end."

And on 22 August 1968: "The tensions within the Beatles came to a head during this session and Ringo Starr quit the group." There follow explanations as to why he was discontented and what happened in his absence. And then on 5 September, Ringo returned to find his drum kit smothered in flowers. The point is, the background is all there.

So this is more than a list: it is a story of how four people grew to be the most important group of its day and then found that they couldn't keep going for ever. But, as the book concludes, they produced the most memorable and most remarkable song catalogue in the history of popular music.

This book is a history of how they did that and, for those of us who lived through it, it is a fascinating story of how it happened, creative genius, hard work, joy and grief included. Five stars.
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By Bookie TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 May 2015
Format: Hardcover
I was lucky enough to receive this as a Christmas gift. It's not the kind of volume I'd read from cover to cover in one go, but it's kept me engrossed for over 4 months as I've dipped into it. And it's a book I'll keep forever as a reference and to browse over. I grew up with the Beatles and recall their early UK concerts, before they were well known at venues like The Tower Ballroom in New Brighton. Rory Storm played regularly on Saturday nights on the pier at New Brighton. I bought their singles, saved for their albums and read the Merseybeat music newspaper each week to follow their progress. Despite my interest over 50 years, this book has so many new and fascinating insights.

It's chronological, so easy to find an album or track. The handwritten notes were, for me, a revelation into the whole recording process. And I was particularly struck by their work ethic and dedication during the early sessions. It's difficult to imagine how some of today's pampered, so called stars, would manage; working through lunch breaks, improvising and improving, recording whilst I'll. Listening again to a couple of the early recordings, Lennon is clearly suffering and the details in Mark Lewishon's account explain why.

This volume is so much more than recording sessions; it's filled with photos I've never seen before. Many are natural and capture the essence of the moment, be it happy or tense. The studio notes are like a Vox pop diary of what was going on. The collaboration, dissent, the vying for position and bit by bit, the disillusionment. It's a work of reference and a book to treasure and if you only ever buy one Beatle book, for it's honesty alone, let it be this one.
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