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on 20 July 2013
Fifty pounds, Five Zero Pounds, 50 Quid, one for each Beatle year. What do you expect for £50? If it's a Beatle book, I'd be thinking along the lines of something akin to the tome that came with the vinyl remaster box - unseen pictures, well researched, well written well presented.

EMI marked the Beatles fiftieth with a reissue of Love Me Do, in true EMI fashion they messed up by releasing the wrong version of the song but in doing so at least they created (yet another) Beatle rarity. Apple did nothing. So it's left to others to pick up the slack in an "unofficial and unauthorised" way of course.

And this leads us to this book. At first blush it's an effort worthy of the event - book, reproduction inserts, posters, picture cards, DVD all in a clam shell box. And the book is written by Tony Burrows who at least has some Beatle link. But scratch below the surface and it all falls apart.

The book has nothing new to say. How could it? Every possible aspect of Beatledom has been raked over and assessed to the nth degree. The pictures are fine, but hey! Wait a minute! Aren't these pictures the same as those in the Beatles Story, the book written by (ahem) Tony Burrows? Why they are! And aren't those reproduction inserts EXACTLY the same as the inserts in that very same book (which themselves were EXACTLY the same as those in the Beatles Treasures book - to be found languishing in many a discount book shop for around £5).

And the reproduction items themselves? Ticket stubs, posters etc. All well and dandy. Note that the only post 1966 item is an invite to the Magical Mystery Tour party. I guess that this is a drawback of being "Unofficial and Unauthorised", you don't have access to anything owned by Apple. So, nothing at all from those later years, nothing from Pepper either.

The DVD is a collection of press and newsreel reports from October 1963 to October 1965. You can't navigate between the segments; I don't know whether this is the same as the DVD that came with the On Camera Off Guard book.

The five card photographs are OK, as ever they're all from 1965 or before. The one of Paul from 1965 is way too dark. The big fold out poster is from the One World TV launch. It's snatched from the side. It's not very good.

So, nil, zilch, zero. This is just recycled, tiresome and tired junk. To ask £50 for it is just taking the mick, it honestly is. At the time of writing - July 2013 - this is getting sold for £18. Even that's a rip off. When will these people give up? Never I guess, where there's cash to be made they'll go for it.
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on 10 April 2013
Was there in 1962 so remember it all well, brought back many happy memories, can't believe it was 50 years ago!!
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on 20 October 2015
brilliant although a lot of the inserts have been in other books
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on 12 January 2017
Thanks for a great book. All the best - Heinz
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on 29 December 2012
As a massive Beatles fan this was a delightful Christmas surprise. The whole package feels and looks great. Nice heavy-weight clam shell box with 5 prints and a poster underneath the main book. The dvd has a cardboard slot inside the front cover. The book itself has a padded hardback cover and is packed with high quality reproduction photographs. After a brief overview of each band member the book follows a roughly linear history of the band from 1957 - 70. All the usual aspects of the bands history are covered but there's nothing new or much discussed in great detail. Peak periods of the bands history are covered in just a few pages and it's disappointing to find relatively mere mentions and no facsimile items for the 'White Album' and Yellow Submarine periods. In contrast, the phase of the bands history 1957 - 63 seems to be given far more coverage and it's a shame this detail isn't maintained throughout the whole of the bands history.

Where this package does excel is the 30 plus facsimile items contained in special pockets throughout. There are some rarely seen gig posters, tickets, set lists and tour itineraries all reproduced in high quality and they really bring the history of the band together. The dvd is also quite good with some well chosen excerpts of the bands early and mid period, but for some reason nothing after 1966?

This is a nice package made to a high quality but it's a lot of money for 30 or so facsimile paraphernalia, which is basically what the hardcore Beatles fan is getting out of this package. The reproduction items are also quite fiddly to remove and replace and would have benefited from plastic or foil pouches rather than cardboard ones which tear quite easily. The posters are nice touches and on thick paper. Would have liked more facsimile reproductions from the bands later period and surely there's a trick been missed with the Help!, Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine opportunities?

So, a great coffee table item if you can pick it up less than retail price (£50) and if you're not too worried about textual content. I know this is an unofficial Beatles release but still really think this could have been 5 star with a bit more content in places.
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on 17 January 2013
Bought as a present for a die-hard Beatles fan who's read many books and seen many pieces of memorabilia, and it *still* amazed and excited her. A marvelous set and perfect way to mark the 50th anniversary.
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on 29 April 2013
Massive Beatles fan with stacks of books already that I and friends have bought me and thought would treat myself to this having read some of the reviews, I already have the Treasurers of the Beatles which had a few years now and similar sort of thing but this one has the edge plus has a copy ticket of the show the Beatles plkayed in my home town. Not watched the DVD yet but must says not expecting this to be be fantastic as have all the official DVD already plus stacks of others.
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