All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release (2013)

Genre: Nonfiction
Interest Level: Adult
All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles ReleaseI first tried to get this through NetGalley, but the e-version is so big it is in two parts. When I did download it, my reader couldn’t handle it – I suspect due to the huge number of photos. So I requested it from my library and when it arrived, I lugged the monster home. Nearly 700 pages, with photos on almost every page, many in full colour. Music historians Jean-Michel Guesdon and Philippe Margotin worked with editor Scott Freiman to create a fascinating exploration of the Beatles as musicians. I’m not a boomer, and was born at the height of Beatlemania, so I missed it all. I don’t feel gypped, by the way, so no pity from boomers please. But even I recognize their profound influence and their creative genius in the studio, led by the amazing George Martin. This beast takes you through that experience. Each album is presented in full colour, with at least two pages devoted to each track. The authors provide full credit for the musicians, singers, and production team, and provide interesting information on the number of takes, and where it was recorded and mixed. In each entry, we learn the genesis of the story (Martha My Dear is about Paul’s sheepdog; Norwegian Wood really is about a vengeful firesetting!), information on the production including dates, arrangements, instruments and more, and technical details. I really liked hearing what the band members thought – John admires Paul’s work on Yesterday, then damns it by saying “Beautiful – and I never wished I’d written it.” Factboxes offer additional details – the rhythmic background sound in Blackbird is from Paul tapping his feet), and extensive credits support all the information provided, including notes when the evidence is contradictory. Truly an amazing resource that I expect will be unwrapped to great delight next week! Jam-packed with additional material too: a glossary, index of albums and songs as well as a general index, release dates, credits and bibliography.
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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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