The Beatles Lyrics
By Hunter Davies, Beatles
Over 100 handwritten manuscripts of the Beatles' original lyrics, tracked down from friends of the band, museums, universities and collectors.Hunter Davies, author of the only authorised biography of the Beatles, worked with the band in their heyday. Here he reveals each song's context with vivid behind-the-scenes stories and gives a unique insight into the creative process of the world's greatest songwriters. From 'Yesterday' and 'Eleanor Rigby' to 'Yellow Submarine', The Beatles Lyrics is the definitive story of the band, uniquely told through their music.
By Ray Connolly
What was it like to be Elvis Presley? What did it feel like when impossible fame made him its prisoner? As the world's first rock star there was no one to tell him what to expect, no one with whom he could share the burden of being himself - of being Elvis.On the outside he was all charm, sex appeal, outrageously confident on stage and stunningly gifted in the recording studio. To his fans he seemed to have it all. He was Elvis. With his voice and style influencing succeeding generations of musicians, he should have been free to sing any song he liked, to star in any film he was offered, and to tour in any country he chose. But he wasn't free. The circumstances of his poor beginnings in the American South, which, as he blended gospel music with black rhythm and blues and white country songs, helped him create rock and roll, had left him with a lifelong vulnerability. Made rich and famous beyond his wildest imaginings when he mortgaged his talent to the machinations of his manager, 'Colonel' Tom Parker, there would be an inevitable price to pay. Though he daydreamed of becoming a serious film actor, instead he grew to despise his own movies and many of the songs he had to sing in them. He could have rebelled. But he didn't. Why? In the Seventies, as the hits rolled in again, and millions of fans saw him in a second career as he sang his way across America, he talked of wanting to tour the world. But he never did. What was stopping him?BEING ELVIS takes a clear-eyed look at the most-loved entertainer ever, and finds an unusual boy with a dazzling talent who grew up to change popular culture; a man who sold a billion records and had more hits than any other singer, but who became trapped by his own frailties in the loneliness of fame.
Being John Lennon
By Ray Connolly, Peter McGovern
What was it like to be John Lennon? What was it like to be the cast-off child, the clown at school, and the middle-class suburban boy who pretended to be a working-class hero? How did it feel to have one of the most recognisable singing voices in the world, but to dislike it so much he always wanted to disguise it? How must it have felt, when he saw the melodies of his younger song writing partner praised so highly, and his own songs, in his eyes, undervalued? And what was it like to become trapped inside a four-headed deity knowing that it would become increasingly impossible to keep feeding the desires of its worshippers? Being John Lennon is not about the whitewashed Prince of Peace of 'Imagine' legend, because that was only a small part of him. Nor is it about the permanently angry young rebel of the movie Nowhere Boy, or even the ranting Beatles iconoclast of the Rolling Stone interviews. All three of those personae had a degree of truth in them. But the John Lennon depicted in these pages is a much more kaleidoscopic figure, sometimes almost a collision of different characters.He was funny, often very funny. But, above everything, he had 'attitude', his impudent, plain speaking somehow personifying the aspirations of his generation to answer back to authority. Before John Lennon, entertainers and heroes to the young had almost invariably been humble, grateful young men, who bestowed on their managers the respect they might have given to their bosses or headmasters. John Lennon didn't do that. With that amused, slightly insolent lilt to his voice, and a two edged joke never far away, he met everyone - grand, authoritarian, super famous or none of those things - on a level playing field. Rank and status didn't unnerve him. He could, and would, say the unsayable. Perhaps sometimes he shouldn't, and he would excuse himself later by saying, 'Oh, that was only me mouth talking.'Though there were more glamorous rock stars around, even in the Beatles, it was John Lennon's attitude which caught, and then defined, the moment best.(p) Orion Publishing Group 2018
By Mick Wall
The final word on the only name synonymous with heavy metal - Black Sabbath.Way back in the mists of time, in the days when rock giants walked the earth, the name Ozzy Osbourne was synonymous with the subversive and dark. Back then, Ozzy was the singer in Black Sabbath, and they meant business. A four-piece formed from the ashes of two locally well-known groups called The Rare Breed (Ozzy and bassist Geezer Butler) and Mythology (guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward), all four founding members of the original Black Sabbath grew up within half-a-mile of each other.This biography tells the story of how they made that dream come true - and how it then turned into a nightmare for all of them. How at the height of their fame, Sabbath discovered they had been so badly ripped off by their managers they did not even own their own songs. How they looked for salvation from Don Arden - an even more notorious gangster figure, who resurrected their career but still left them indebted to him, financially and personally. And how it finally came to a head when in 1979 they sacked Ozzy: 'For being too out of control - even for us,' as Bill Ward put it.The next 15 years would see a war break out between the two camps: the post-Ozzy Sabbath and Ozzy himself, whose solo career overshadowed Sabbath to the point where, when he offered them the chance to reform around him again, it was entirely on his terms. Or rather, that of his wife and manager, daughter of Don Arden - Sharon Osbourne.