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The Beatles Lyrics

The Beatles Lyrics

The first-ever collection of the original handwritten Beatles’ lyrics.

Never before has anyone attempted to track down and publish the original versions of the classic songs, many of which have never yet been published. These documents have ended up in the hands of collectors and friends of the Beatles, scattered across the world at museums and universities.

Hunter Davies knew and worked with the Beatles during their heyday, and wrote their first and only authorized biography. In this collection, he has tracked down and reproduced over 100 original handwritten manuscripts of their songs, reproduced here – and, in almost every case, for the very first time.

For the Beatles, writing songs was a process that could happen anytime and anywhere – songs might begin as a scribble on the back of an envelope, a napkin or on hotel stationery. From them we gain a unique insight into the remarkable creative process of the greatest songwriters of all time; what they were thinking, how they changed their minds, and then came up with the words which are now known the world over – complete with all the scribbles and crossings out.

Each song is given its context: what the Beatles were doing at the time, how and when they came to write and record it, how the original version differs from the final one. Almost every Beatles song has a great story behind it, whether it is ‘Yesterday’, ‘Eleanor Rigby’ or ‘Yellow Submarine’.

Many books have appeared about the Beatles, but in the end what really matters – and will always matter most – is their music. Their music comes out of their lives, just as their lives and emotions are reflected in their music. The Beatles Lyrics is the definitive story of their lives, as uniquely told through their music.
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Genre: The Arts / Music / Individual Composers & Musicians, Specific Bands & Groups

On Sale: 25th September 2014

Price: £25

ISBN-13: 9780297608127

Reviews

[Davies] has managed to track down handwritten versions for 100 of the band's 182 lyrics, and it's undeniably fascinating to observe these scribbled seeds, particularly when they contain alterations, crossings-out and abandoned verses... The other main attraction of the book is Davies' unrivalled access to the group. As the only authorised Beatles biographer during the band's existence, he spent time observing Lennon and McCartney as they wrote songs, and his vivid account of the pair holding court amongst friends in the latter's music room... is just one of several fascinating behind-the-scenes moments
Andy Gill, THE INDEPENDENT
Painstakingly researched and skilfully laid out over 350 engrossing pages, Davies gives us an incredible insight into the remarkable creative process of the band, and tells the story of the Beatles' lives through their work
Colm O'Regan, HOT PRESS
Davies has tracked down and reproduced more than 100 of the Beatles' original handwritten manuscripts for their songs, nearly all of which are reproduced for the first time in this handsome coffee-table tome. Each song is given its context: what the band were doing at the time, how and when they came to write and record it, how the original version differs from the final one. A pretty essential addition to the library/bathroom of any serious Beatles fan
IRISH NEWS
This is not just one for the Beatlemaniacs and it is liberally illustrated with lyrics as they were originally written on table napkins, notepads, or on the back of a birthday card
RTE GUIDE
What's amazing is that these songs were so often scribbled down on whatever bits of paper were at hand - pages from notebooks, hotel stationery, backs of envelopes - and it's fascinating to see them with their hasty revisions, crossings out, lines being rewritten, ideas rethought even before they are fully complete, almost as if The Beatles can't keep up with their own creative momentum, colourful doodles and stoned illustrations accompanying some of them
Allan Jones, UNCUT
They were just scraps of paper set for a cleaner's furnace - but now The Beatles' lyric sheets are precious jewels that reveal the secret history of the world's greatest band... beneath the scrawls and corssings-out lies a shadow history of The Beatles
LIVERPOOL ECHO
A forensic song-by-song exploration of the band's writing process... If you're a songwriter, the song manuscripts along are fascinating, and if you're a Beatles fan, the info here can't help but give you a fresh insight into their music
GUITARIST
No Lennon/McCartney obsessive should be without Hunter Davies' The Beatles Lyrics
Olivia Cole, GQ Magazine
Fascinating facsimiles of scribbled lyric notes jotted onto scraps of paper... afford insights into the development from the germ of an idea to a finished song
THE INDEPENDENT 'Books of the Year'
He wrote the first comprehensive biography of The Beatles and now, in The Beatles Lyrics, Hunter Davies returns to examine each of the band's songs in forensic details, offering insights into the creative process and putting the songs in their social and personal context
CHOICE
A fascinating look at how these classics came into being as the manuscripts show how lines were altered and whole verses dumped
THE SUN
This delightful book will appeal to the millions of Beatles fans around the world who will surely enjoy reliving these iconic songs and learning something of their history
SIXTYPLUSSURFERS
Even fans who think they know it all already will treasure this forensic exploration of the Beatles' songs...a handsome coffee-table book by Hunter Davies that manages to shed new light on the creative process behind such songs as Eleanor Rigby, Across the Universe and Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds...a treasure of a book, a forensic, song-by-song exploration of the band's creative process
Paul Howard, THE IRISH TIMES
You may never read a more comprehensive, unpretentious account of the creative processes behind a band's body of lyrics. It seems fitting that band should be The Beatles... The book runs chronologically from A to Z through every self-penned song the Beatles recorded in their eight action-packed years together. With all those original handwritten manuscripts, it's a must buy for die-hard Beatles fans and, no doubt, many calligraphers too
Joe Dermody, IRISH EXAMINER