The definitive book of Beatles songs, shown as first written by their own hands and put into authoritative context, for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America.
For the Beatles, writing songs was a process that could happen anytime -- songs we all know by heart often began as a scribble on the back of an envelope or on hotel stationery. These original documents have ended up scattered across the world at museums and universities and with collectors and friends. Many have never been published before. More than 100 songs and lyrics are reproduced in THE BEATLES LYRICS, providing Hunter Davies a unique platform to tell the story of the music.
The intimacy of these reproductions -- there are sections crossed out and rewritten, and words tossed into the final recordings that were never written down -- ensures that THE BEATLES LYRICS will be a treasure for musicians, scholars, and fans everywhere.
[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