Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
BOOKS on THE BEATLES AT HMCPL
Hundreds of books have been written about The Beatles, ranging from biographies to critical analyses of their music to memoirs of individual Beatles, ex-wives, childhood friends and associates. Following are selected books on The Beatles available at one of the branches of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library.
By Brian Bess
The Beatles by
Call Number: 784.54 DAV
Publication Date: 1968
From the book jacket: 'In this behind-the-scenes look at the most famous musical group in history, Hunter Davies gives the complete story of the Beatles. First published in 1968, this revised edition has added information including a new introduction and three updated appendices: Beatles Places, Beatles Memorabilia, and Beatles Books. As the only authorized biographer Davies had full access to the Fab Four, as well as their help and encouragement. He spent eighteen months with them when they were at the peak of their musical genius and at the pinnacle of their popularity, making a mark on history and popular culture that would never fade.'
The Beatles: The Biography by
Call Number: 784.54 SPI
Publication Date: 2005
From the book jacket: 'The product of almost a decade of research, hundreds of unprecedented interviews, and the discovery of scores of never-before-revealed documents, Bob Spitz's 'The Beatles' is the biography fans have been waiting for--a vast, complete account as brilliant and joyous and revelatory as a Beatles record itself.'
Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America by
Call Number: 784.54 GOU
Publication Date: 2007
From the book jacket: 'Nearly twenty years in the making, 'Can't Buy Me Love' is a masterful work of group biography, cultural history, and musical criticism. That the Beatles were an unprecedented phenomenon is a given. In 'Can't Buy Me Love,' Jonathan Gould seeks to explain why, placing the Fab Four in the broad and tumultuous panorama of their time and place, rooting their story in the social context that girded both their rise and their demise.'
The Beatles : all these years. Volume 1, Tune in by
Call Number: 782.4216 LEW
Publication Date: 2013
Tune In is the first volume of a highly-anticipated, groundbreaking biographical trilogy by the world's leading Beatles historian. Mark Lewisohn uses his unprecedented archival access and hundreds of new interviews to construct the full story of the lives and work of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Ten years in the making, Tune In takes the Beatles from before their childhoods through the final hour of 1962--when, with breakthrough success just days away, they stand on the cusp of a whole new kind of fame and celebrity. They've one hit record ("Love Me Do") behind them and the next ("Please Please Me") primed for release, their first album session is booked, and America is clear on the horizon. This is the lesser-known Beatles story--the pre-Fab years of Liverpool and Hamburg--and in many respects the most absorbing period of them all.--From publisher description.
The Beatles Lyrics: The Stories Behind the Music, Including the Handwritten Drafts of More Than 100 Classic Beatles Songs by
Call Number: 782.4216 DAV
Publication Date: 2014
"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."
Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole Worldd by
Call Number: 782.4216 SHE
Publication Date: 2017
From the Back Cover
From Dreaming the Beatles
John, Paul, George, and Ringo remain the world’s favorite thing. Yet every theory ever devised to explain why has failed. It wasn’t their timing. It wasn’t drugs. It wasn’t that they were the voice of a generation. The vast majority of Beatles fans today weren’t born when the records came out—yet the allure
of the music keeps on growing, nearly fifty years after the band split. The world keeps dreaming the Beatles, long after the Beatles themselves figured the dream was over. Our Beatles have outlasted theirs.
It is truly impossible to imagine a world without the Beatles. Yes, they are the biggest, most iconic rock band of all time. Their music continues to delight, define, and provide a soundtrack for fans all over the globe. It seems, however, that with each passing decade this band has become more popular, more influential, more ubiquitous, more beloved, just MORE, and in Dreaming the Beatles, the Rolling Stone columnist and bestselling author of Love Is a Mix Tape brings his singular voice to the most universal pop culture phenomenon in history, exploring what the Beatles mean today and why they still matter so intensely to a generation that has never known a world without them. This is not another biography of the band, or an exposé of how they broke up. It isn’t a history of their gigs or gear. It’s a fresh, unconventional look at the Beatles’ astounding story, from their early friendship to their Sixties creative explosion to their crazed solo years. And, as in his previous books like Talking to Girls About Duran Duran and On Bowie, Sheffield focuses on the emotional connections we make to music. Chronicling his lifelong obsession with the Beatles along with the rest of the world’s, Dreaming the Beatles is a passionate celebration of the band and their music, showing how John, Paul, George, and Ringo invented the future we’re living in today. It’s a book that is brilliant, fresh, and universal—kind of like the Beatles themselves.
Biographies of Individual Beatles
If any of the ex-Beatles thought after the band's breakup that they would be able to retire to a life of anonymity and seclusion they were sadly mistaken. In the forty-plus years since the breakup of the band, the individual members have continued to capture the eye of the public as well as the pens of journalists and tabloid hucksters. John Lennon had a knack for getting headlines but his murder in 1980 captured the biggest one, followed by a series of revisionist myths. George Harrison's attempt at a private life was the most successful although even then an almost successful attempt was made on his life in the privacy of his own home. After his death from cancer in 2001, his posthumous legacy has been subject to less debate and revisionism than John Lennon's but he still gets his share of attention, as recently as the Martin Scorsese-directed HBO film Living in the Material World from 2011. Paul McCartney continues to perform (to retire would be tantamount to suicide for him) and has co-written his autobiography. He seems determined to set the record straight while he is still here. All of his attempts simply generate more publicity and more debate pitting him against the myth of his former partner. Ringo Starr also must continue to perform. His lovable public persona generally deflects scandal-mongering and he seems content to embody the myth of the Beatles through a 'Beatles Lite' approach.
Following is a small sample of biographies of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, all available at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library.
By Brian Bess
John Lennon: The Life by
Call Number: B LEN NOR
Publication Date: 2008
From the book jacket: 'For more than a quarter century, Philip Norman's internationally bestselling 'Shout!' has been unchallenged as the definitive biography of the Beatles. Now, at last, Norman turns his formidable talent to the Beatle for whom belonging to the world's most beloved pop group was never enough. Drawing on previously untapped sources, and with unprecedented access to all the major characters, here is the comprehensive and most revealing portrait of John Lennon that is ever likely to be published.'
Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music--The Definitive Life by
Call Number: B LEN RIL
Publication Date: 2011
From the book jacket: 'In his commanding new book, the eminent NPR critic Tim Riley takes us on the remarkable journey that brought a Liverpool art student from a disastrous childhood to the highest realms of fame...Riley casts his subject as a modernist hero in a sweeping epic, dramatizing rock history anew as Lennon himself must have experienced it.'
Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now by
Call Number: B MAC C MIL
Publication Date: 1997
From the book jacket: 'Based on hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews undertaken over a period of five years by Barry Miles, and on complete access to McCartney's own archives, this is Paul McCartney in his own words. It is a history from the inside of one of the greatest song-writing partnerships of the century. It is the private life of a man made public property--a Beatle--by the age of twenty-one. It is the trajectory of the most popular pop group in history, from beginnings to break-up. It is the story of the sixties by the man at the centre of the storm. It is music, drugs, women, money, madness, the Maharishi, art, love, peace and bitterness, from beginning to end. It is the story as never told before.'
Paul McCartney: A Life by
Call Number: B MACC CAR
Publication Date: 2009
From the book jacket: 'In this defnitive biography, Peter Ames Carlin examines McCartney's entire life, casting new light not just on the Beatles era, but also on his years with Wings and his thirty-year relationship with his first wife, Linda McCartney. He takes us on a journey through a tumultuous couple of decades in which Paul struck out on his own as a solo artist, reached the top of the charts with a new band, and once again drew hundreds of thousands of screaming fans to his concerts...he also reveals a layered and often conflicted figure, as haunted by his legacy--and particularly his relationship with John Lennon--as he was inspired by it.'
Paul McCartney: The Life by
Call Number: B MACC NOR
Publication Date: 2016
Summary: "Since the age of twenty-one, Paul McCartney has lived one of the ultimate rock-n-roll lives played out on the most public of stages. Now, Paul's story is told by rock music's foremost biographer, with McCartney's consent and access to family members and close friends who have never spoken on the record before. Paul McCartney reveals the complex character behind the facade and sheds new light on his childhood--blighted by his mother's death but redeemed by the father who introduced him to music. This is the first definitive account of Paul's often troubled partnership with John Lennon, his personal trauma after the Beatles' breakup, and his subsequent struggle to get back to the top with Wings--which nearly got him murdered in Africa and brought him nine days in a Tokyo jail. Readers will learn about his marriage to Linda, including their much-criticized musical collaboration, and a moving account of her death. Packed with new information and critical insights, Paul McCartney will be the definitive biography of a musical legend." -- Publisher's description.
Behind Sad Eyes: The Life of George Harrison by
Call Number: B HAR SHA
Publication Date: 2002
From the book jacket: 'Shrouded in a sea of mystery, the elusive George Harrison has long been the most private and enigmatic member of the Beatles. From his hard knock childhood in Liverpool to his ascendance into rock infamy, George Harrison's life has been a torpid ride filled with legendary success and heart crushing defeat.
New York Times bestselling author Marc Shapiro sheds new light on this paradoxical rocker, whose reputation for unusual religious practices and drug abuse often rivaled his musical renown.
A man whose desire was to be free rather than be famous, Harrison's battle against conformity lead him to music making, a soulful and creative expression that would be his ticket to success and the bane of his existence. 'Behind Sad Eyes' is the compelling account of a man who gave the Beatles their lyrical playing style and brought solace to a generation during turbulent times.'