Beatles boxset envy and you

Are you suffering from Beatles boxset envy? After seeing the latest release of the massive Let it be Remix with that huge beautiful book and saying to yourself…. I can’t possibly justify buying yet another copy of that album just for the pictures and infos contained within (although, we highly recommend this album for people who don’t have all those bootlegs of Get Back from years past just to get a glimpse on the evolution of your favorite tunes).

We have decided here at the Ferris Wheel to give you a little list of possible books and merch that you can find in the wild to satisfy your cravings for the Fab Four or to help a neophyte that is just now discovering those Liverpool boys who made all that great music.

For the history of the band:

‘Shout!: The Beatles in Their Generation,’ by Philip Norman

One of the best books out there for people who really want to understand the Hamburg period. This is the ultimate Before they were famous study of the Beatles where you discover who they are trying like madmen to make it in the rough city of post-WWII europe. You can even discover foreshadowing of the drugs to come with the habits of being piled up like madmen to make it through the nights. Word of warning to those who venerate John, Paul and George, many people find Norman’s tone to be somewhat condescending but you can’t fault him for the quality of the research.  

‘The Man Who Gave the Beatles Away,’ by Allan Williams

Think the Beatles had it made once they were back from Germany? Heck no! Finding a new manager was high on the list. This book is by the man who was the band’s first manager who congratulates himself for seeing their raw talent when no one would touch them with a ten foot pole. So, what do you do when you manage for a time what would become the biggest act in rock history but let them go before you make a penny? Why write a book about how bright and good you are of course. 

‘The Beatles: The Authorized Biography,’ by Hunter Davies

One of the first Beatle books out there back in 1968, it’s filled with examples of the correspondence between John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe. Filled with the views of the band when they were still together and raw with the emotional turmoil of being in the eye of the storm. 

You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup

Peter Doggett

How do you survive the breakup of the biggest band in the world? Not always with great aplomb it seems. This is the chronicle of the epic battles between Lennon and McCartney, the constant existential crisis in George Harrison’s life between spirituality and fame, and Ringo’s struggle with alcoholism. It goes through the ugly setbacks to the triumphant reunions that have marked the years following the release of Let it Be.

For the expert who wants to know all the minutiae:

All You Need Is Ears: The inside personal story of the genius who created The Beatles

George Martin

Some consider him the fifth Beatle, others just consider him the best Svengali rock music has ever seen. One thing is for sure, George Martin was the man who recorded and produced them from the start, and who brought their musical ideas to fruition and maturity.This is an inside look of what it was like in the studio from the auditions all the way to the experiments with some fights in between (like his decision to scrap Pete Best on drums).

 Recording The Beatles: The Studio Equipment and Techniques Used To Record Their Classic Albums

by Kevin Ryan,

Brian Kehew

Are you obsessed with the idea of recreating every detail about a recording you love? If so, Recording The Beatles: The Studio Equipment and Techniques Used To Record Their Classic Albums is the book for you. It’s an encyclopedia made with the assistance of many of the group’s former engineers and technicians. You will find information on every piece of recording equipment used at Abbey Road Studios during the group’s sessions, including all microphones, outboard gear, mixing consoles, speakers, and tape machines present in that room. Each and every piece is explored in great detail, and are illustrated with hundreds of full color photographs, charts, etc. You will also discover that the effects used on the Beatles’ records are examined with full explanations of concepts used.

Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Instruments from Stage to Studio – The Ultimate Edition

by Andy Babiuk

You have the passion but not the scratch to buy the crazy expensive Keving Ryan and Brain Kehew bible? Then this ultimate illustrated guide to all the gear used by the Beatles is for you. You will find details on which guitars, drums, amplifiers, and keyboards the Fab Four used throughout their  revolutionary career. It goes from their earliest days as the Quarry Men to the dissolution of the Beatles in 1970. We go from the cheap early instruments to the pick of 1960s most advanced technology in an easy-to-read narrative and specially photographed instruments used by the group.

‘Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Beatles,’ by Geoff Emerick

Still hungry for more? Well, you only have to find the book by the mid-1960s engineer Geoff Emerick who came on board to be integral to the sounds of Revolver and Sgt. Pepper. He explores how many of the sounds that are now legendary came to be at Abbey Road in a nice conversational style without too many techbable for the uninitiated.

For the fan who wants to analyse each and every song’s meaning: 

‘Revolution in the Head,’ by Ian MacDonald

One of the bibles of Beatles fans for years, Ian MacDonald’s book explores the output of the fab four every which way and is without mercy. He sees past the critical reputation and goes into the study of both lyrics and melody. You will read an analysis of all 241 tracks evaluated chronologically from the amateur beginning of 1957 to the final zombie recordings of 1995. If you question the author’s cred, know that he was himself a songwriter, a record producer, and the author of The Beatles at No. 1.

The Beatles Lyrics: The Stories Behind the Music, Including the Handwritten Drafts of More Than 100 Classic Beatles Songs

Hunter Davies

Interested in the Genesis of how a song comes to be? Over a hundred tunes and lyrics are explored by Davies from a scribble on the back of an envelope or on hotel stationery to rock masterpiece. You can see how the minds of the Fab Four work with reproductions of sections that are crossed out and then rewritten, words that made their way into songs that never made it to paper, etc. 

Way Beyond Compare: The Beatles’ Recorded Legacy, Volume One, 1957-1965

and  That Magic Feeling: The Beatles’ Recorded Legacy, Volume Two, 1966-1970

John C. Winn

The ultimate monk-like work of one man spending nearly two decades sifting through, scrutinizing, organizing, and analyzing hundreds of hours of audio and video recordings. Basically this is the ‘’Everything you always wanted to know about the Beatles but were afraid to ask’’ book. It’s a digestible homeric journey through every known Beatles recording and how they were influenced by and transformed the period in which they were created.

For the fan that had a long day and just wants to learn without getting Carpal tunnel syndrome

The Beatles Trivial Pursuit Game

Brand: Winning Moves Games

Want to know more but don’t feel like you need to put a book the size of a todler on your legs to do so? This game might be the answer for you. The questions were created by Beatles author and expert, Bruce Spizer, and they range from easy to medium to hard (and they are hard). You will find a few categories like Songs, Movies, History, On Their Own, Albums&Singles, and The Beatles In America. Many of the questions were inspired by the research that Spizer did for his Bealtes books focusing on their US record releases and their invasion of America.

Now we know that there are many hundred more books on this subject out there Across the Universe but this is just a small sample to get you hooked. 

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