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A Hard Day's Write, Revised Edition: The Stories Behind Every Beatles' Song Paperback – November 1, 1999


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Paperback, November 1, 1999
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; Revised edition (November 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062736981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062736987
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #736,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"* "One of the most readable and illuminating books ever written about The Beatles" (The Music Paper)" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Steve Turner is the author of Trouble Man: The Life and Death of Marvin Gaye, A Hard Day's, Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song, Hungry for Heaven: Rock and Roll and the Search for Redemption, Jack Kerouac. Angelbeaded Hipster, and Van Morrison: Too Late to Stop Now. His articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, Mojo, Q, and the London Times. He lives in London with his wife and two children.

More About the Author

Steve Turner is the author of Trouble Man: The Life and Death of Marvin Gaye, A Hard Day's, Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song, Hungry for Heaven: Rock and Roll and the Search for Redemption, Jack Kerouac. Angelbeaded Hipster, and Van Morrison: Too Late to Stop Now. His articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, Mojo, Q, and the London Times. He lives in London with his wife and two children.

Customer Reviews

John Lennon regarded IN MY LIFE as one of his most important songs.
FrizzText
Ive been through it,i dont read books from cover to cover,unless its a novel, i like to go through it and get to the juicy parts.
Y2bjs Reviews
Steve Turner gives the background story behind every Beatles song on all their officially released albums up to Abbey Road.
Diana Poskrop

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 23, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the music unit my Popular Culture class we look at the songs of the Beatles, specifically those collected on their "Beatles 1" album. Students write a paper looking at the stages of the group as defined by the songs on that album and sometimes they find things on the Internet that talk about how John Lennon and Paul McCartney (and George Harrison for "Something") came to write their songs. Unfortunately that has little to do with putting these songs into distinct chronological stages, but after reading "A Hard Day's Write" you can see where they would be fascinated by some of these stories and forget to just listen to the songs and decide for themselves what they are about and what makes them work.

Steve Turner provides the stories behind every one of the Beatles songs, including "Free As a Bird" and all the songs from "Anthology" and "Live at the BBC" that would not be covered by the other albums. The book is divided into 14 chapters representing 17 albums ("Magical Mystery Tour" and "Yellow Submarine" are combined, as are the three "Anthology" albums). Turner is following the British albums and including those songs that ended up on the two "Masterworks" collections with the albums that were being recorded (e.g., "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "With the Beatles," "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Field Forever" with "Sgt. Pepper"). It does not include the songs by other writers that the Beatles covered during their early years.

Turner makes the point that this is not a book that is attempting to explain what the Beatles "were really trying to say," but tells us about the ideas and inspirations behind these songs, as well as dispelling some of the popular myths connected to some of these songs.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Diana Poskrop on January 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
Steve Turner gives the background story behind every Beatles song on all their officially released albums up to Abbey Road. Other books make the same claim, but this one's the best! To me, the most fascinating entries are about John's autobiographical songs, such as 'In My Life' and 'Strawberry Fields Forever.'
The story behind 'A Day In the Life' is riveting and is partly based on a personal tragedy for Paul.
Find out what John's inspiration was for 'Tomorrow Never Knows.' Does Dr. Robert really exist? 'She's Leaving Home' is based on a true story Paul had read about in a newspaper. Which was the first Beatles song not to be about love? Learn how much of an influence Dr. Timothy O'Leary was. Who's Ocean Child ('Julia')? Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is behind a few songs, but not always the way you might think! A song based on a conversation with Peter Fonda? You bet! What's the story of the sitar in 'Norwegian Wood,' and just who is the mysterious woman in whose bathtub John slept? I could go on and on!
The text is very well researched, and includes quotes from people who were involved with the Beatles.
The photos are excellent and add to the realness of the songs. See Eleanor Rigby's gravestone, Matt Busby (from 'Dig It')and the man who 'blew his mind out in a car.'
AHDW is thorough, accurate and FUN to read. If I could, I'd give it 10 stars!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
Beware, this is not a high-brow re-evaluation such as Revolution In The Head. Instead, Steve Turner has written an entertaining, humorous and well-informed lowdown on all self-penned Beatle songs. The narrative is of the sort you might find a kindly hippie-uncle giving his wet-behind-the-ears nephew when asked, "so who were those Beatle guys?' We get to hear plenty from Paul who's clear memory of how and why the songs were written sometimes clashes with what John or George had to say. These two are sometimes quite dismissive about the songs whereas Paul seems far more even about it all.
Light is thrown on the old chestnuts; Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, Helter Skelter, Lucy etc. Charles Manson's ravings are included. Boy, he could see apocalypse on a blank page.
The book mirrors the way the guys honed their songwriting skills and matured from the lightweight fun of the early songs into depth and genuine insight from Rubber Soul on.
In conclusion, Mr Taylor has joined the pantheon of great Beatles chroniclers, Hunter Davies, Philip Norman and Ian MacDonald and produced an utterly glorious 'let me take you back...'
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
First of all, when I saw this book in the bookstore, I thought, "Cool! A book all about how the songs were written!" And, being a songwriter myself, I just knew I HAD to have it! I haven't even read the whole thing yet, and I already know it's the definitive book on the work of the Beatles' songs! Things in the book, like the people who inspired the songs, are cool to find out. It's great to know that ordinary people can inspire extraordinary vision! This is definately a fun book to read! I know I'll keep opening it up from time to time! I hope you like it as much as I did! BTW, feel free to e-mail me and chat about the Beatles! My ICQ # is 2564071.
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Format: Paperback
I have read most of the books on the Beatles and this one is my favorite. It has great photos, is easy to read, and tells the story of the Beatles through each of their songs. I especially liked the update with "Free As a Bird" and "Real Love," from the Anthology. This is a great gift for any real Beatle fan. There is more packed into this 224 page book than you could ever imagine. This book is a true joy!!!... You got to get this one!!!
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