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A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song Paperback – October 18, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"One of the most readable and illuminating books ever written about The Beatles" Steve Matteo 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: Angelheaded 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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; Updated edition (October 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060844094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060844097
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

484 of 512 people found the following review helpful By doublefantasy on March 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
As I bought this book based on all of the very high praise found on this Amazon page, I now feel obligated to warn future potential buyers that this book is nowhere near all it's cracked up to be.

First of all, if you've read at least a few other Beatles books before, a lot of the information in this book purported to be "revelatory" is actually old news, and well-known even by casual fans. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds was a drawing by Julian Lennon? Well, I'll be. Strawberry Fields Forever was a reference to John Lennon's special, childhood hideaway? No way! Penny Lane is a district in Liverpool? These are the kinds of shockers that just keep coming and coming.

Of course, as someone who truly does obsess over the Beatles, I was expecting to reread lots of things I already knew. The problem is the things I didn't know. There was, in fact, all kinds of information that I had never before come across. To the point that I would almost be impressed.

If I could believe a word of it. And sadly, I can't.

The book is riddled, just riddled, with ridiculous typos and factual errors. There seems to have been no copy editing done in this book outside of computerized spell checking. And so all kinds of typos remain, because the words they spell are in the dictionary. One of my favorites is when the author seriously refers to previous Beatles films as "Help! and Hard Day's Write." Yes, the author got the Beatles film confused with his own book, and no one managed to catch it. A mere few paragraphs later, he claims that the song added to Let It Be... Naked is I've Got a Feeling. Which it is not. He also claims that George Martin came up with the idea for the Sgt.
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78 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Beatlefansincethen on May 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is very valuable for people who haven't read many Beatle books and don't know much about them or their music. If you fall into that category you will find this book indispensible. It gives an accurate outline of the stories behind every Beatle song, and what interesting stories they are. The people who inadvertantly influenced their writing, the events that inspired them to write a particular song, (sometimes a TV commercial or innocuous statement made by someone in the room or in their recent past.) A wonderful insight into their creative process and into their minds as well. Unfortunately for me, I've read so many Beatle books, that I have heard all of these stories before, so by the time I came across this book, it was kind of anticlimactic. Even so, there were still some things I didn't know like, Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkee is actually referring to Yoko Ono,(she's John's monkee) and is not about having a heroin habit, like I had assumed. I won't give anymore away though because if you are reading this, I recommend that you read A Hard Day's Write and find out for yourself.

The only thing I found mildly annoying, is the author's slight over analysis of Lennon's songs. Maybe he is right about most of them, he certainly doesn't seem off the mark when he talks about Lennon's abandonment issues. However his editorialising about John's, And Your Bird Can Sing really got under my skin. He seems to have the idea that John is singing about Paul in this song, and trying to say that Paul isn't as cool as he is, when he sings, "Tell me that you've heard every sound there is" etc. According to Turner, when he sings, "You say you've seen seven wonders," he's referring to Paul's "seven levels" remark when they first got high together. (huh?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Steve Turner's A HARD DAY'S WRITE: THE STORIES BEHIND EVERY BEATLES SONG focuses on all the material written by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Star that has appeared on offically released albums. Turner gives us a peak into how the popular songwriting team of Lennon & McCartney would turn ordinary every day events or items from their personal lives into the enduring classics that every Beatles fan knows. The book is extremely well written (although there are a couple of proof readings that slipped through the cracks for example there's a picture in the book with an incorrect caption claiming that Chuck Berry sued John Lennon for plagerism--it was Morris Levy's music company that did. Turner also misses the chance to tell about the fiasco of the John Lennon "Oldies" album that was marketed on TV as a result of this suit and the settlement)and factual for the most part.This third edition is the most handsome one yet and the book appears in a coffee paper size in paperback. Turner has filled the book with a nice mixture of rarely seen photos so that this treasure trove of Beatles trivia won't make most fans feel that they've been there and done that with previous Beatle books.

Turner also dispells some myths about the band's popular songs for example "Yellow Submarine" although clearly written as a children's song had a rumors floating around for years that it was about drugs (heck, just about every Beatls song had that rumor but this was one unusual one that I hadn't heard before). Turner also digs up the news item that inspired Paul McCartney and John Lennon to write "She's Leaving Home" and even discovered that the girl that McCartney wrote about in his song had met her idol three years before the song was written (although McCartney never knew it).
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