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The Beatles Anthology Paperback – September 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; Reprint edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811836363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811836364
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 9.8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (279 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Who knows why the Beatles happened?" John Lennon asked in 1980: if anyone did, it would be the Fab Four themselves, who tell their own storyDwith plenty of visual aidsDin this giant compendium. Festooned with more than 1,300 photographs, posters and documents (many in color), the weighty (6.6 lbs.) volume offers the Beatles' "own permanent written record of events up to 1970," some of it previously published, but much of it transcribed from new or unpublished interviews. Paul, George, Ringo and Beatles-related folks (Brian Epstein, George Martin, Derek Taylor) contribute text from interviews conducted for the book and for an accompanying TV program. Words from the late John Lennon have been gathered from print, broadcast and manuscripts (each with an indicated date), then spliced together to create coherent pages and paragraphs. The book opens with the band members' separate accounts of their childhoods, then moves into a year-by-year organization that allows for great detail and many digressions. Here are what the Beatles have said, or say now, about particular sessions and gigs. Here, too, are comments and reminiscences on every topic in their careerD from marijuana to Manila to Murray the K, from Hamburg to "A Hard Day's Night" to "Hey, Jude." Most of the text appears oral-history style, in short paragraphs with rapid switches between one Beatle and another: the format makes it sound as if all the Beatles (including John) were being interviewed simultaneously. The visuals bring in cartoons, signed letters, scrawled drawings and photos. As a whole the volume is beautiful, big and a bit intimidating, somewhere between the Yellow Submarine and the Death Star. (One-day laydown, Oct. 5) Forecast: Do people still care? You bet they do. With massive publicity, innumerable tie-ins and enduring, worldwide passion for the music, this is poised to be one of the biggest nonfiction books of the year. Yeah, yeah, yeah!
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

What should be the final word on the Beatles has arrived. It takes the form of a massive oral-history tome, its contents derived mostly from recorded conversations with Paul, George, and Ringo for the recent TV documentary The Beatles Anthology. Those are augmented by excerpts from interviews with John that are integrated effectively and almost seamlessly with the new material, and by occasional comments from the group's closest associates, such as recording producer George Martin. Big as it is, the volume virtually overflows with fascinating tidbits about growing up in Liverpool, early gigs, the rise to unprecedented fame and acclaim, and the Beatles' pervasive social influence. It seems crammed much in the way that the Beatles crammed several lifetimes' worth of music and living into the decade of the group's existence. Although the contents are somewhat sanitized--this is, after all, essentially a group autobiography--the four address less-pleasant incidents, such as the sacking of original Beatles drummer Pete Best and the petty squabbles that led to the group's 1970 breakup. The text is accompanied by more than 1,300 photos, many letters, and other memorabilia. There isn't much news, though. After 30 years and hundreds of books, few secrets remain to be revealed. But even familiar bits of Beatle lore seem fresh when told in the band's own words. Expect heavy demand for this monumental release, especially after the holidays, from frustrated Beatlemaniacs who failed to find the pricey item under the tree. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

If you are a Beatles fan, then this book is an absolute MUST.
zzcoop
It's both a comprehensive encyclopedia on the band, and a great coffee table book with its beautiful silver cover.
Mark Piske
The story is told from such a personal viewpoint that you will feel like you're part of the band.
Itamar Katz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

201 of 206 people found the following review helpful By Michael Topper on October 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Hundreds of books have been written about The Beatles, but it is
crushingly obvious when reading this Anthology volume that by far the
best one would naturally come from the bandmembers themselves. [The
price] seems like an incredible bargain considering the size and
quality of this work, which covers the years 1940 (the birth of Ringo
and John) to the breakup in 1970. At 368 coffee-table sized pages
it's already huge, but the small print makes it almost double that
size.
The book would be worth it just for the photos alone, which
are beautifully reprinted--many from the early years are actually in
color--chronicling dozens of previously unpublished, intimate moments
taken straight from the group's personal archives. But what really
makes this one essential is the text itself, which is taken from
interviews conducted with Paul, George and Ringo in the 90s and an
exhaustive compilation of Lennon quotes from all points in his life (I
recognized many, but there were also some I've never seen before).
Even after the dozens upon dozens of biographies which have recounted
the group's earth-shattering tale ad nauseum, you feel like you're
reading it for the first time. All four bandmembers speak with a
thousand times more wit, frankness and detail than all of their
previous biographers combined; in fact, they manage to offer up
juicier tales, and more interesting spins on already known events,
than anything you've read before even in the most gossipy bios--and
you get it this time knowing that it's honest (you know it's honest
when you hear conflicting memories about certain events!).
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94 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Candace Scott on October 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How can any Beatles fan not be delirious over the arrival of this book? I spent four hours glued to it, lovingly turning each page, laughing, smiling and astounded over so many previously unseen photos. I have 400 Beatles books in my collection in many different languages. This book beats them all in content, style, text, arrangement and producing pure bliss in the reader. Some of the early photos from the Cavern and Hamburg years have appeared before in Mike McGear's 1977 book, but there are other new photos when the boys were so young it's almost piercing to look at them.
My only slight criticism is that much of the text was lifted directly from the Beatles Anthology series. This was disappointing, but the soaring positives of this weighty book cancel out any whining. For all of us Beatles fans, this is the apex of what will be offered for a long time. You will cherish this book and get endless hours of fascination and enjoyment from it. John, Paul, George and Ringo...still producing powerful emotions. They always will.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Mark Piske on November 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The book is packed with photos, memories, ads, and trinkets of all varietie, and not just the ones Beatles fans have seen forever - some are pretty rare. It's sure to feed the appetite of Beatles fans for years. Well worth the price, and a great gift. It's both a comprehensive encyclopedia on the band, and a great coffee table book with its beautiful silver cover. Recommended to any serious Beatles fan. It's more enjoyable with each passing day.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By zzcoop on November 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Wow. First off, one can't help but marvel at the fact that this book is HUGE! This makes every other Beatles biography look rather pathetic in comparison. The sheer number of superbly reproduced, and more often than not never-before-seen, photographs is mind-boggling. This is the absolute definitive story of the Beatles, as told by them, so all the speculation and conflicting stories that have surfaced in previous books is completely irrelevant. If you are a Beatles fan, then this book is an absolute MUST. And believe me, once you buy this book, you will be able to retire any and all of your existing Beatles biographies for use as coasters, placemats, puppy training papers or the like. I also strongly encourage you to look into the new CD, "Beatles 1." All 27 of the original number 1 singles have been digitally remastered (spectacularly, I might add!) and the sound is unbelievable.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Chris Peters on November 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I was going to give this book 4 stars, until half-way through I was struck by the pure genius of it all. Why? It's like a cover song - when someone else plays a Beatles song, does it ever really sound as good as the original? Rarely. "Anthology" is a huge tome of a book comprised entirely of interviews and snippets from the Fab Four themselves, with a very few extras from their manager, studio producer, etc. It seems like a coffee table book, but it certainly isn't - over 350 large pages of fine print.
The reason why this book ALMOST got 4 stars is because of the inherent nature of a book made entirely of quotes - natural conversation doesn't translate well onto the printed page, especially when so many people are quoted from different periods in their lives. The book never says "In 1964, the Beatles recorded Rubber Soul" or anything like that. Instead, the quotes gradually roll around to telling you, until you realize "Oh, we're in the studio again". Often this book is disjointed and hard to follow, especially if you don't anything about the Beatles.
However, few people know nothing about the Beatles! After the first 30 pages, you get used to the style of presentation, and later on you realize the beauty of it all - these boys are down-right inspiring. Worked in with all the tours and stories and pranks and bad rumors and other nonsense are wonderful descriptions of their music and how it was written, what its inspiration was, and the trials that were faced to create it. The Beatles didn't idolize themselves, not like their fans do, so the words just flow out effortlessly and pure, just like their music did. This was their lives, no big deal, this is what they did. The creativity is catchy.
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