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A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song Paperback – October 18, 2005
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very cool stories of how the Beatles composed songs. Nostalgic and interesting.Published 10 days ago by Valerie
I didn't buy this, but got it as a gift. It presents some interesting trivia about some of the songs, but as some other reviews have pointed out, some of the descriptions of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Chuck L.