Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Review Of The Beatles All These Years - Tune In

840 pages for most biographies is more than enough space to cover a subject's birth, death and everything remotely interesting that has occurred in-between. But when the topic is The Beatles and the biographer in question is Mark Lewisohn, the universally acknowledged authority on the Fab Four, then 840 pages is only enough to constitute the first in a planned trilogy of books.

Tune In takes us up to the end of 1962 where The Beatles, having enjoyed initial chart success with the slow burning Love Me Do in the final quarter of the year, are poised to blow the world's minds and kick-start the Sixties with the recorded and soon to be released Please Please Me. Everything that precedes it in this methodically researched book builds up to this point: childhoods and schooldays, the tangle of friendships, and the dawning of a new style of music - rock and roll - that changes the lives of John, Paul, George and Ringo forever.

Having myself read dozens of Beatle-related books over the years, I was worried that reading Tune In was going to feel as if I was re-treading over familiar territory. However, my mind was soon reassured that I was in for an enjoyable read once it became apparent that the author had dug deeper than any biographer has to date in order to present previously unearthed reliable facts and stories from people 'who were there' at the time, in the process sorting out once and for all some of the unanswered questions about The Beatles that had acquired almost mythical status over the years, such as 'Who did buy John's first guitar?' and 'Why was Pete Best sacked from the band?' to name but two.

I am now looking forward to reading Volume 2 when it is released with a longing and enthusiasm I had not expected to feel when commencing Tune In.

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