Let’s start with one thing.
This book is massive.
Had I known this book was going to be 797 pages of very small text, I would not have asked to review it. (Upon further research, I have learned that a 1728 page “Extended” edition also exists.)
So I’ll give you a mini review followed by a long review since that seems to be a thing here.
Mini Review: This contains everything you never knew you wanted to know about the Beatles.
Actual Review: I’ve been a casual Beatles fan as long as I can remember. I took chorus through middle and high school and they were always part of our 60s/British Invasion unit. It wasn’t until I watched Across the Universe in high school that I really got into the breadth of their music. Once I got over the fact that the movie made absolutely no sense to me, I became obsessed with the soundtrack. From that, I ventured into their actual recordings and have been singing along ever since.
I had never really dug into their history, however. I knew the basis we learned in class, but that was it. So, when I saw this book up as a review choice I snagged it. The things I learned were things I never even thought to learn about. Lewisohn spares no detail, because he has the luxury of a massive book to hold all the details he wants.
Oh, and this is only Volume One, covering up to December 1962 when they are about to record their first album. (The second volume isn’t out yet, but judging by the length of this one, it might be taking a while.)
In full honesty, this was too much information for me. Maybe I should have started with some more general biographies to get a good lump of information in my head before being bombarded with all these details. I was also disappointed that the book didn’t even get to them recording. The part I’m really interested in is their growth as musicians and how they got from “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” to “Helter Skelter”.
Now that that’s over, I think I’m gong to go find another book to read about the Beatles history as a whole.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.