We appear to be in something of an avalanche of Beatle books at the moment with lots of titles either out now, about to be released, or in the longer-term pipeline.
A couple of Paul McCartney books available right now are The McCartney Legacy Volume 1 1969-73 (see our review of this terrific book here), and another new one called Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas – The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol.1) 1970-1989.
This is by Luca Perasi, whose previous work on McCartney was the highly-regarded Recording Sessions (1969-2013). Luca was also one of the two official Italian translators of the singer’s own book The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, and last year he collaborated with MPL on the label details for McCartney’s epic The 7” Singles Box release. So, he knows his stuff. Keep an eye out for our review of his new book Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas here soon.
Another one we’ve been informed about but haven’t seen as yet is The Beatles On The Charts. This is by Michael Ventrella who has combed through nearly 60 years of Billboard to compile a list of every song and album that made an appearance in that fabled magazine’s music charts. The end result is an intriguing look at the band’s influence, including their solo efforts. Ventrella assigns points to the positions of each song and album in order to create a list ranging from the least successful to the most successful. Each entry includes a picture of the album cover or single sleeve, along with an analysis of the song or album. It looks like it’d make a great reference book to have in the library:
Looking ahead to June 13 there is 1964: Eyes of the Storm – Photographs and Reflections by Paul McCartney. This features a selection of Paul McCartney’s own photographs and memories from six of the key cities visited by The Beatles across the year 1964. It captures the craziness of the band’s intense life on the road as they steadily rose to fame, with many never-before-seen portraits and snapshots of John, George and Ringo.
As with McCartney’s 2021 book, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, a special, extremely limited boxed and cloth-bound edition (175 copies worldwide) of 1964: Eyes of the Storm has been made available as part of an effort to support independent booksellers. You’ll have to be fast and have deep pockets to secure one of these. Check out your local independent store to see if they scored a copy and how they intend to sell it:
In October comes Bruce Spizer’s latest installment in his Beatles Album Series and it is now available for pre-order. The book, the seventh to be published in the series, covers the albums Please Please Me and With The Beatles, as well as their associated singles and the American albums Introducing The Beatles and Meet The Beatles!
And finally worth noting, for release later in the year (November 14 to be precise), is the much-anticipated book by respected author Kenneth Womack on the life and times of famous Beatle roadie, friend, fixer, confidante, and sometimes co-composer, Mal Evans.
This one will be worth the wait as it is an authorised biography, with Womack being given access by the Evans estate to Mal’s diaries and the treasure trove of his vast, never before seen archive including hundreds of drawings and photographs, memorabilia and ephemera from inside the Beatle camp. Living the Beatles Legend: The Untold Story of Mal Evans is published by Harper Collins’ Dey Street Books. Pre-orders for are currently available on Amazon here. Tantalizingly, it will be followed in 2024 with a fully illustrated version. Cannot wait for that one.
Of course if you’re interested in Beatles books generally you must listen to The Beatles Books Podcast. It’s available on Apple Podcast, Spotify and Podbean, or wherever you get good podcasts. Host Joe Wisbey regularly chats to a wide variety of Beatle authors and writers and it is always interesting and informative as he seeks to discover what inspired them to add their particular entry into the 1000’s of books about The Beatles out there. Check it out.