We’ve finally secured a copy of Mark Lewisohn’s Extended Special Edition of The Beatles: All These Years Vol.1: Tune In. The box-set book has been out of stock in Australia for a few weeks, but new supplies have arrived.
Here, for your viewing pleasure, is an unboxing of this treasure of packaging and the fine art of book-binding. The set comes in shrink-wrap. Here’s the front and side of the main outer box:
The base of the box (still in its shrink-wrap) carries some interesting information:
Sean Garrehy designed the box set. He’s Art Director at LBBG (Little Brown Book Group) – the UK publishers. Mike Wykes is the owner of Handmade Press, an art and design studio based in Leicester in the UK. As you’ll see later the hand-written design elements of the box set are in Lewisohn’s own writing.
Using a razor blade to carefully remove the shrink-wrap from the base of the box you can slide it up and off:
This reveals the two hardback volumes (together totalling 1728 pages) making up the extended text of All These Years Vol.1: Tune In. These sit inside an inner, three-sided cardboard holder:
So far, so good. This is an impressively packaged and presented item. Here are the three sides of the inner holder. First the right-hand side:
When you remove the two books there’s more detail on the inside of the holder. On the right-hand side is a map of Liverpool:
On the rear panel just the word “Why?”:
And on the left a pic and short bio of Mark Lewisohn:
The books themselves are great. Very understated, but oozing quality and all the hallmarks of the bookmakers art. Lewisohn’s website says that they’re printed on New Langely Antique Wove woodfree paper, with red-and-white head and tail bands and red ribbon marker. The covers are very textured, deeply embossed and look good. One comes in dark grey, the other in red:
Inside there are more photo sections than in the standard editions (and hence more photos) – and many of the photos are laid out in a different way. Here are a couple of examples:
For a comparison between this special edition and the standard UK release here they are standing side-by-side:
Now that we have it we can’t wait for the holiday season to begin so that we can start ploughing through this baby! All the reviews so far agree: this is the definitive Beatles biography, bar none. And it’s beautiful to boot.
See also the UK and US standard editions compared.