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The Beatles Lyrics: The Unseen Story Behind Their Music edited by Hunter Davies
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Joe
Pepperland
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6 August 2014 - 2.55pm

This is out on 25 September. My guess is it's similar in format to the Lennon letters, but with Beatles handwritten lyrics. Probably a typed transcript next to it, plus some well known facts about the songs. Still, I bet it's interesting to read, and at 560 pages there's bound to be a lot of good stuff.

Amazon link (please note Amazon.co.uk is showing reviews for the Alan Aldridge Illustrated Lyrics book, which is different)

Description:

Never before has anyone attempted to track down and publish the original versions of the classic songs, many of which have never yet been published. These documents have ended up in the hands of collectors and friends of the Beatles, scattered across the world at museums and universities. Hunter Davies knew and worked with the Beatles during their heyday, and wrote their first and only authorized biography. In this collection, he has tracked down and reproduced over 100 original handwritten manuscripts of their songs, reproduced here - and, in almost every case, for the very first time. For the Beatles, writing songs was a process that could happen anytime and anywhere - songs might begin as a scribble on the back of an envelope, a napkin or on hotel stationery. From them we gain a unique insight into the remarkable creative process of the greatest songwriters of all time; what they were thinking, how they changed their minds, and then came up with the words which are now known the world over - complete with all the scribbles and crossings out. Each song is given its context: what the Beatles were doing at the time, how and when they came to write and record it, how the original version differs from the final one. Almost every Beatles song has a great story behind it, whether it is 'Yesterday', 'Eleanor Rigby' or 'Yellow Submarine'. Many books have appeared about the Beatles, but in the end what really matters - and will always matter most - is their music. Their music comes out of their lives, just as their lives and emotions are reflected in their music. The Beatles Lyrics is the definitive story of their lives, as uniquely told through their music.

Publisher info:

THE BEATLES LYRICS: THE UNSEEN STORY to be published in hardback by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2014.

Alan Samson, Publisher Non-Fiction, has bought World Rights from Robert Kirby of United Agents for THE BEATLES LYRICS: THE UNSEEN STORY edited by Hunter Davies, which will be published in hardback by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in September 2014. 

Many books have appeared over the years about the Beatles lyrics -- about the words of those songs which the whole world knows and sings, and will sing for ever, as long as we have the breath to hum the tunes. But no one has ever tried to track down and publish the original versions of the classic songs -- showing the words in the Beatles' own handwriting, how they first wrote them, how they scribbled them down on pieces of paper or backs of envelopes, with all the crossings out and changes.  And the titles, for sometimes that changed as well.  By using their original manuscripts, Hunter Davies plans to tell the story of their music.

By revealing and publishing these original manuscripts for the first time we gain a unique insight into the creative process of Lennon and McCartney, how they did it, what they were thinking, how they changed their minds, and then came up with the words we now all know.

Such a book has never been published because of copyright reasons, first of all, and secondly because no one has been able to track them all down. The author of the only authorised biography of The Beatles, Hunter Davies, has sought out nearly one hundred Beatles lyrics. His expert introduction describes the creativity of the greatest ever rock band -- then he lists and illustrates each song, in chronological order, putting each song in context: what the Beatles were doing at the time, how and when they came to write and then record it, how the original version differs from the final one. The wonder is that almost every Beatles song has a great story behind it -- whether it is 'In My Life', 'For No One', 'Yesterday', 'Eleanor Rigby', or 'Yellow Submarine'.

Alan Samson says: “This visually arresting book places the reader at first hand with lyrical genius. It will enthrall Beatles fans and music-lovers everywhere.”

 "There have been hundreds if not thousands of Beatles books in the last 40 years, coming out on the hour," says Hunter Davies. “It is now rare for any new material to emerge -   so I am thrilled and excited to be digging out stuff which will be seen for the first time and is important.  After all, the Beatles, in the end, are their music…"

Hunter Davies, editor of THE BEATLES LYRICS: THE UNSEEN STORY, is the author of the only authorised biography of the Beatles. He is the Editor of The John Lennon Letterspublished in October 2012 He lives in London NW5.

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Zig
The Toppermost of the Poppermost

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7 August 2014 - 2.29am

Awesome - another book to look forward to. I enjoy Davies' style. 

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

beatle1965
Canada
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25 August 2014 - 1.35am

i look forward to this book the only other book by  hunter Davies i read was simply   The Beatles

Drumming is an art has no scientific formulas

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meanmistermustard

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22 September 2014 - 7.45pm

Hunter Davies article on the Independent website which includes comments by Maureen Cleeve and a look at five songs of which you can view their original handwritten lyrics - 'A Hard Day's Night', 'Help!', 'Yesterday', 'A Day In The Life', and 'In My Life'.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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Oudis
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23 September 2014 - 7.08am

Are any of their handwritten lyrics available online? If they are, it would be cool to start a thread and post them –for those of you who know how, I’m not that Internet-savvy.

Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit” (“Perhaps one day it will be a pleasure to look back on even this”; Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 1, line 203, where Aeneas says this to his men after the shipwreck that put them on the shores of Africa)

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Joe
Pepperland
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23 September 2014 - 11.23am

There are some in the gallery: .beatlesbible.com/gallery/lyrics/

I don't know if any of these are in the book, though I suspect they will be.

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DrBeatle
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23 September 2014 - 12.04pm

I must get this to review! I loved the Lennon Letters book he did. 

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

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DrBeatle
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28 October 2014 - 4.22am

The Beatles Lyrics, the new book by Hunter Davies: not perfect but damn near close. Really wonderful and essential for any Beatles fan. Even if you know just about everything about them, I think you'll enjoy it.

http://rnrchemist.blogspot.com.....s.html?m=1

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Zig
The Toppermost of the Poppermost

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28 October 2014 - 5.58pm

Great review, @DrBeatle . Thanks very much.mal-evans

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To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

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DrBeatle
Hershey via Boston
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19 November 2014 - 4.22am

Zig said
Great review, @DrBeatle . Thanks very much.mal-evans

You bet, @Zig , thanks! I loved that book, I'm gonna read it again soon! Have you read it? What'd you think?

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

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Zig
The Toppermost of the Poppermost

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21 November 2014 - 2.54pm

I have not yet read it. I'm going to put it on my Christmas list. It may sound silly, but I try not to buy anything for myself from November forward because my wife and I are like a couple of kids at Christmas time. I know full well what I'm going to get - I even send her the links to Amazon to ensure it's the right one! - but it still excites me to no end unwrapping it on 25 December.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

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meanmistermustard

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27 November 2014 - 2.01am

Forbes article using Hunter Davies' book for 'Finding PowerPoint Inspiration In Beatles Lyrics And A Notepad'.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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fishcane
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25 December 2014 - 11.01pm

My mom purchased this for me for Krimble this year!! My birthday is the 25th and my mom has been buying me Beatle related stuff since the 70's for Christmas or my birthday. The tradition continued with this book. She purchased it after seeing it on Charles Osgood CBS Sunday Morning and couldn't wait to give it to me...

Its surprising cuz its such a gamble to buy me Beatle related stuff having a pretty expansive collection these days, most people don't even consider it

 

What a great Mom, looking forward to reading this one, loved Hunters' other books Ive read...

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Joe
Pepperland
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27 December 2014 - 8.35am

I got it too. I could do without some of HD's opinions on the songs' worth, but I'm glad he put together this collection.

I also wish he'd transcribed the work-in-progress versions of the songs, rather than including the final published lyrics we're all familiar with. I've already spent too long trying to decipher scribbles and crossed-out words.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

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DrBeatle
Hershey via Boston
1556 Posts
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31 December 2014 - 2.50am

Joe said
I got it too. I could do without some of HD's opinions on the songs' worth, but I'm glad he put together this collection.
I also wish he'd transcribed the work-in-progress versions of the songs, rather than including the final published lyrics we're all familiar with. I've already spent too long trying to decipher scribbles and crossed-out words.

 

Both fair criticisms and ones that I agree with. Minor quibbles, though...overall it was a great book.

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

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ewe2
Inside the beat
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13 January 2015 - 5.53pm

I'm not a big one for coffee table books but at last someone is paying attention to the lyrics for once.

I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele synthesizer penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele synthesizer penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.

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Zig
The Toppermost of the Poppermost

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14 January 2015 - 9.32pm

Joe said

I got it too. I could do without some of HD's opinions on the songs' worth, but I'm glad he put together this collection.
I also wish he'd transcribed the work-in-progress versions of the songs, rather than including the final published lyrics we're all familiar with. I've already spent too long trying to decipher scribbles and crossed-out words.

I second both of those emotions. It also stuns me how many errors there are. Some of the lyrics transcribed are actually missing words or contain lyrics from the manuscripts that were not in the final published versions. In the text of the book there are many spelling errors - there is a word (it was something like "still" or "will") that was spelled with three L's! Seriously? I'm glad I have the book, but I'm not as impressed as I hoped I would be. There was an opportunity for this to be so much more than it turned out to be.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

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Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea

12417 Posts
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26 March 2015 - 4.46pm

This is a somewhat related book so I will put this post here.

I was working in the stacks upstairs this morning and came across this book.
The-Man-with-Kaleidoscope-Eyes.jpgImage Enlarger

Here's the Amazon review

Over the course of his 40-year career, Alan Aldridge has been the design guru for the Beatles; a designer of gigs and album covers for the Rolling Stones, Elton John, the Who, Cream, and Led Zeppelin; the target of police prosecution for his notorious Chelsea Girls poster; the author of the bestselling children's book The Butterfly Ball; and a graphic designer for the Hard Rock Cafe, the House of Blues, and the New York Times.

Here is the definitive visual survey of the art of Alan Aldridge, whose signature style came to define the Psychedelic Era for a generation, and for generations to come. The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes charts Aldridge's extraordinary life with extraordinary images, giving the complete portrait of a graphic genius who fully expressed the spirit of his time.

Brimming with the very best tripped-out, pulsating illustrations and designs culled from all corners of his varied body of work, the resulting visual feat will astonish and delight fans of all ages.

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ewe2
Inside the beat
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26 March 2015 - 5.44pm

Now there's a book I'd like to read! His illustrations for the Beatles Complete music books (ah memories of the guitar AND piano ones!) are still burnt into my brain.

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I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele synthesizer penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele synthesizer penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.

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