The Beatles Lyrics: The Stories Behind the Music, Including the Handwritten Drafts of More Than 100 Classic Beatles Songs

The Beatles Lyrics The Stories Behind the Music Including the Handwritten Drafts of More Than Classic Beatles Songs The definitive book of Beatles songs shown as first written by their own hands and put into authoritative context for the th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America For the Beatles writing s

  • Title: The Beatles Lyrics: The Stories Behind the Music, Including the Handwritten Drafts of More Than 100 Classic Beatles Songs
  • Author: Hunter Davies
  • ISBN: 9780316247160
  • Page: 404
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The definitive book of Beatles songs, shown as first written by their own hands and put into authoritative context, for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America.For the Beatles, writing songs was a process that could happen anytime songs we all know by heart often began as a scribble on the back of an envelope or on hotel stationery These original documentThe definitive book of Beatles songs, shown as first written by their own hands and put into authoritative context, for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America.For the Beatles, writing songs was a process that could happen anytime songs we all know by heart often began as a scribble on the back of an envelope or on hotel stationery These original documents have ended up scattered across the world at museums and universities and with collectors and friends Many have never been published before More than 100 songs and lyrics are reproduced in THE BEATLES LYRICS, providing Hunter Davies a unique platform to tell the story of the music.The intimacy of these reproductions there are sections crossed out and rewritten, and words tossed into the final recordings that were never written down ensures that THE BEATLES LYRICS will be a treasure for musicians, scholars, and fans everywhere.

    One thought on “The Beatles Lyrics: The Stories Behind the Music, Including the Handwritten Drafts of More Than 100 Classic Beatles Songs”

    1. When Davies sticks to info. from The Primary Sources it is an interesting read. The problem is when he speculates and offers analysisis part is a dismal failure and detracts from the good stuff. Some of his opinions and "analysis" made me cringe. I think John would be spitting up a bit as well.

    2. Davies has known the Beatles since the mid 1960s and wrote their only authorized biography. They gave him many of their handwritten written lyrics which had no value at the time. Many of these pieces of paper can now been seen at the British Museum and are worth millions. The book re-prints many of the handwritten lyrics while explaining how the songs came about and what their actual subject matter was. Many other books have attempted to explain the meaning behind the words, but Davies knew the [...]

    3. Davies wrote a bio of The Beatles in 1967. During the time he knew them, he collected their lyrics, scribbled on notepads and envelopes; those - as well as other work collected by other aficionados - are reproduced in this book.As a result of his interviews with the Beatles and his presence at recording sessions and their homes, Davies describes the creation of many of the band's lyrics. Although John and Paul agreed to credit all compositions to "Lennon-McCartney," many of the songs were solo e [...]

    4. This was okay. The author spends too much time bragging about his relationship with the Beatles and offering his opinions (unwanted, from my perspective) on which Beatles lyrics are good and worthy enough to be included/written out in the book. His unknown rubric baffles me; he praises "Across the Universe" as some of Lennon's best lyrics, but then neglects to list them. Titles on the Abbey Road album feel especially neglected. Other songs get the full treatment. The photos and manuscripts are n [...]

    5. Since Hunter Davies was a friend and contemporary of the Fab Four, this is not a scholarly book. Thank goodness. I hate scholarly evaluations of song lyrics because they tend to be off-base and self-aggrandizing. In any event, Davies does a good job describing both the origin and evolution of The Beatles ouevre, from their first to their last albums. I'm always amazed how much they changed the world in 7+ years while recording around only about 20 hours of music. With each page, you can hear the [...]

    6. Do you REALLY enjoy the Beatles? Read this book. If not? Don't (seems obvious, but wanted to start off this way). The author was a friend of the Beatles (despite his friendship, he is plenty critical of their lyrics) and shares many fun and insightful stories about his times with them. There are plenty of reproductions of the hand-written lyrics as well as earlier drafts of songs as well (more cursing and bluntness in earlier drafts than what made it on to the finished product). The most interes [...]

    7. The handwritten lyrics were hard to read, they weren't as inspiring as I thought they'd be, but the information written by Hunter Davies (who was their only authorized biographer during the time they were together as a group) was new to me and gave real insight into how the group worked. John was very into the lyrics, was a poet, and his music reflected what was going on in his life at the time.Paul's music was more upbeat and joyful, and while the words were important to him, he was comfortable [...]

    8. Do not waste your money with his book, if you really want to know about the Beatles lyrics just search on the internet and be happy. Hunter gives his own opinion and you can't trust anything. There's some good stuff because he actually lived around the Beatles for eighteen months and he tells us a little bit about what happened there. But if you're looking for this kind of information, just read his Beatles biography. Actually he took a lot of references from his beatles biography, which is not [...]

    9. Not much new here. Davies presents the lyrics of all of the Beatles' songs but really doesn't add anything to the conversation. Davies wrote a Beatles biography in 1968 but it's difficult to take him seriously on this subject when he says things such as, "I'd forgotten 'Rain'" (one of the first pre-MTV music videos), or didn't figure out that John and George were singing 'Frère Jacques' in the background of "Paperback Writer" (something a nine-year-old me could hear the first time that I listen [...]

    10. Why oh why is Hunter Davies compelled to offer analysis on Beatle songwriting? He's no musicologist, and his opinions are appalling. What a pity, this could have been such a fascinating book. It still is, in small parts.

    11. I expected to love it but I really didn't. Being that there are 2000 books written about the Beatles, I guess there really isn't anything new to add.

    12. Fascinating! IF you're a Beatles fan, you will enjoy seeing the original copies of lyrics written on backs of birthday cards, bills, napkins and scraps in addition to the story behind how it came to be written, as interpreted through the eyes of the author who has had a close relationship with the group since the 1960s. He gives insights into stories he was aware of that are probably closer to reality then much conjecture over the background and meaning of the songs. As a Beatle fan since 1963, [...]

    13. The scraps of original and in-progress lyrics are the main attraction and worthwhile for that alone, IMO. Some good info and anecdotes, but sprinkled with some very lame and unnecessary speculation. For "Penny Lane" he states that "In the USA, where there is no tradition of artificial poppies being sold to commemorate the 1918 Armistice," a claim any American could refute. On "Mr. Kite," he surmises they changed Zanthus to Henry the Horse because they couldn't pronounce it. (But they had no trou [...]

    14. What a great stroll through Beatle lyrics. it was fascinating to see the hand written originals. It's more conversational than scholarly, but I really liked that. A great addition to the Beatle library.

    15. This was very interesting. I don't usually read books about famous people, but this was an enjoyable read. Thanks Scott, for listing it on your

    16. You really do lose a lot in a joke by explaining the mechanics. Unraveling generally does teach something, you usually get that at least.There is one really good reason to get this book. The photos of the authentic lyrics and pictures of the Beatles. Really does give a glimpse to the creative process of the fab four. Appreciation must be given to Hunter Davies singling out Northwestern University has having the largest public collection of Beatles lyricsally need to go check that out.What I took [...]

    17. There isn’t much here that would be new to Beatles fans. Let’s face it, their songs have been analyzed to death. What makes this book unique is the fact that Davies has provided photos of many of the song lyrics, written out by hand by either John or Paul. Because Davies was the Beatles’ only authorized biographer, he had close contact with them and was able to collect what is perhaps the largest collection of handwritten lyrics (written on scraps of paper, the backs of greeting cards, etc [...]

    18. Good - A few stories I don't remember having heard before. Reading this caused me to dust off my cds and listen to them all again. I still knew all the words, but I'd forgotten just how FUN their music is -- particularly the early stuff. The book is, for the most part, the stories behind and around the lyrics, not critical analysis. Not so good -- Davies throws in way too much speculation, and a lot of his assumptions are definitely not the conclusions this fan would jump to. One of his comments [...]

    19. Read a lot of Beatles books. A lot. This one is unique because it sets out to write and focus on nothing but the lyricsat's all. The approach is much different than most remarking on the lyrical content and attempts to stick largely only to what is ostensible, avoiding much of the metaphors or hidden meanings. This is where I feel it comes up short of expectations because so much of their lyrics did have grander meaning, as strong lyrics often do. Background on words or their derivation is provi [...]

    20. This book was painful to read.As a Beatles fan, I was looking forward to reading the stories behind many of my favorite songs, and Davies provides some interesting background information, as well as images of hand-written manuscripts. However, Davies is a journalist, not a musician or musicologist. I'm not sure why he thought fans would want to read his insights into the meaning of the Beatles' lyrics, particularly when his analyses include such gems as: "The notion of a guitar gently weeping is [...]

    21. I mostly missed the Beatles growing up, and didn't really start listening to them until my wife started playing their songs for the kids. Which makes me a middle-aged neophyte, learning their music at an age when their complexity and titanic influence on culture is a little more obvious. That's not a bad situation to be in, especially since it means most of the stories and lyrics in this 2000-somethingth Beatles book are still fresh to me. Davies makes the most of the material he has collected, [...]

    22. The main attraction of this book is the more than hundred jotted lyric sheets on various scraps of paper, many in full color, some with interesting variations and doodlings. Davies’ own text does not shed a great deal of light – there are numerous minor inaccuracies, his critical estimations are – in my view – often way off, he does not show great insight into the meaning and poetics of the lyrics, and the historical info he relates is mostly. That said, Davies was close to the Beatles f [...]

    23. If you're like myself and have read a mountain of Beatles books then you probably already know all the stories behind their lyrics, including earlier drafts and revisions. So I would say this book would be of more interest for the casual fan, though it's nice to have one hundred handwritten copies collected together in one volume. The best parts were the excerpts from the author's own 1968 Beatles biography where he was a lucky witness to the creation and / or recording of the songs "With a Litt [...]

    24. While Davies offers first-hand “behind the scenes” stories about how and when the featured Beatles songs were written, he fails to remain objective by intermittently inserting his personal likes and dislikes of various songs. Davies' introductory comments seem to drag on indefinitely before “getting to the good stuff,” i.e the actual content. Unfortunately, many of the photographed lyric sheets are either faded or the penmanship verges on illegible. I much preferred Steve Turner's A Hard [...]

    25. This book covers the entire musical output of The Beatles as interpreted by an author who was associated with them throughout much of their career as musicians. He gives insights into stories he was aware of that are probably closer to reality then much conjecture over the background and meaning of the songs. Some are covered in depth while others draw brief comments. An interesting read for the most part and learned a lot about the nature of their complex relationships and interactions. Some of [...]

    26. There isn't much new information here if you've already read Steve Turner's A Hard Day's Write, which is one of the author's sources. Davies often recaps the lyrics unnecessarily and gives his opinion of their merits (e.g. Ringo's "Don't Pass Me By" isn't great). The charm here is seeing the scans of the drafts of the songs, and getting some of the more personal insights from interactions with the Beatles themselves, whether with Davies or his interviewees.

    27. This book is worth it for the handwritten lyrics. The author seems to take things far to literally to be an analyst of anything. He has a "this is what it says, so that's what it means" or a "that doesn't make sense so it doesn't really mean anything" take on most of the songs. BUT he was physically there during the creation of a number of the songs which does lead to some interesting tidbits on the songs and insight into the Beatles themselves.

    28. Beatles fan I am and to get to see what was the inspiration and process for so many of my favorite Beatles songs was amazing.Each and everyone so interesting and insightful. My favorite was the songs of "The Beatles" commonly revered to as the "White Album." Thank you my dear daughter Annie for a wonderful gift and an amazing read.

    29. An excellent resource on the lyrics of Beatles songs, showing the writing process, meanings or lack thereof, and the impact these men had, and still have, on the world. In the end, they spent less time than one would think in crafting lyrics, the music being just as or more important to them. Fascinating book.

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