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The Beatles Lyrics (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 25. September 2014

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[Davies] has managed to track down handwritten versions for 100 of the band's 182 lyrics, and it's undeniably fascinating to observe these scribbled seeds, particularly when they contain alterations, crossings-out and abandoned verses... The other main attraction of the book is Davies' unrivalled access to the group. As the only authorised Beatles biographer during the band's existence, he spent time observing Lennon and McCartney as they wrote songs, and his vivid account of the pair holding court amongst friends in the latter's music room... is just one of several fascinating behind-the-scenes moments -- Andy Gill THE INDEPENDENT Painstakingly researched and skilfully laid out over 350 engrossing pages, Davies gives us an incredible insight into the remarkable creative process of the band, and tells the story of the Beatles' lives through their work -- Colm O'Regan HOT PRESS Davies has tracked down and reproduced more than 100 of the Beatles' original handwritten manuscripts for their songs, nearly all of which are reproduced for the first time in this handsome coffee-table tome. Each song is given its context: what the band were doing at the time, how and when they came to write and record it, how the original version differs from the final one. A pretty essential addition to the library/bathroom of any serious Beatles fan IRISH NEWS This is not just one for the Beatlemaniacs and it is liberally illustrated with lyrics as they were originally written on table napkins, notepads, or on the back of a birthday card RTE GUIDE What's amazing is that these songs were so often scribbled down on whatever bits of paper were at hand - pages from notebooks, hotel stationery, backs of envelopes - and it's fascinating to see them with their hasty revisions, crossings out, lines being rewritten, ideas rethought even before they are fully complete, almost as if The Beatles can't keep up with their own creative momentum, colourful doodles and stoned illustrations accompanying some of them -- Allan Jones UNCUT They were just scraps of paper set for a cleaner's furnace - but now The Beatles' lyric sheets are precious jewels that reveal the secret history of the world's greatest band... beneath the scrawls and corssings-out lies a shadow history of The Beatles LIVERPOOL ECHO A forensic song-by-song exploration of the band's writing process... If you're a songwriter, the song manuscripts along are fascinating, and if you're a Beatles fan, the info here can't help but give you a fresh insight into their music GUITARIST No Lennon/McCartney obsessive should be without Hunter Davies' The Beatles Lyrics -- Olivia Cole GQ Magazine Fascinating facsimiles of scribbled lyric notes jotted onto scraps of paper... afford insights into the development from the germ of an idea to a finished song THE INDEPENDENT 'Books of the Year' He wrote the first comprehensive biography of The Beatles and now, in The Beatles Lyrics, Hunter Davies returns to examine each of the band's songs in forensic details, offering insights into the creative process and putting the songs in their social and personal context CHOICE A fascinating look at how these classics came into being as the manuscripts show how lines were altered and whole verses dumped THE SUN This delightful book will appeal to the millions of Beatles fans around the world who will surely enjoy reliving these iconic songs and learning something of their history SIXTYPLUSSURFERS Even fans who think they know it all already will treasure this forensic exploration of the Beatles' songs...a handsome coffee-table book by Hunter Davies that manages to shed new light on the creative process behind such songs as Eleanor Rigby, Across the Universe and Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds...a treasure of a book, a forensic, song-by-song exploration of the band's creative process -- Paul Howard THE IRISH TIMES You may never read a more comprehensive, unpretentious account of the creative processes behind a band's body of lyrics. It seems fitting that band should be The Beatles... The book runs chronologically from A to Z through every self-penned song the Beatles recorded in their eight action-packed years together. With all those original handwritten manuscripts, it's a must buy for die-hard Beatles fans and, no doubt, many calligraphers too -- Joe Dermody IRISH EXAMINER

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Hunter Davies is the author of the only authorized biography of the Beatles and the editor of The John Lennon Letters. He lives in London.

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The book on the lyrics to The Beatles' songs is a job well done by Hunter Davies and joy to have and read. 8. Oktober 2014
Von - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I read the book on Beatles' lyrics today, oh boy.
And I like it.
The layout and size of this book is similar to Hunter Davies' book 'The John Lennon Letters', this means little less than 400 pages, in a mid-size hardcover book with reader friendly but old fashioned typography. The layout similarity is especially noticeable in the way the content of the manuscript photographs is repeated in the text body, as in the `Lennon Letters' book this works very well here. The images provide a glimpse of a Beatles' activity in the past, writing on a piece of paper; the words reproduced in the text-body are presented for contemplation and analysis and for you to hear the words thru voices and music sounding in the hallways of your mind.
Davies presents approximately 120 reproductions of song transcripts. Sometimes these were scraps of paper on the studio-floor from 1966/7 Hunter Davies took with him, when he had the privileged position of closeness to the boys while working on his authorized biography, others are nuggets from antiquarian shops, published in auctions catalogues or from unnamed friends. Hunter even had the opportunity to ask the boys for handwritten lyrics of songs he said he wanted to write about in the biography. Manuscripts of lyrics are even re-handwritten after the actual process of composition and recording was finished. Davies presents pictures of these little manuscripts and we are lucky, he adds pictures of e.g. Beatles' summer activities for 1966, the 'Being for the benefit of Mr. Kite'-poster, contracts, concert programs, etc.
Some of these manuscripts reveal the development of the lyrics, occasionally this info is unique and a first. The revealed perspectives are sometime funny as with Maxwell's Silver Hammer, sometimes illustrative for the creative process e.g. Old Brown Shoe and 'It's Only Love', and for the Beatles' Sherlock in us, handwriting can raise doubts on who composed what, check out for this e.g. Don't Pass Me By (?). From the handwritten corrections in the manuscripts we get a perspective on the development of songs and the quality and (un-)intended or meanings of lyrics. E.g. the word 'naughty' in "naughty girl you let your knickers down" from John's 'I Am The Walrus' was first considered by John to be a 'lucky' girl; yeah right, what else.
The three pillars of a song, whether from Schubert, Lennon and McCartney, or Dylan are words, voice and music/sound. Davies' discussion of 'Here, There and Everywhere' illustrates this perfectly well and simultaneously confirms the high respect of the song in The Beatles' catalogue. Other manuscripts suggest that in the process of composition and recording music and the singing, the meaning of words and lines become secondary to the overall sound, as they change words for musical reasons and we see how the meaning of the lyric changes significantly or shifts the perspective 'from me to you'.
The lyrical change from 'lucky girl' to 'naughty girl', in John's 'I Am The Walrus', creates a punchier improved rhyme (naughty and knickers) and adds a bite perfectly fitting Lennon's singing Beatles' rock music, yet it also changes the meaning. The 'lucky' puts Lennon in a position of: 'Hey girl you're lucky to get attention from ME because your knickers are down', making her grateful for his sexual prowess. The 'naughty' transfers the sexual initiative to the girl and puts Lennon in the position of the innocent male who is willing to be seduced. In sixties-thinking this makes the girl more slutty than it does in England today.
There are terrific risks you are obliged to take as an artist. 'All songs about relationships between men and women are (potentially) accusable of sexism. Every great writer and artist, who has tackled relationships and sexism has been accused of sexism - Jane Austen was accused of sexism', Christopher Risk said a few years ago in a conversation with Sean Wilentz.
The same goes for religious stuff. Any fan of The Beatles knows, John was accused of blasphemy or worse more than once. In the review of 'The Ballad of John and Yoko' Hunter Davies offers considerations that the line 'they're gonna crucify me' was 'ridiculous', 'total paranoia' or even 'delusional' - and then he writes that 'in a sense, that is what happened to him in the end...'. Now that seems to be too far gone, the journalist Davies is obliged to rise above the public's stupid mythical point of view and make smarter interpretations. The verb 'crucify' does have more meanings than criminals getting death penalty by crucifixion on a wooden cross, there is really more than the literal interpretation of the verb 'crucify'. But, hey Hunter Davies was the biographer, so maybe he knows john better than anyone of us - the potential buyers of his book.
Davies does not claim know the truth, he doesn't brag either and his writing appears to be very relaxed. He doesn't wanna get you in the end. He observes and presents comments and interpretations as such. Even though on a rare occasion he elevates an opinion and judgment to the level of truth and reality, as in his suggestion the lyrics to 'Paperback Writer' "don't in fact have a lot of logic to them", he presents this as a fact, but it is only his opinion, his way of interpreting this piece of art without considering his interpretation might be irrelevant or even misplaced. The good thing is Hunter Davies describes, explains and provides arguments, which is what a annotator should do. I really like his honesty when he admits he totally missed out on the song 'Rain', at the time.
There are a few relevant negatives about the book. I dislike the paper that is used. The quality of the printed pictures are greyish bland and often boring, they lose their potential power and become e/affectless on the reader. Hunter Davies presents almost all The Beatles' songs, yet he leaves out the Anthology collection, on the other hand for the sake of (not so) completism songs are included about which Davies doesn't have a lot to say. I think there a bit too many handwritten lyrics that were produced when the creative process of composition and recording was already way back in the past, I wonder: 'are we still living in the times of idolatry?'
As with the 'Lennon Letters' these images of manuscripts and the discussion of them are a joy to have, when one doesn't have the money to buy memorabilia. As such this book is a valuable contribution to the vast amount of books discussing the art of The Beatles.
Please be aware this is not THE most complete, nor is it the final book that reviews and discusses creative processes and the artistic results of the Beatles as composers, musicians and performers, but Hunter Davies provides a contribution to that end that should not be ignored.
I do hope this book challenges other authors to dig deeper into the creative process of composition by The Beatles.
So click on thru and buy the book.
(sorry for my not so native English)
28 von 29 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von Stuart Jefferson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Yes, I know, another book on The Beatles' songs/lyrics. But this one is a bit different. The author, Hunter Davies, the only person to write an authorized biography, and knew the Beatles personally, has collected many of the still existing scraps, envelopes, napkins,and other pieces of paper with lyrics written (and sometimes scribbled quickly) for many of the band's songs. Along with that he also includes his own observations and memories of the period. Davies' last book was a collection of John Lennon's letters that revealed a different side of Lennon/The Beatles, and this new book does a bit of the same kind of thing from a different vantage point.

Many (most) of the hand written lyrics included (100+) have been gathered from many sources. This is the first time that these original pieces have been tracked down and collected. Is this a book for someone with only a passing interest in The Beatles and/or reading/seeing the lyrics in the original forms? No. This book is for a deep fan of The Beatles, someone who liked the Lennon letters collection for instance. Davies gives these lyrics a foundation from his personal knowledge of the group--what they were doing at the time, what was going on around them, their thought process, and in some cases, how the original lyrics changed at recording time.

The chapters are laid out with titles like "Love Me Do", "With The Beatles", "A Hard Day's Night", "Beatles For Sale", "Help!", "Rubber Soul", "Revolver", "Strawberry Fields", and so on. Included are many photos from the various periods in the band's life, posters, ads, and of course reproductions of the lyrics themselves in their original written form. Some of these are virtually illegible so the lyrics are printed next to the originals. Also included is a twenty-five page Introduction, Discography, Bibliography, and an Index.

This book is more than just a collection of lyrics. With Davies' insights of the era we get a deeper look into the many songs included here. Before I started going through this book, I was pretty certain that this book was just another "Beatles book". But I was wrong. This is worth reading or just browsing through for the Beatles fan who wants to get a bit closer to the band through Davies observations and memories. This book is also available with a different red cover from the British publisher.
19 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great book! (PURCHASED ELSEWHERE due to Amazon vs Hachette) 30. Oktober 2014
Von T. M. Monroe - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Great book. Not any real revelations since so much has already been written about the Beatles and their writing. However, it's good to have a nice single volume that collects many photos of the actual handwritten song manuscripts along with the narrative commentary by Davies.

Purchased somewhere else though because of the IDIOTIC embargo that Amazon has placed against Hachette Book Group due to Amazon's dispute with Hachette. Amazon claims it will take up to 3 weeks for this book when it is readily available elsewhere for not much more than Amazon's currently listed price of $31.50(MSRP $35.00)
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Irresistable! 12. Oktober 2014
Von Billy Music - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Wonderful book, with often original manuscripts, in the author's handwriting, of the lyrics (many changed) to many of the Beatles' classic songs. Great essays to each song by Davies, author of the book that started it all, his 1968 biography of the group. Gives real insight as to how these songs were crafted.
A great, great read.
13 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
If it's about The Beatles, I'll read it. ... 24. November 2014
Von William G. Schmidt - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
If it's about The Beatles, I'll read it. I'm one of the lucky ones that got to attend a Beatles concert in 1966 (Cincinnati) and it's a high point of my life. So when I found this "insider" look at the lyrics, not to mention actual photographs of the scraps of paper the songs were composed on (or merely copied) in The Beatles own hand, I had to read it. It's an insightful book, though opinionated (I do not agree with many of Hunter Davis' reviews of various songs). It also has its share of minor errors (some of the songs vary slightly from what is recorded; simply a word here and there); this leads me to believe the book should have been edited a little more carefully. And yet the overall book is quite enjoyable and takes us beyond the casual observer. I appreciate that the book was written and I certainly think any Beatles fan should read it.
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