The Stories Behind The Songs 1962-1966
By Steve Turner
Carlton Books – £9.99
No matter how many books one reads on The Beatles, there’s always something else worth researching or investigating or simply stumbling upon.
For instance, the song ‘Here, There And Everywhere on the Revolver album – I never knew both John and Paul declared it be one of their favourite Beatles songs. Or that John considered ‘And I Love Her’ on A Hard Day’s Night, as Paul’s first ‘Yesterday’ – or that Paul admitted to it being ‘’the first song I impressed myself with.’’ Or that ‘She’s A Woman’ – the B-side of ‘I Feel Fine’ – was the first Beatles song to contain a veiled drug reference; of which John later confessed to being ‘’quite proud to have inserted the line ‘turns me on when I get lonely’ and for it to have escaped the attention of the broadcast censors.’’
There is indeed, always an abundance of new Beatles related material to uncover, and Steve Turner’s The Beatles 1962-66: Stories Behind the Songs is no exception. A joy to behold and exceptionally easy to read, the book regales the reader with all the relative background information on every single song recorded during said years.
So starting with Please Please Me, concluding with Revolver and including all the singles (and their B-sides) along the way – such as ‘From Me To You,’ ‘She Loves You’ and I Want To Hold Your Hand’ – Turner dips into the history of each song with spectacular zest’n’zeal. An approach not too far removed from that of The Fabs themselves!
In so doing, he doesn’t necessarily analyze the catalogue’s musical merit nor dissect their lyrical persuasion. For as is well known, rather more considered literary approaches to the band’s work are to be found in an assortment of other reads, as the author makes clear in the Preface: ‘’[…] this is not a book about how The Beatles recorded the songs, not about who played what on which sessions. Mark Lewisohn has done that job definitively in The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions. Neither is it a book of in-depth musical analysis. For this approach, see Twilight Of The Gods by Professor Wilfrid Mellors or The Songwriting Secrets of The Beatles by Dominic Pedler.’’
Based on Turner’s highly acclaimed A Hard Day’s Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song (which, since its release, has sold over 300,000 copies around the world), this first volume sheds much fascinating light on the continuing saga of The Beatles brilliance.