50th Anniversary of the Beatles Invasion

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ iconic performance on the Ed Sullivan show, and the birth of a musical and cultural revolution in America. Whether you were around for Beatlesmania, or not, the Beatles remain an enduring part of our popular culture.  Here are some great titles from our collection that will have you shouting for

All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release
by Guesdon, Jean-Michel

Get the scoop on every song the Beatles ever released, including the covers.  Organized chronologically by album, this book includes technical stats on all recordings from 1963-1970, and the stories behind them.  I gave this to my brother-in-law for Christmas and he was in heaven.



Days That I’ll Remember:
Spending Time with John Lennon and Yoko Ono
by Jonathan Cott

Based on several interviews that originally appeared in Rolling Stone Magazine over the years, Cott presents an intimate portrait of John and his muse.



John Lennon: The Life
by Philip Norman

“Warts and all” treatment of the legendary songwriter by the author of Shout: The Beatles in Their Generation.  A fascinating profile of a complex man.




Memories of John Lennon
Edited by Yoko Ono

Famous musicians, journalists, poets, and photographers all share their fond memories of John Lennon.  Highlights include reminiscences of  Elliot Mintz, Bob Gruen, Mick Jagger, Joan Baez and Pete Townshend.



The John Lennon Letters
by John Lennon

Letters, postcards and telegrams to family, friends, strangers, and lovers from every point in his life.  Original letters are reproduced in full color, with transcriptions, and organized by year.



The Beatles
by Bob Spitz

A great overview of the Beatles, telling the story of how four ordinary Brits became rock and roll legends. Spitz, who also wrote a biography of Dylan, chronicles their early years (pre-Ed Sullivan), through the height of Beatlemania and their eventual break-up.  Also available as an audiobook!


The Beatles Anthology
by The Beatles

If you had to choose one book to read about the Beatles, this should be the one.  The story of four lads from Liverpool who rocked the world is told in each band member’s own words and illustrated with rare photographs from their personal collections.  Includes full transcripts from the celebrated television documentary of the same name.


Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney
by Sounes, Howard

Fans looking for an up to date, complete biography of Paul need look no further than this in-depth treatment by Sounes. Capturing his life as a child up to the present day (2010), Sounes tells the story of a complicated man in simple prose. See also Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now by Miles.


Behind the Sad Eyes: The Life of George Harrison
by Marc Shapiro

Surprisingly, Shapiro’s book is one of only a few biographies written about the lead guitarist of the world’s most famous rock band.  Published shortly after his death of brain cancer in 2001, the book explores his life before, during and after the Beatles. Fans of the “quiet Beatle” should also check out his wife’s more recent tribute, George Harrison: Living in the Material World.


When They Were Boys:
The True Story of the Beatles’ Rise to the Top
by Larry Kane

Who better to tell the story of the Beatles’ early years than the veteran journalist who covered their first U.S.tour in 1964. Interviews with family, friends, and musicians, give us a rare look at who these boys were before they became the Beatles.


And Now For Something Completely Different …..

The Beatles inspired not only biographies and social commentary, but fictional and creative works as well.  Check out some of these titles.

Paul is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion
by Alan Goldsher

Ummm. So, apparently John Lennon and Paul McCartney are zombies. So is George Harrison.  Ringo is a ninja and Mick Jagger is a zombie hunter.  It’s all here in this tell-all book.  Told through a series of interviews, fans will likely find themselves enjoying the tongue and cheekiness of this alternative history.



The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story
by Vivek J. Tiwary

Tells the story of Brian Epstein, the manager who discovered and lead the Beatles to international stardom.  What makes this book unique is the style used to convey the story.  Told in graphic novel format instead of prose, the book focuses on Epstein’s status as an outsider looking in.  Tiwary is currently working on a film version, as well.


What did I miss?  What’s your favorite book about or inspired by the Beatles? 





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