Firstly, The Beatles for me in a nutshell:
- they found new ways to compose songs
- they found new ways to record these songs
25 years ago, back in 1988 I bought The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions. A book written by Mark Lewisohn with detailed information about every recording session of The Beatles. It’s a must read imo. After that book I’ve read many books about The Fab 4. Including one recent one done by one of their engineers: Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust by Ken Scott.
Mark Lewisohn, a true fact checker, decided to rewrite the story of The Beatles because according to him too much false information was available in print. He wanted to set the record straight by telling a different story. Even Ringo and Paul can’t remember the facts, so Mark went out to do some serious paperwork. Now 10 years later the first part of a 3 part story is available: The Beatles Tune In part 1. And Mark says it will take another 6 years to deliver part 2 and another 6 years for part 3.
At the moment I’m reading Eminent Hipsters by Donald Fagen but I think I already know what I will be reading next!
According to The Guardian:
It is the breadth and scope of Lewisohn’s endeavour that are unparalleled, the knowledge that the young Lennon and McCartney take two buses to some guy’s house who is rumoured to know a B7 chord.
In the Dutch VPRO Gids of this week there’s a small interview with Mark Lewisohn. It seems that The Beatles actually never auditioned for George Martin. It wasn’t him who decided they should be contracted since they already had a contract! But they didn’t know about it yet. George Martin didn’t like The Beatles and didn’t like their songs. He even once said:
Bloody silly name that is, The Beatles. How corny can you get?
UPDATE: Jim and Greg of Sound Opinions asked Mark Lewisohn some questions. Listen to that interview (starts at 10:25):