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Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years (Volume 1)

Product no.: 978-1101903292
Now in paperback, Tune In is the New York Times bestseller by the world’s leading Beatles authority – the first volume in a groundbreaking trilogy about the band that revolutionized music.

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Publisher's Synopsis
"The Beatles story" is everywhere. Told wrong from early on, rehashed in every possible way and routinely robbed of its context, this is a phenomenon in urgent need of a bright new approach. In his series All These Years, Mark Lewisohn – the world-recognized Beatles historian – presses the Refresh button to relate the entire story as it’s never been told or known before. Here is a full and accurate biography at last. It is certain to become the lasting word.

Tune In is book one of three, exploring and explaining a period that is by very definition lesser-known: the formative pre-fame years, the teenage years, the Liverpool and Hamburg years – in many ways the most absorbing and incredible period of them all. The Beatles come together here in all their originality, attitude, style, speed, charisma, appeal, daring and honesty, the tools with which they’re about to reshape the world. It’s the Beatles in their own time, an amazing story of the ultimate rock band, a focused and colorful telling that builds and builds to leave four sharp lads from Liverpool on the very brink of a whole new kind of fame.

Using impeccable research and resources, Tune In is a magisterial work, an independent biography that combines energy, clarity, objectivity, authority and insight. The text is anti-myth, tight and commanding – just like the Beatles themselves.

Reviews
"A triumph. Not only an enthralling account of the Beatles group’s origins, far superior to anything that has gone before, but also an essential piece of social history... Lewisohn has set out to do the Beatles justice and write the definitive history. I think he is succeeding."    ~The Times (UK)  

"A radical event and a joy to read... Lewisohn’s work stands as a monumental triumph, a challenge not merely to other Beatles biographers but to the discipline of biography itself. If only all important subjects had their Lewisohn."     ~Washington Post

"I declare that the Beatles are mutants," the LSD evangelist Timothy Leary once said: "prototypes of evolutionary agents sent by God, endowed with a mysterious power to create a new human species, a young race of laughing freemen." In the frazzled mind of Charles Manson, the Beatles were equally supernatural, but sent to Earth with rather darker intentions: they were seeding their songs with messages of apocalypse.

Where did these four incredibly talented people actually come from, and how did they find each other? There are so many of us, forever fascinated by the story, who still cannot quite fathom how the band managed to make music so endlessly full of interest, while also embodying the idea that as the world was changing at an unprecedented rate, they were always ahead of everyone else.

The Beatles themselves, in order to stay halfway sane, always denied that anything out-of-the-ordinary had gone on. Paul McCartney still talks of them as "a good little band". When they went their separate ways at the end of the 1960s, John Lennon had stern words for anyone who thought their demise was tragic, or even significant. "People talk about it as if it was the end of the world," he said. "It's just a rock group that split up. It's nothing important."

But it was, and still is – so much so that they are now surely the most analysed musicians in history. The books written about the Beatles cover every aspect of their story – and they keep coming, from unwieldy works of culture studies, to the drab memoirs of fans, aides and hangers-on. The story as told by the group themselves is collected in a misnamed, door-stopping oral history called Anthology; in terms of prose style, the best all-purpose biography has long been Philip Norman's Shout!, first published in 1981. In an age as nostalgia-soaked as ours, and in the case of a group so dissected and deconstructed, the one really pertinent question remains: is there anything left to add?

Mark Lewisohn's new book Tune in is the best part of 1000 pages long. The product of at least eight years' writing and research, and full of information sourced even before that, it runs from the band members' family prehistories to the release of their first proper single in 1962. Two further volumes will appear, all under the umbrella title All These Years. Should you have £120 to spare, each book will also be published in an extended special edition which includes "hundreds of thousands of words of extra material, as well as many extra photographs". This is the story told in Proustian detail: we will presumably at last know what Lennon actually shouts at the start of It's All Too Much, the history of a company owned by Ringo Starr called Bricky Builders and the full life-story of McCartney's sheepdog Martha. I have been a Beatles obsessive since the age of seven, but even for people like me, this all sounds as if it might be a little unnecessary.  

The first edited-down volume, though, is largely a delight, and the story is told so definitively that, after this, that really should be it. Secondary sources are comprehensively mined; letters, public records and business documents have been found in places no one else ever thought to look; friends, associates and acquaintances have been interviewed over what seems to be a quarter-century. All that is lacking is substantial new testimony from the Beatles themselves, a point to which there are two responses: first, that the two most candid and iconoclastic Beatles have been dead for a number of years; and second, that the last people you should ask about the detailed history of the Beatles are the Beatles themselves.

McCartney, for example, remains of the immovable opinion that they refused to entertain the idea of visiting the US until they had a number one record on the Billboard charts: a nice story, but he should try booking Carnegie Hall at 10 days' notice. His own accounts of his life have long been blurred and rose-tinted: a good biographer, by contrast, has to avoid the pull of legend, and be prepared to coldly debunk as much as they lionise and celebrate. But it is a token of how astonishing the story of the Beatles remains that even a telling as particular as this one dispels none of the magic."     ~The Guardian

Excerpt
"Jim McCartney would no more let Paul skip school than allow that boy in the house, so subterfuge was vital. Afternoon sessions, two till five, ended with a hurried wafting around of smoke and washing of dirty dishes… though by then they’d often written another song. 'He’ll get you into trouble, son,' Jim warned Paul. Parents had been saying that about John Lennon since he was five – and rightly so, because he did. But this hadn’t stopped a solid gang of pals – intelligent grammar-school boys, as Paul McCartney was – idolising him as their leader. And what high and hysterical times he gave them in return."

Biography
MARK LEWISOHN is the acknowledged world authority on the Beatles. Before embarking on The Beatles: All These Years his books included the bestselling and influential The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions and The Complete Beatles Chronicle. He was a consultant and researcher on all aspects—TV, DVDs, CDs and book—of the Beatles own Anthology and has been involved in numerous additional projects for them. Married with two children, he lives in England.

Author Lewisohn, Mark
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 944 pp.
Publisher Three Rivers Press 2016
Series All These Years
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