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The Beatles: The Illustrated Lyrics

The Beatles were and to some degree still are, a musical phenomenon that changed the beat of modern music, but all that was for the future as back in 1963, they were just a group of rather trendy, beat driven musicians playing at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, doing covers of American imports, B-sides at that, just like every other group at the time.

During the ‘60’s, America was driving the sound and nothing new was happening on the British music scene. John Lennon and Paul McCartney decided they could do a bit better than that and with the voice, hopes and to a degree the arrogance of youth, set about learning how to construct songs, trying their fledgling efforts out on their fans, watching their reactions to see if the number worked.

And so the legendary song writing team of Lennon and McCartney was born and one that went on to influence music long after the group disbanded only five years after they played their first gig in the Cavern Club. During those five years they set the world on fire, Beatlemania was the result, and a song book of hit after hit was the legacy left to the world.

The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics is a complete collection of the songs written over their five years, beginning with I Saw her Standing There released in the USA by Capitol records in 8 February 1964 and remaining on the Billboard charts for more than 11 weeks, peaking at number 14: not bad for a previously unknown band! It was the lead song on their first album Please Please Me.

Some of the lyrics are not all that well known, such as Doctor Robert (1966) but the beautiful Lady Madonna (1968) is iconic; The End was the finale composition written for the Beatles in 1969 by John Lennon credited to Lennon-McCartney, and the last piece to be recorded by the four Beatles. It was not just the end song to Abbey Road but also the end; the signing off of a rock phenomenon which over the past 50 years, has not faded into little more than memories.

 Each of the sets of lyrics has been beautifully placed on pictures and images of the ‘Fab Four’ in their heyday: posters and other pictorial memorabilia that crafted the images that showcased the lives of four young men whom famed shaped into public figures, capture the very essence of an  unrepeatable time in Music history.

Lyrics are not poetry per se, but worlds strung together to tell a story requiring the aid of backing and beat, therefore in some of the pieces the wording is simple, almost disconnected and in others is emotion poring forth into melody, offering and hinting at the life and times of the world as it moved into a new sound, a generation who were chasing and forming change, looking for a beat, a passion and an ideal that was different.

For Beatles’ fans, The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics is a classic and a must have, as it is more than just a collection of Lyrics on the pages, it is a history of five years of change, passion, love, and excitement that is, fifty years on, as fresh and vibrant as the songs where when first written and played to adoring fans.

Author ED: Steve Turner.
Publisher Welbeck
ISBN 9781787395411
Distributor Murdoch Books
Released December 2020