There have been many books about the Beatles over the years. Their career has been meticulously documented since they disbanded in 1970. But it is the release of Mark Lewisohn's first volume of his three volume work "All These Years" that attempts to place the Beatles in the greater context of history. "Tune In" traces the history of the band members beginning with each of their family trees - John's great grandfather and namesake came to Liverpool bound for the US fleeing the potato famine in 1840's Ireland. He never left. Based on Lewisohn's book a good case could be made for Liverpool itself as a sort of fifth Beatle. The rough and tumble seaport city, shell shocked from the Second World War, seems an unlikely inspiration for so many sunny songs, but Liverpudlians were no strangers to hard times. Rising above such bleak beginnings makes the story of the Beatles success seem even more astonishing. At more than 900 pages and ending before the release of their first single in 1962, this is not a book for the casual fan. Over ten years in the making, "In Tune" tells in full detail how these four individuals came together, and through hard work and fierce determination forged a new sound. For the diehard fan, if this isn't enough - a special edition of the book totaling over 1700 pages is available in England. But don't worry, you have plenty of time to read - the second volume, which only goes through 1966, is not expected until 2020. In the meantime check out some of Lewisohn's other titles.
Books by Mark Lewisohn
Tune In The Beatles: All These Years
The Beatles Day by Day
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions; The Official Story of the Abby Road Years, 1963-1970 - This is the definitive book in the Beatles time in the studio. A must read for any fan interested in how they develop and achieved some incredible sounds in a pre-digital age.
The Beatles Live: The Ultimate Reference Book
The Complete Beatles Chronicle