About The Beatles Handbook

The_Beatles_i_Hötorgscity_1963The Beatles have been a part of my life since my childhood in the 70s when, like so many people, I saw A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, Let It Be, Yellow Submarine and The Magical Mystery Tour on TV.  In one way or another, they have remained a constant presence, but it was only after watching the 2021 documentary series McCartney 3,2,1 and Get Back that I was inspired to launch this site.

Although I was familiar with large chunks of The Beatles and the solo members music, there were big gaps in my knowledge. I decided to rectify that by using the convenience of music streaming services to listen to every studio album by The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Wings, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in order of release. I tweeted my reactions as I went along and created playlists of every track I liked on each album and then created best of playlists for each artist as a personal record of the listening project, which, at the time of writing is still ongoing with Ringo Starr yet to be completed (20 solo albums is a lot).

I realised that the ‘work’ (it was all pleasure) I’d put in, dozens of hours over a period of months, could be useful to other fans of The Beatles, particularly those who had either discovered them through the phenomenon of the Get Back documentary, or like me, were revisiting the music for the first time in a while. I realised that the tweets and playlists could provide newbie Beatles fans with a way to navigate that vast back catalogue. For the blog, I have expanded on the tweet and rated each album so that new fans can prioritise their listening and get to the good stuff (at least in my opinion) right away.

About the reviews 

In order to give as honest an opinion as possible, I avoided reading anything about the albums or anything in general about The Beatles before I listened to them. That meant I was able to approach the music with a relatively clean slate and preserve my first, unprompted response; a judgement about how much I enjoyed listening to the music, rather than appreciating it as an important, influential and historical artefact.

The reviews are deliberately short and designed to be of practical use rather stand as definitive, authoritative statements. There is already an infinite amount of information about the music, critical or otherwise, in existence; The Beatles must be the most written about and picked over artists in the history of popular music. It’s ironic that, for a band whose songs are the epitome of brevity, much of the work about them is on the monumental side. There seemed little point in simply re-hashing existing opinion and information, so I started out with the intention of writing a purely personal guide to the albums based on a lifetime of wide-ranging musical appreciation. 

But of course I soon fell down The Beatles rabbit hole. My listening project radically changed my relationship with the band. I am now a fully paid up Beatles obsessive, reading anything I can get my hands on including Craig Brown’s excellent The Beatles 1,2,3, Get Back by John Harris and the essential The Lyrics by Paul McCartney and Paul Muldoon (despite what I’ve said above, inevitably I have dropped in a few salient facts and borrowed opinions from my reading into the reviews). I’ve started listening to Beatles  podcasts such as I am The EggPod, re-watching the feature films and major documentaries such as Scorsese’s three and half hour epic George Harrison film Living In The Material World and the seminal Anthology series. So I’m also sharing my opinions of those too.  

I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as much as I have enjoyed researching and writing it so far, it’s been fab,

Andy Lynes

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