Think you know everything about The Beatles? Although countless books have chronicled virtually every aspect of the Fab Four's careers, author Bruce Spizer constantly impresses with his thorough research into lesser-known areas of their history. From the group's beginnings on such small American labels as Swan and Vee-Jay to an in-depth look at the 1963-1964 US Beatlemania marketing campaign, Spizer researches particular, previously hidden corners of the Beatles' story. His newest book, Beatles for Sale on Parlophone Records (co-written with Beatles historian Frank Daniels), thoroughly examines the UK album, EP, and single releases, which can be a source of confusion for those accustomed to the American releases. While some information may be overly technical for some fans, the "behind the scenes" stories of the Beatles' vast music catalog should interest all Fab Four enthusiasts.
Covering 1962-1970, Beatles for Sale on Parlophone Records actually comprises two books in one, and Spizer's introduction promotes that concept. Those who want the behind-the-scenes stories of how certain songs were written and recorded will want to read relevant parts of each section: "45 RPM Singles," "Long-Playing Albums," "EPs," and "An EMI Recording," which details the history of Parlophone/EMI. Tidbits include revealing the song on which Lennon based "I Feel Fine's" guitar lick, the origins of that orange smudge on the bottom of the Beatles for Sale album cover, and how "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" was written and recorded. While Spizer does not detail every difference between British and American releases—that would constitute its own book—he does clarify how each UK album was carefully designed and compiled. Ever wonder about the history of the Fan Club Christmas Records? These are covered here, too. Why was "Strawberry Fields Forever" not included on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band? Spizer addresses that question and many more. Rare photos of the group, original advertisements, and other ephemera grace the pages.