Some authors tell their own story, especially if they worked for the group. One example is Chris O'Dell, an assistant and tour manager for the most famous artists of the 1960s. Her book, Miss O'Dell: Hard Days and Long Nights with The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, details her often wild days in and out of the studio. Among her interesting anecdotes: she sang in the chorus on "Hey Jude," and inspired George Harrison's song "Miss O'Dell," the B-side to his single "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)." A useful reference book is Beatles Deeper Undercover, Kristofer Engelhardt's exhaustive discography of collaborations with other artists. Many of the Beatles' guest appearances on other musicians' songs were either uncredited or listed under an alias, so this book serves as an essential tool for fans. Another crucial reference book, Andy Babiuk's work Beatles Gear was updated and reissued earlier this year. View beautiful photographs of the Beatles' instruments, and learn who owns these pieces of music history today. Although somewhat difficult to find, the New York Times Historic Beatles Newspaper Compilation includes reproductions of every article the newspaper ran on the group, as they appeared in the original issues.
Looking for a relatively inexpensive gift set? Try the Fab Four FAQ Deluxe Set, which includes Fab Four FAQ (written by Robert Rodriguez and Stuart Shea) and Fab Four FAQ 2.0, Rodriguez's thorough study of each Beatles' solo years. These books are packed with photos of memorabilia, discographies, and little-known anecdotes about their recordings and careers. Serious scholars may like The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles, a collection of essays examining the Beatles' influence on music and culture. Finally, purchase The Beatles vs. The Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock 'n' Roll Rivalry if you wish to inspire a spirited debate at the dinner table. Read Glen Boyd's article on Beatles books for even more gift suggestions.
"Lend Me Your Ears and I'll Sing You a Song": The Music
What do Beatles fans love most? The music, of course. 2010 brought reissues and, most recently, their debut on iTunes. Lennon's 70th birthday inspired the remastering of almost his entire catalog, overseen by Ono. Each album can be purchased separately on CD or via iTunes. In addition, Double Fantasy Stripped Down features a radical remixing of the Double Fantasy tapes, with much of the production removed to prominently highlight Lennon's vocals. For the casual or new fan, Power to the People: The Hits compiles 15 of his best-known tracks; an enhanced version offers not only the tracks, but a DVD containing video clips for each of the songs. Still another compilation, Gimme Some Truth, groups Lennon's most famous works into categories such as politics, love, and his earliest rock 'n' roll roots. The four-CD set encompasses a great deal of his career, and may be an alternative to the pricier Signature Box set, discussed below.