I’ve been a fan of The Beatles’ music for over thirty years. I own their original 12 studio albums in some form or another and have some oddities as well. (Take the album “The Beatles in Italy” for example. It has a great pic of the Fab Four raising their champagne glasses in unison. It’s on the back cover if I’m not mistaken.) I’ve read a few books about their lyrics, how different songs were developed, and the whole Beatles phenomenon. At some point, I practically had the documentary film “The Compleat Beatles” memorized. It can be difficult to find a new spin on some of these things, but I found one in a book I got for Christmas last year.
Visualizing The Beatles: A Complete Graphic History of the World’s Favorite Band was written by John Pring and Rob Thomas. According to the liner notes and their website https://www.visualizingthebeatles.com/, they formed a company called Designbysoap Ltd, which “specializes in information design and infographics.” The book’s cover gives you some idea about what’s inside for readers, but it’s not just a study of The Beatles’ fashion trends — although it is interesting to see their different suits and hairstyles.
The authors break down each of the original 12 albums into infographics about who sang lead, who wrote the songs, and who played what instruments. They also list the number of covers and originals on their early albums. My favorite part was the graphic showing how many songs were in major or minor keys for example. There are also quotes and graphics regarding their influences like Bob Dylan and Ravi Shankar. If you’re into trivia, you won’t be disappointed. Prior to reading this book, I found out “Revolver” wasn’t the only title considered for the album. There’s a graphic which shows 7 other possibilities. There are also maps which include The Beatles first tour stops as well as Beatle landmarks in London and elsewhere. Did you know the Fab Four had plans to purchase a private island? Good stuff.
The graphics alone make this book an interesting read, but it really does have plenty to offer the seasoned Beatle fan who’s already well-read. In short, “a splendid time is guaranteed for all.”
Till next time, keep your Mojo on the Horizon!