The Beatles: The Biography

Though I grew up listening to the Beatles, I really knew very little about the Fab Four, Beatlemania, their rise to "the toppermost of the poppermost" and subsequent split. I'm almost ashamed of my ignorance of this most famed of groups that did so much to shape popular music - the way it is created, recorded, packaged, shared, consumed, heard, viewed. But all that has changed after challenging myself to the task of reading all 856 pages of Bob Spitz's The Beatles: The Biography.

I can't really say much about this biography - it's subject matter is too vast, it's content too exhaustive. I can, however, speak to the impact this book had on me. I've gone all my life listening to the Beatles with the understanding that they are one of if not the most loved, revered, respected, and talented of all rock'n'roll groups. Though I had a great appreciation for them musically, I don't think I ever could have fully appreciated the Beatles if it weren't for Spitz's biography. Now I can truly speak to how revolutionary the Beatles were, how crucial their impact. Though the Beatles were only together for a mere 10 years, the significance of what they accomplished and created in that time is still being realized anew some 40 years later.

I won't bore you with details that you may or may not already know about John, Paul, George, and Ringo, but I will recommend that you take a crack at this lengthy page-turner. Any reader, from the most devoted of Beatles fans to the most clueless and apathetic music listener, can find something to appreciate within its pages because of how broad this story is. There's a touch of history, the most wonderful of underdog stories, pandemonium, a bit of musical study, some love, some craziness, cameos, drugs, cut-throat business deals, peace love and sunshine, comedy, drama, romance. The story of the Beatles isn't just about music, but also about being propelled to unprecedented levels of fame, sorting out relationships both creative and personal, finding an identity amongst a group of peers, and pushing the limits of experience.

Spitz writes a riveting, albeit lengthy, report on the rise and fall of the Beatles that rather toils through the slow and tiresome rise to fame, whips through the highlife of an international musical sensation, and abruptly comes to a dissatisfying end as did the Beatles' musical career together.

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