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Published on October 21st, 2013


The Beatles — All These Years: Volume One: Tune In, by Mark Lewisohn

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Blurb: The Beatles have been at the top for fifty years, their music remains exciting, their influence is still huge, their acclaim and achievements cannot be surpassed. But who really were the Beatles, and how did they and everything else in the 1960s fuse so explosively?

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Mark Lewisohn’s three-part biography is the first true and accurate account of the Beatles, a contextual history built upon impeccable research and written with energy, style, objectivity and insight. This first volume covers the crucial and less-known early period – the Liverpool and Hamburg years of a hungry rock and roll band, when all the sharp characters and situations take shape.

This is the Beatles like you’ve never read them before. It isn’t just ‘another book’, it’s the book, from the world-acknowledged authority. Forget what you know and discover the complete story.

(Little Brown, 2013)

Read an extract from the book | Telegraph

Peter Aspden, Financial Times 

“I can think of no greater praise for Tune In than to say that it gives The Beatles the beginnings of the biography they deserve. It is hard to imagine the subsequent volumes, covering more familiar ground, matching the gripping quality of this constantly surprising work. But Lewisohn’s clear head and good humour augur well. The main feature may not have even started yet, but this is the classiest of prequels.”

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Daniel Finkelstein, The Times 

“…not only an enthralling account of the group’s origins, far superior to anything that has gone before, but also an essential piece of social history… there is a case that the Beatles merely turned up at the right moment, when teenagers had money and freedom and the sheer numbers to mount a challenge to their elders. It isn’t a case that Lewisohn accepts, however. Tune In shows that, almost from the first moment, there was something special about the Beatles, something incredible, something durable. There were other bands, but only one Beatles. He has set out to do them justice and to write the definitive history. I think he is succeeding.”

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Mark Edmonds, The Sunday Times 

“The panache and verve that Lewisohn has brought to this project is surprising given his record as a Beatles biographer — brilliant on facts, but short on flair. His previous books, including The Recording Sessions and the uber-nerdish Beatles’ London, were strictly for the fans. This volume, however, puts him in a different league.”

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John Harris, The Guardian 

“The first edited-down volume is largely a delight, and the story is told so definitively that, after this, that really should be it. Secondary sources are comprehensively mined; letters, public records and business documents have been found in places no one else ever thought to look; friends, associates and acquaintances have been interviewed over what seems to be a quarter-century. All that is lacking is substantial new testimony from the Beatles themselves, a point to which there are two responses: first, that the two most candid and iconoclastic Beatles have been dead for a number of years; and second, that the last people you should ask about the detailed history of the Beatles are the Beatles themselves.”

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Kitty Empire, The Observer

“…a work of scholarship that borders on the obsessive… In the publicity materials for Tune In, Lewisohn asks us to “scrub what we know, and start again”, implying that his is a fresh take on the Beatles, illuminated by deep research, over-turning received opinions, digging out unexamined truths. Ultimately, that is not quite what he achieves. The people and milieux that spring from these pages remain, largely, as we previously knew them: the core of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, sharing in-jokes and a taste for hard-to-find vinyl and black leather; George Martin, a fellow comedy aficionado with the studio skills to bottle their magic and the courage to give this unruly, untried band their heads. It is the breadth and scope of Lewisohn’s endeavour that are unparalleled, the knowledge that the young Lennon and McCartney take two buses to some guy’s house who is rumoured to know a B7 chord.”

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