Let’s face it, some 40 years after John, Paul, George and Ringo went their separate ways, it seems that that there is little that is known about the Beatles that isn’t already known, to crib a phrase from All You Need Is Love.
At last count, there are nearly 500 books in print about the Fab Four, and more keep coming out every year. This begs the question: Do we really need another book about the Beatles?
Well, self-proclaimed Beatles’ scholar W. Fraser Sandercombe thinks so.
But instead of actually writing about them, his Beatle Books: From Genesis to Revolution is a compendium of every book written about the group, listed by year, by author and by title, as well as a section with books written by members of the band.
Again, the question seems to be: Why? In his introduction, Sandercombe writes that “every year brings another mountain of writing about (the Beatles), enough to keep a collector hunting forever.”
By admitting that the flow of books about this seminal band is seemingly ceaseless, Sandercombe actually undercuts the reasons for his own book.
If there are always new books coming out, then doesn’t his book, about books, quickly become outdated the minute a new wave of Beatle-lit washes ashore?
And it isn’t like Sandercombe is giving us any way to navigate this ocean of print — it’s simply a listing of books, with the author’s name, the publisher, the pub date, and whether it’s hardcover or soft. That’s it. So if you’re looking for, say, the ultimate book about the Fab Four’s concert history, you’re SOL. But if you actually know of a book that fits this bill, and can either remember what it was called, or when it came out, then, yes, this book might prove useful.
Otherwise, it’s hard to see the value of this book, unless you’re an obsessive, completist collector of Beatles books.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.