Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Beatles in the News 1964 (Volume 1): a book review

Time for another Wednesday reviews on MTBRF.    I am always looking for rare Beatles books to review.  If you have a suggestion please let me know!     I see the Beatles are helping me look for books to review.   Thanks fellows!

Tonight I am reviewing a book called The Beatles in the News 1964 (Volume one)by C. Barratt.   I love the idea behind this book and the others in the series.    It takes newspapers (from England) and reproduces them in a book.   We have seen this before with Tony Sak's 20 Days that rocked the World.    After going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame archives, I realized just how important it is to preserve newspaper and magazine articles.    Many documents in those archives have turned yellow and are very brittle.    Some newspapers and magazine printed rare Beatles interviews and information that should be preserved and so I applaud c. Barratt for taking that step.   

Many (if not all) of the articles in this book came from the New Music Express and have stories written by Chris Hutchins, which was interesting because I had read his book not too long ago.   It is very interesting to see what was going on in Beatlemania in America from the British point of view.   I also enjoyed the advertisements for Beatles things that were included.   That really added to the articles and allowed the reader to see the prices for the merchandise and albums.

However, overall I found this book to be difficult.   Many of the articles were reproduced in small print and were almost impossible to read.   Others were fuzzy at the bottom of the article as if it was not scanned properly.    But my biggest issue with the book is that it was not in chronological order.  I personally feel that all books should be in order, but I can overlook it in most cases.   But a book like this almost has to be in order and yet I see May 1964 on page 2 and October 1964 on page 3.    It jumps all over the place and made it hard for me to concentrate on the articles.   

This was a great idea but this particular book feels rushed.   Currently there is a book about 1963 and one about Paul McCartney with more in the series planned.   I hope more time and consideration is taken for future volumes, as it is truly important to preserve Beatles history.  


  1. Thank you, as always, for your EXTREMELY helpful reviews! Such as this one!

  2. Hi - Thank you for your review of one of my books. Thanks for the 'applause'. :)
    I note your comments about the lack of chronology - but that was, actually, done on purpose as I felt it more accurately reflected the idea of a 'scrapbook' like many of us kept all those years ago. I've had a lot of positive feedback about doing it like that too - so I guess it's all down to personal taste.

    I am though rather puzzled by your comment " Many of the articles were reproduced in small print and were almost impossible to read."

    I've not had that comment from anyone else and, indeed, the copies of this volume which I have seen are not difficult to read. Perhaps your copy is different?

    The scans were done over a period of years and naturally scanning resolutions have increased - all in the books that I have published are at least 300dpi.

    Anyway - thank you for taking the time to review this volume.


    1. I do have to state that I bought the book off Amazon and I have talked to some authors that had bad experiences with the printing and Amazon. So it is very possible that the fuzzy print is not in all of the books, but I just got a bad Amazon copy.

      I personally like things to go in chronological order. I hate movies that have flashbacks and jump around. And yes, when I make a scrapbook, it is always in chronological order. If it isn't, it drives me crazy! But perhaps that is a personal preference. But I am sure I am not the only person that has it. I do look forward to buying more volumes. As I said, it is very important to preserve the history of the Beatles and I think you for taking the steps to do so.

  3. Why is it, that when someone doesn't like a review written about work they have done, do they feel the need to point out that 'no one else' has ever made similar comments? It's a kind of passive aggressive way of telling the person that they are wrong, and everyone else is right.

    The comments of other people have no relevance in a personal review.

    I had my very own Beatles scrap book as a child/teen, and I certainly placed items in print order, and would want to read them chronologically in a book. How would someone NOT put pressings in to a scrap book in order? Does one skip seven blank pages in the book and then paste in a clipping, only to go back four blank pages to place in the next clip, and so on?

    It may represent your experience of how scrap books are compiled, but I used to fill mine one page at a time, thus ensuring an organic and correct chronology.

    So Sara, thanks for your review.... apart from the fact your opinion is wrong, your eyesight is failing, and your copy is somehow faulty. Keep up the good work Sara, and tell it as you see it, and not as others would like you to see it.