100 books like The Beatles

By Hunter Davies,

Here are 100 books that The Beatles fans have personally recommended if you like The Beatles. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Tune In

Spencer Leigh Author Of Little Richard: Send Me Some Lovin'

From my list on the Beatles.

Why am I passionate about this?

We all know Little Richard’s great hits like "Long Tall, Sally", "Tutti Frutti" and "Good Golly Miss Molly" and Little Richard’s life was as wild as his records. It’s excess all areas as Spencer Leigh tells the story of Little Richard in Send Me Some Lovin. It is a biography of someone who transformed popular music. Spencer Leigh was born in 1945 and hearing Little Richard for the first time in 1956 changed his life. He is a world expert on the Beatles and he has written a series of music-based biographies – Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel – all of which are full of facts and opinions.

Spencer's book list on the Beatles

Spencer Leigh Why did Spencer love this book?

The Beatles in forensic detail up to the first Parlophone single, "Love Me Do".

Mark has interviewed almost everyone who mattered and he knows what to ask them and how to shape a book. I suggest you seek out the two-volume version running to 1,600 pages.

The Beatles are treated with as much reverence as Picasso and Shakespeare, and deservedly so.

By Mark Lewisohn,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Tune In as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now in paperback, Tune In is the New York Times bestseller by the world’s leading Beatles authority – the first volume in a groundbreaking trilogy about the band that revolutionized music.
 
The Beatles have been in our lives for half a century and surely always will be. Still, somehow, their music excites, their influence resonates, their fame sustains. New generations find and love them, and while many other great artists come and go, the Beatles are beyond eclipse.
 
So . . . who really were these people, and just how did it all happen?
 
'The Beatles story' is everywhere. Told…


Book cover of Liddypool

Spencer Leigh Author Of Little Richard: Send Me Some Lovin'

From my list on the Beatles.

Why am I passionate about this?

We all know Little Richard’s great hits like "Long Tall, Sally", "Tutti Frutti" and "Good Golly Miss Molly" and Little Richard’s life was as wild as his records. It’s excess all areas as Spencer Leigh tells the story of Little Richard in Send Me Some Lovin. It is a biography of someone who transformed popular music. Spencer Leigh was born in 1945 and hearing Little Richard for the first time in 1956 changed his life. He is a world expert on the Beatles and he has written a series of music-based biographies – Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel – all of which are full of facts and opinions.

Spencer's book list on the Beatles

Spencer Leigh Why did Spencer love this book?

A mammoth tome about all the locations around the young Beatles in Liverpool.

Wonderful details and some very good recommended walks by someone who really knows the area and what he is writing about. Only trouble is, the book is so heavy you can’t take it with you on those walks.

By David Bedford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Liddypool as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Liddypool, The Birthplace of The Beatles, the critically acclaimed book to concentrate solely on the history of The Beatles from their experience of living and growing up in Liverpool, has been released in its third and expanded edition. Covering their rise from childhood in the 1940s and obscurity to their triumphant civic reception at Liverpool Town Hall on 10th July 1964, when the city said goodbye to the Fab Four, author David Bedford uses local knowledge and eyewitness testimony to chart every band member and name-change and lineup, from The Quarrymen to The Beatles: the real story of the "Fab…


Book cover of I Me Mine

Spencer Leigh Author Of Little Richard: Send Me Some Lovin'

From my list on the Beatles.

Why am I passionate about this?

We all know Little Richard’s great hits like "Long Tall, Sally", "Tutti Frutti" and "Good Golly Miss Molly" and Little Richard’s life was as wild as his records. It’s excess all areas as Spencer Leigh tells the story of Little Richard in Send Me Some Lovin. It is a biography of someone who transformed popular music. Spencer Leigh was born in 1945 and hearing Little Richard for the first time in 1956 changed his life. He is a world expert on the Beatles and he has written a series of music-based biographies – Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel – all of which are full of facts and opinions.

Spencer's book list on the Beatles

Spencer Leigh Why did Spencer love this book?

I love seeing the scraps of paper on which George wrote his songs like "Something" or "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".

I love seeing all his crossings-out and he offers some good commentary too. George comes over as a thoroughly nice person, but you do need strong wrists to read this book. (Gosh, I’m recommending heavy books!)

By George Harrison, Derek Taylor, Olivia Harrison (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Me Mine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"For me, the essence of this book is the lyrics and I believe they stand the test of time because they are written about man's eternal quest, dilemmas, joys and sorrows. George's lyrics were, in my opinion, the most spiritually conscious of our time" - Olivia Harrison

Cherished by fans and collectors, I Me Mine is the closest we will come to George Harrison's autobiography. This new volume has been significantly updated since the 1980 original. For the first time I Me Mine - The Extended Edition covers the full span of George Harrison's life and work, exploring his upbringing…


Book cover of Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, The Early Years, 1926-1966

Spencer Leigh Author Of Little Richard: Send Me Some Lovin'

From my list on the Beatles.

Why am I passionate about this?

We all know Little Richard’s great hits like "Long Tall, Sally", "Tutti Frutti" and "Good Golly Miss Molly" and Little Richard’s life was as wild as his records. It’s excess all areas as Spencer Leigh tells the story of Little Richard in Send Me Some Lovin. It is a biography of someone who transformed popular music. Spencer Leigh was born in 1945 and hearing Little Richard for the first time in 1956 changed his life. He is a world expert on the Beatles and he has written a series of music-based biographies – Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel – all of which are full of facts and opinions.

Spencer's book list on the Beatles

Spencer Leigh Why did Spencer love this book?

A two-volume biography of George Martin’s work as a record producer, full of colourful detail.

You get a full account of George’s work with the Beatles. The sound effects which George had to create for The Goons’ records helped him deal with the Beatles. I also loved reading about George’s spat with his fellow EMI producer, Norrie Paramor.

By Kenneth Womack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Maximum Volume as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

George Martin - the man, the mind, the music. This is the story of the legendary Beatles producer.

The first of two volumes, MAXIMUM VOLUME traces Martin's early life, from an impoverished childhood, through WWII, to becoming head of EMI's Parlophone Records.

There, he made waves in British comedy and saved Parlophone from ruin with records from the likes of Spike Milligan. Then one day he discovered a scruffy beat band from Liverpool...

As this dramatic story unfolds, the book transports you into the studio with Martin and the Beatles, exploring how his musical genius shaped their incredible body of…


Book cover of Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s

David Browne Author Of Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970

From my list on why the maligned Seventies were pretty awesome.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a senior writer at Rolling Stone, where I cover a wide range of music-related topics. But as a child of the Seventies, I was shaped by the defining and enthralling pop culture of that era, from singer-songwriters, Southern rock, and disco records to Norman Lear sitcoms. In some of my work, I’ve chronicled the highs and lows of that era, perhaps as a way to answer a question that haunted me during my youth: Why did my older sisters and their friends keep telling me that the Sixties were the most incredible decade ever and the Seventies were awful? What did I miss? And how and where did it all go wrong?

David's book list on why the maligned Seventies were pretty awesome

David Browne Why did David love this book?

What happened to the individual members of the Beatles in the years after the group dissolved? Many books have been devoted to that part of their saga, but few gripped me as much as this detailed, well-researched story of McCartney and his band Wings. Written with the cooperation of Macca—who gave several interviews to Doyle—Man on the Run makes you realize how chaotic, unstable, and (to use a period phrase) wild and crazy Wings were, despite the banality of some of their music. In that regard, it’s a perfect Seventies story: Beneath the seemingly mellow vibes and image lie a far more turbulent saga, reflecting the way McCartney himself repeatedly grappled with redefining himself after his tenure in arguably the greatest pop group of all time. 

By Tom Doyle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Man on the Run as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The most famous living rock musician on the planet, Paul McCartney is now regarded as a slightly cosy figure, an (inter)national treasure. Back in the 1970s, however, McCartney cut a very different figure. He was, literally, a man on the run. Desperately trying to escape the shadow of the Beatles, he became an outlaw hippy millionaire, hiding out on his Scottish farmhouse in Kintyre before travelling the world with makeshift bands and barefoot children. It was a time of numerous drug busts and brilliant, banned and occasionally baffling records. For McCartney, it was an edgy, liberating and sometimes frightening period…


Book cover of How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music

Nicholas Tochka Author Of Rocking in the Free World: Popular Music and the Politics of Freedom in Postwar America

From my list on making you rethink everything about rock ’n’ roll.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hi, my name is Nick, and I’m a recovering rockist. I’ve collected records and vintage gear; I’ve owned Ray Coleman biographies. I’ve played in garage bands that did terrible punk-rock covers of songs like Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.” I even used to subscribe to Rolling Stone magazine. And most embarrassingly, I believed in the power of rock – to effect political change, to free people’s bodies and minds. But if once I was a true believer, today I’ve become a rock ’n’ roll skeptic. And I hope that this list might help you rethink everything you thought you knew about rock, too.

Nicholas' book list on making you rethink everything about rock ’n’ roll

Nicholas Tochka Why did Nicholas love this book?

A provocative pre-history of rock music, written to provoke. (Don’t hold your breath waiting for John, Paul, George, and Ringo to show up.)

Wald crafts a fascinating alternative history of commercial popular music in the first half of the twentieth century, asking readers to focus not on big names or influential records but on the everyday practices, technologies, and contexts through which musicians and listeners actually experienced the music. Avoid if you don’t want to see a few sacred cows slaughtered.

By Elijah Wald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"There are no definitive histories," writes Elijah Wald, in this provocative reassessment of American popular music, "because the past keeps looking different as the present changes." Earlier musical styles sound different to us today because we hear them through the musical filter of other styles that came after them, all the way through funk and hiphop. As its blasphemous title suggests, How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll rejects the conventional pieties of mainstream jazz and rock history. Rather than concentrating on those traditionally favored styles, the book traces the evolution of popular music through developing tastes, trends and technologies-including…


Book cover of A Women's History of the Beatles

Nicholas Tochka Author Of Rocking in the Free World: Popular Music and the Politics of Freedom in Postwar America

From my list on making you rethink everything about rock ’n’ roll.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hi, my name is Nick, and I’m a recovering rockist. I’ve collected records and vintage gear; I’ve owned Ray Coleman biographies. I’ve played in garage bands that did terrible punk-rock covers of songs like Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.” I even used to subscribe to Rolling Stone magazine. And most embarrassingly, I believed in the power of rock – to effect political change, to free people’s bodies and minds. But if once I was a true believer, today I’ve become a rock ’n’ roll skeptic. And I hope that this list might help you rethink everything you thought you knew about rock, too.

Nicholas' book list on making you rethink everything about rock ’n’ roll

Nicholas Tochka Why did Nicholas love this book?

Over the past few decades, so much writing about rock has sought to overturn received wisdom about the music.

Feldman-Barrett’s excellent, funny, and beautifully written book – re-examining the Beatles in relation to the lives of women – is the best kind of alternative history. She turns the story of the Beatles upside down, and makes you rethink everything you thought you knew about the group.

By Christine Feldman-Barrett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Women's History of the Beatles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2022 Open Publication Prize by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM-ANZ) A Women's History of the Beatles is the first book to offer a detailed presentation of the band's social and cultural impact as understood through the experiences and lives of women. Drawing on a mix of interviews, archival research, textual analysis, and autoethnography, this scholarly work depicts how the Beatles have profoundly shaped and enriched the lives of women, while also reexamining key, influential female figures within the group's history. Organized topically based on key themes important to the Beatles story, each…


Book cover of The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles

Glenn Dixon Author Of Bootleg Stardust

From my list on the Beatles (from someone who loves them).

Why am I passionate about this?

The first record I ever bought was Magical Mystery Tour when I was no more than twelve or so. It’s what made me want to be a musician myself. I’ve got every Beatle record and I am the kind of guy to study carefully who played what, who wrote what, and how they put it all together. Just before Covid shut down everything, I even went to Abbey Road studios where we recorded some of the songs for my novel (we wrote and recorded all the songs of the fictitious band Downtown Exit). Working in Abbey Road was a dream come true – to record in the same rooms that the Beatles used. Imagine that. It was wonderful.

Glenn's book list on the Beatles (from someone who loves them)

Glenn Dixon Why did Glenn love this book?

The Love You Make is pure pop pablum. It’s almost tabloid-like in its recounting of the Beatle’s relationships, their drug use, and their many petty squabbles. Written by Brian Epstein’s assistant (Brian Epstein, of course, was the Beatles’ manager), Brown has some stories to tell. Full of photos too. This one’s a lot of fun if you don’t take it too seriously.

By Peter Brown, Steven Gaines,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Love You Make as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Here is the national bestseller that Newsday called “the most authoritative and candid look yet at the personal lives…of the oft-scrutinized group.” In The Love You Make, Peter Brown, a close friend of and business manager for the band—and the best man at John and Yoko’s wedding—presents a complete look at the dramatic offstage odyssey of the four lads from Liverpool who established the greatest music phenomenon of the twentieth century. Written with the full cooperation of each of the group’s members and their intimates, this book tells the inside story of the music and the madness, the feuds and…


Book cover of The Beatles: The True Beginnings

Mike Southon Author Of The Beermat Entrepreneur: Turn Your good idea into a great business

From my list on the hidden mysteries of business, science, and nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 40 years and now pass on that knowledge to mentees and university students. The key to success in business is being able to attract and then learn from mentors, who, in my opinion, always should provide their knowledge, wisdom, and connections free of charge. As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to go down ‘The Dark Side’, especially if the pursuit of money and power becomes overwhelming. Many famous billionaires are not especially nice people. But there are many nice businesspeople out there and I aspire to be one of those, hence my pursuit of a daily advancement in esoteric, hermetic, and other knowledge.

Mike's book list on the hidden mysteries of business, science, and nature

Mike Southon Why did Mike love this book?

Nobody really understands why The Beatles are still so popular over 50 years after they last played together. Rory Best is the brother of Pete Best (famously replaced in The Beatles by Ringo Starr) and the son of Neil Aspinall (the Beatles Road Manager who later ran Apple Corporation - The Beatles’ own company). This book tells the story of the true origins of The Beatles, centred around his mother, Mona Best, and The Casbah Coffee Club.

By Pete Best, Rory Best, Roag Best

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Beatles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Casbah Coffee Club, which opened in Liverpool on August 29, 1959, was the brainchild of Mona Best, the mother of Pete Best. It is well known that Pete Best was the drummer for The Beatles in their early days in Liverpool and Hamburg. But less well known is that The Beatles’ origins were in fact at Pete’s mother’s club-it was at the Casbah and with Mona Best’s blessing that the greatest popular music phenomenon of the twentieth century began.

And now, the basement club where The Quarrymen, The Silver Beatles, and finally The Beatles played over 90 times before…


Book cover of As Time Goes By

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in 1954, the same year as rock and roll. I am a product of the era that spawned me. I was that kid at school who would rather read his music mags than his school books. Over a rich and varied career, I have turned those passions into my profession. I have been a singer in a band, a music journalist, a broadcaster with the BBC national radio network, and have had several music related books published by major publishers. I have also been an academic specialist in my field and have managed to turn all those lifelong interests into a Ph.D. and an M.Phil.

Rob's book list on music books that will make you think differently about music and the people who make it

Rob Chapman Why did Rob love this book?

I grew up with the Beatles. I went from 8 to 16 in the time it took the band to go from Love Me Do to Let It Be. I measure my own growth from infancy to adolescence during their lifespan.

The Beatles were more than a band to anyone of my age. They were a planet we all lived on. There have been hundreds of books about them, but few are more insightful than this one by their suave and urbane press officer.

Derek started off his career as a hard-bitten newspaper hack of the old school. Working with the Beatles changed his life. I can relate to that. The Fab Four changed all our lives. 

By Derek Taylor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked As Time Goes By as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The sharpest memoir written by one of the Beatles' inner circle.' Observer

Derek Taylor's iconic memoir is a rare opportunity to be immersed in one of the most whirlwind music sensations in history: Beatlemania. As Time Goes By tells the remarkable story of Taylor's trajectory from humble provincial journalist to loved confidant right at the centre of the Beatles' magic circle. In charming, conversational prose, Taylor shares anecdotes and reminiscences so vivid and immediate that you find yourself plunged into the beating heart of 1960s counterculture. Whether watching the debut performance of 'Hey Jude' in a country pub or hearing…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in rock music, The Beatles, and popular music?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about rock music, The Beatles, and popular music.

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