Friday, May 6, 2005

The Beatles (Unseen Archives)

A few days ago I checked The Beatles (Unseen Archives), compiled by Tim Hill and Marie Clayton, out from the library. The book is a collection of previously unpublished photos of The Beatles. drawn from the archives of the Daily Mail and taken by Associated Press photographers. Some were from negatives that had never even been printed.

The photographs in The Beatles (Unseen Archives) are for the most part arranged year by year, the exceptions being "The Early Years (The Beatles before 1964)" and "After The Beatles (after the group had broken up)." Each chapter includes a summary of what had happened with regards to The Beatles at that time, as well as a timeline of events. Although The Beatles (Unseen Archives) is a collection of photographs, it also serves quite well as a primer on Beatles history. Each photograph has its own description, often not only telling what is happening in the picture, but various bits of trivia as well. Many of the pictures were taken while The Beatles were on holiday or at special events, giving the fan a behind the scenes look at the band. There are several photos from the sets of both A Hard Day's Night and Help!.

I find very little of which to be critical with regards to "The Beatles (Unseen Archives). Off the top of my head I can only think of two things. First, it would have been nice to have seen more photos of The Beatles at work--that is, it would have been nice to have seen more shots of them in the studio or performing in concert. Second, there are no shots of John Lennon in the chapter "After The Beatles," although there are plenty of the other three Beatles. I can only guess that as John had moved to the United States in the Seventies, not many pictures of him were being taken in England and so not many photos of John were in the archives of the Daily Mail from the Seventies.

I would say that The Beatles (Unseen Archives) is worthwhile for any Beatles fan. Most fans will probably already know much of the history and trivia about the band related in the book; however, it is very interesting as a photograhpic chronicle of the changes the band went through over the years. And the photos are quite enjoyable, giving fans yet another look at the band.

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