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Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years | [Mark Lewisohn]

Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years

Tune In is the first volume of All These Years - a highly-anticipated, groundbreaking biographical trilogy by the world's leading Beatles historian. Mark Lewisohn uses his unprecedented archival access and hundreds of new interviews to construct the full story of the lives and work of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.
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Publisher's Summary

Tune In is the first volume of All These Years - a highly-anticipated, groundbreaking biographical trilogy by the world's leading Beatles historian. Mark Lewisohn uses his unprecedented archival access and hundreds of new interviews to construct the full story of the lives and work of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

Ten years in the making, Tune In takes the Beatles from before their childhoods through the final hour of 1962 - when, with breakthrough success just days away, they stand on the cusp of a whole new kind of fame and celebrity. They've one hit record ("Love Me Do") behind them and the next ("Please Please Me") primed for release, their first album session is booked, and America is clear on the horizon. This is the lesser-known Beatles story - the pre-Fab years of Liverpool and Hamburg - and in many respects the most absorbing and incredible period of them all. Here is the complete and true account of their family lives, childhoods, teenage years, and their infatuation with American music; here is the riveting narrative of their unforgettable days and nights in the Cavern Club, their laughs, larks, and adventures when they could move about freely, before fame closed in.

For those who've never read a Beatles book before, this is the place to discover the young men behind the icons. For those who think they know John, Paul, George, and Ringo, it's time to press the reset button and tune into the real story, the lasting word.

©2013 Mark Lewisohn (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"The story is told so definitively that, after this, that really should be it….Lewisohn is a Beatles oracle." (The Guardian UK)
"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….gripping." (Financial Times)
"Unlikely to be surpassed as factual record…. Once anointed 'Beatle Brain of Britain' while working in accounts at BBC Radio, Lewisohn amasses and investigates facts without sacrificing an iota of the excitement." (Telegraph UK)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Tad Davis 12-17-13
    Tad Davis 12-17-13
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    "Insanely great"

    Wow. Just wow. A pure delight from beginning to end: one of the most enjoyable audiobooks I've ever listened to. I'm a Beatles fanatic, and that probably helps; but I'd venture to say that this book has the potential to grab even people who don't know or don't care much about them. Mark Lewisohn writes with great insight and narrative skill about the struggles of the Beatles to gain recognition and professional success at a time when no one else - NO one - was doing the kind of music they were doing, in the way they were doing it. They're poster children for the "10,000 hours" take on career development. They paid their dues.

    Lewisohn gives particularly full attention to Pete Best, Brian Epstein, and George Martin. I've read several books on the Beatles and biographies of individual band members, and I still heard surprising new information about these people, and everybody else connected with the band, on practically every "page."

    It's not hagiography. John Lennon, as much as I love him, is clearly a world-class jerk, and the others all have less positive aspects. Their terrible treatment of Pete Best and their wild life on the Reeperbahn are presented in unsparing detail. But running through the book is a strong sense of their devotion to music, the clarity of their vision, and their genius: genius being defined as an infinite capacity for taking pains.

    Clive Mantle does a terrific job with the narration. He does the "voices" as if it were a work of fiction. I know that's not to everyone's taste, but to me, the key is whether it's done well or not. Mantle nails the Liverpool accent and even captures the unique cadence of each Beatle; and he nails the posh "standard" accents of Epstein and Martin as well.

    Lewisohn spent 10 years writing this. I hope that includes the research for the other two volumes. This one stops at the end of 1962, just before "Please Please Me" was released. I don't want to wait another 10 years for the next part. I'm not ready to let these guys go yet.

    36 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thug4life Sutton, MA 01-07-14
    Thug4life Sutton, MA 01-07-14 Member Since 2012

    I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.

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    "PhD. in Beatleology"
    Any additional comments?

    The author of “Tune In”, Mark Lewisohn, is one of the world’s “Toppermost of the Poppermost” Beatle aficionados. In the event that my 1st sentence makes sense and causes you to laugh, you should immediately purchase. Lewisohn is the author of “The Beatles Live” (1986), where he painstakingly details every Beatles’ concert performance. For Lewisohn, every Beatle related detail or rumor, regardless of size, warrants scholarly follow-up. Lewisohn approaches Tune In as a social scientist grinding out data based historical facts that must have taken him decades to accumulate and analyze. For these reasons, the book weighs in at about 900 pages and clocks in at over 43 hours for your audio book listening pleasure. However, for the diehard Beatles fans (or nuts) Lewisohn has created a Nirvana.

    I was completely fascinated and locked in to the entire 43 hour audio book. Tune In provides so much history and insight into the factors that resulted in Beatlemania. However, the book goes far deeper than the Fab 4. Tune In is ultimately about the personal and cultural conditions that culminated in Liverpool in the late 1950s to forever change society. Lewisohn’s main task is to capture and described all of the elements that caused a social paradigm shift fully manifested in the mid to late 1960s. Four impoverished lads from Liverpool are ground zero for the beginnings of this shift.

    I caution readers not to judge the youthful Beatles too harshly. You will learn things about John Lennon and Paul McCartney that will taint many of your idealized images. John Lennon exhibited despicable behaviors which would never be tolerated in our modern society. Paul often comes off as obstinate and jealous towards others competing for John Lennon’s attention. Given that these young men grew up in very aggressive/violent neighborhoods and received questionable formal education, these challenging behaviors seem shaped by their environments.

    Tune In starts with detailing the family histories of the Fab 4 and then follows the Beatles development in a linear fashion through elementary school, middle school, and art school. All of the musical influences, family interactions, and prevalent environmental conditions are analyzed. The story ends in 1962, where the Beatles are on the launching pointed towards stardom. The strengths of this book are as follows:

    1) The life and influence of Stu Sutcliffe
    2) The early songwriting interactions of Lennon and McCartney: starts and stops
    3) The development of George Harrison: dedicated and hard-working
    4) Description of how Pete Best entered and controversially exited the band: the whole story
    5) Brian Epstein the good and decent. The true 5th Beatle without whose efforts there may not be a Beatles
    6) George Martin the cynical and late to recognize
    7) John Lennon’s ability to put the band first.
    8) The Liverpool Beatles’ fans! Their support is as critical as Brian Epstein.
    9) The Hamburg years: The good, bad, & ugly
    10) The Beatles group behaviors that made them a success: open to all types of music, listening to B-sides, no repeating songs in the same act, and always trying to be different from typical bands…..

    I am hopeful that you derive the same level of joy and excitement I’ve encountered by reading Tune In. This book should appeal to people who are just a little more fanatical than a casual Beatles fan. This is only the 1st volume in a series of 3. Reportedly, the author intends to publish volume 2 in roughly 5 years. For many, this may give you just enough time to finish the 1st volume.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james 12-08-13
    james 12-08-13 Member Since 2005
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    "ANOTHER BEATLES BOOK?!!! YES! YOU SHOULD READ THIS"
    What did you love best about Tune In?

    The story flows like a very well made movie. The narration is great and the story is well told. I listened to 43 hrs in a week and you know what? I can hardly wait for parts 2 and three.


    What other book might you compare Tune In to and why?

    This is a massive book that is never dull or boring. The Clive Davis book comes to mind and also Janis Ian. Just great books about great lives.


    Which character – as performed by Clive Mantle – was your favorite?

    I think He did all the voices very well,


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    So you think you know all about the Beatles? Think again.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read several books about the Beatles. They are one of my favorite Groups. This book reads better than most without letting all the details bog down the story. 43 hours..And I can't wait for the next volume,

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 11-05-13
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 11-05-13

    I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

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    "Listens like a novel-wonderful biography"

    I'm just halfway thru this long and informative biographical history of John Paul George and Ringo and already I don't want it to end-even though I know how it ends.

    Of an age with the FabFour, I have enjoyed comparing what I was doing in 1956, 1957, Clive Mantle is the perfect narrator for the biography-there is a great deal of first person relating of "I remember..." and Martin, who has a strong UK accent an mimic both the primary voices and secondary person voices very well..the accent isn't too strong for an American listener at all,..it's not a Liverpool accent...but is strong enough to keep the sense of place.

    I think this is a story best listened to-in that respect, the Audible version is far superior to a text version - in any case, for someone who has followed the history of Rock and Roll, from the early early days back in 1956-57 to-in this first volume-1962, when the group is on their cusp of music history in the making.

    Even for someone who simply enjoys biographies this would be a valued addition to the library. It's been well researched pulling past history back to great grand parents first meetings through grandparents and parents..and early 'teen girlfriends and first loves.

    The seminal meeting of Paul and John is wonderfully presented with the addition of George coming quite soon after that (it was an 'I have a friend who can play lead guitar' type moment) after Paul froze with his first stage solo on guitar and decided to not go thru that again. Meanwhile Richie (Ringo not yet his nickname) was playing drums with another band, occasional appearing on the same bill but not playing with the 3 guitar players until later.

    Apparently this huge book of 3 long volumes was 10 years in the researching. I've rad every Beatles(and other music personalities) book out there but this is my first audio version of such and it's a real eyeopener for me.

    Even as youths, the boys then 14, 15 and 17, all felt the need to hit it big-to play the local large music hall..at this point there was no indication that they'd be playing the large halls and forums. They were just hoping for success locally and happy playing weddings, tavern (pub) dances and still half way a 'skiffle' band-even advertised the Quarrymen as a Skiffle Band on billboards and hand outs as rock was poorly accepted in these early years.

    Get this if you're young andGet this if you're an older music lover who appreciates the changes we lived thru-when our parents were still listening to Sinatra and Patti Page and we had discovered Bill Haley and Buddy Holly.

    Just get this sit back and enjoy.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    harry PLEASANTON, CA, United States 01-18-14
    harry PLEASANTON, CA, United States 01-18-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah...!"

    Although "Tune In" is only the first volume of Mark Lewishon's three volume Beatles biography it stands alone as the best of all the "Rock Bios" I have read or listened to!

    Lewishon carefully takes the listener through the history of all the key players in the early formative period, most especially Brian Epstein and George Martin along with the cast of music personalities, promoters, club owners and family members that surrounded John, Paul, George, Ringo, Pete and Stu.

    The research is exhaustive; so much so that the casual fan may feel overwhelmed. For true fans, however, Tune In is a treasure trove of connected dots. From their Hamburg days to the formation of the Beatles Fan Club and their first mention in the Mersey Beat, it's all here to be devoured. The detail that Lewishon brings to Tune In only adds to the texture of the Beatles' story.

    Adding to the wonderful narrative of Tune In is Clive Mantle's brilliant narration which brings to life all the verbatim dialogue.

    I had great fortune to see the Beatles' final performance at Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966. It was my first rock concert. listening to Tune In I now am beginning to understand how the Fab Four made the trek from Liverpool to the world's stage.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Wichita, KS, United States 12-23-13
    Jack Wichita, KS, United States 12-23-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Without Doubt, the Definitive Beatles Biography"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Tune In to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version, so I cannot say. However, one gets the sense that this would drag on if not performed as well as Mr. Mantle.


    What other book might you compare Tune In to and why?

    The only book I have read that even compares to the depth of detail and the complexity of outlook would be The Second World War by Antony Beevor.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I particularly enjoyed the final chapters as the group nears stardom- just as the pace of their lives begins to pick up, so too does the narrative.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The definitive biography of the group without definition.


    Any additional comments?

    I usually do not take the time to review things on the internet. It is fairly obvious that the number of people who will read this is small, so it might not make much sense to write this. However, this audio book is worth the effort to support.

    The combination of a stirring, complete narrative encompassing the lives, influences and impact of these boys from Liverpool with a lively, humourous and all around wonderful performance by Mr. Clive Mantle sets this apart from any other biography I have ever come across. Not only did it hook me and keep me interested through over 40 hours of commentary, but it had me looking forward to turning it on again. And what might be more impressive is its success in keeping me guessing as to what would come next, owing to its attention to detail and vast collection of perspectives.

    When the recording finished, I immediately searched for part two and was devastated to discover the later books will not be released for at least a few years. I understand why, though. These must be draining to compile, even for a seasoned Beatles historian like Lewisohn.

    I highly recommend this audio book for those who are not satisfied with glossing over details of this group and would like the unadulterated truth of their early years as individuals and as The Beatles.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. K. Moore Santa Cruz, CA USA 04-12-14
    A. K. Moore Santa Cruz, CA USA 04-12-14 Member Since 2011
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    "In All Ways Sublime"
    What about Clive Mantle’s performance did you like?

    Everything - he does each voice brilliantly without seeming stilted. I can't imagine how anyone could do a better job of narration.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't even begin to convey how much I love this book. I've listened to most of the available audio books on music and all of the ones on the Beatles. I didn't think Can't Buy Me Love could be topped and I also adore the Geoff Emerick book, but Tune In is in a league of its own.

    Just to point out four of my favorite features:

    1) He tells the story according to a strict timeline and almost never adds information or insights based on later events so it reads like a page-turner - without this approach it could easily have the feel of a reference book - but the way it's done makes it as compelling as Game of Thrones (by the "other George Martin").

    2) Also like GoT, he uses "point of view" characters - primarily the 4 Beatles, Brian Epstein and George Martin but also many other supporting characters. His skillful transitioning between them also adds to the feeling of a novel.

    3) The narrator is drop-dead brilliant. Each Beatle's voice is instantly recognizable - they sound like the voices in Yellow Submarine but devoid of any parody or exaggeration - you'll even be able to tell Astrid from Klaus - he gives each character a distinct voice and he does female voices MUCH better than most male narrators. It's uncanny.

    4) Perhaps my favorite aspect is his meticulous description of all the music each Beatle LISTENED to. It's like a blow by blow of each year's hit parade as it was absorbed by the four musicians. I've found dozens of great old singles that I'd never heard, and when you get all of that melodic material into your ear, it yields endless insights into how The Beatles wrote their music. I went through the book a second time, wrote down every song mentioned, and made a huge playlist of "Beatles influences" in chronological order - from the banjo songs Julia taught John to all the obscure girl group and Motown artists they covered.

    Can't Buy Me Love is brilliant in its coverage of the music scene as a whole and the Beatles' place in it, but Tune In lets you experience that scene from inside of the Beatles' world.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Perry Hall 02-10-14 Member Since 2012

    S. Quire

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    "In My Life"

    In my life, no musician has come close to influencing so many. While Elvis influenced the Beatles as a pioneer, the Beatles took rock and pop music much further across the music universe. And the Beatles influenced culture on a much grander scale. I cannot think of anyone who has come close.

    This book is inspiring and fascinating, to look at where the Beatles came from and how they came together. If you like the Beatles, you will love this book with one proviso: you may not be quite so interested in as much detail as the book provides.

    The world's foremost Beatles historian, a Doctor of Beatlosophy, Mark Lewisohn, has published the first volume of his trilogy in Beatles Bible. Volume I takes you through the formative years of the band, John, Paul, George and Ringo up through the end of 1962.

    When I was considering purchasing this, I looked at the Beatles' music over the years and I could not pass up a chance to listen to this. I hope that once Lewisohn has completed the trilogy a great documentarian like Ken Burns will pick this up and take this to another, higher form of media in words, sounds and pictures/film.

    I thought the narrator could have used a little more liveliness because when the book gets bogged down in so much detail, his monotone delivery makes it seems boring and even induces drowsiness.

    Overall, a great purchase!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 04-19-14
    John 04-19-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Amazing!"
    Any additional comments?

    This was great, I've read many Beatles books, and thought I knew everything, but not only was this filled with new information, it's delivered in an excellent manner. Just plain good writing. The audio book is well done too. I don't know what else to say except for this was just a true treat. I can't wait for the next one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 03-28-14
    John 03-28-14
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    "Like reliving Beatlemania"

    Amazing detail with plenty of new insight into the Beatle story. Even though it's long, I can't wait for the next installation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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