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Songs of The Beatles: Series Overview

Over one million words* about 222 songs from 1962-1969
(*in the latest volumes, as counted by Word)

Vol Album/Period Began 19__ Ended 19__ Abbr. Photo of all 12 volumes Photo of all 12 spines
1 Please Please Me 62 Jun 06 63 Feb 11 PPM
2 With The Beatles 63 Feb 11 63 Sep 12 WTB
3 A Hard Day's Night 63 Sep 12 64 Jun 03 HDN
4 Beatles For Sale 64 Jun 03 64 Oct 26 BFS
5 Help! 64 Oct 26 65 Jun 17 HLP
6 Rubberl Soul 65 Jun 17 65 Nov 11 RS
7 Revolver 65 Nov 11 66 Jun 22 REV
8 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 66 Jun 22 67 Apr 04 SGT
9 Magical Mystery Tour
Yellow Submarine
67 Apr 04 68 Feb 12 MMT
10 The Beatles (the "White Album") 68 Feb 12 68 Oct 15 WA
11 Let It Be 68 Oct 15 69 Feb 01 LIB
12 Abbey Road 69 Feb 01 69 Aug 20 AR

Information About The Series Related Information visitor counter
Series overview
Book format
Cover format
Book review of Songs of The Beatles' Please Please Me Period
Ordering information
Book reviews of The Beatles US LPs
About author Ken Westover
Beatle Lessons: song details
Photo of all 12 spines
Quick links to Period pages
Volume 123456789101112-
rev: 2009May28

Series Overview

The Beatles' recording career ran from 1962 June 06 through 1969 August 20. Their output consisted of 212 songs spread over 48 UK releases (22 singles, 13 EPs, and 13 LPs). Ten songs that were not released (in those years) are also covered in these volumes.

To organize this study of The Beatles, the author divided their career into 12 Periods corresponding to the 12 original LPs. (A 13th LP was a compilation that doesn't get its own Period.) The first Period starts with The Beatles' first Parlophone recording session (their Artist Test) and ends with the last note recorded for the last song of their first LP. This moment also marks the start of the second Period, which extends to the last note recorded for the last song of the second LP, and so on.

The Songs of The Beatles series consists of the following volumes:

Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3 Volume 4
Photo of cover of Songs of the Please Please Me Period Photo of cover of Songs of the With The Beatles Period Photo of cover of Songs of the Hard Day's Night Period Photo of cover of Songs of The Beatles For Sale Period
Book contents Book contents Book contents Book contents
Volume 5 Volume 6 Volume 7 Volume 8
Photo of cover of Songs of The Beatles' Help Period Photo of cover of Songs of The Beatles' Rubber Soul Period Photo of cover of Songs of The Beatles' Revolver Period Photo of cover of Songs of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper Period
Book contents Book contents Book contents Book contents
Volume 9 Volume 10 Volume 11 Volume 12
Photo of cover of Songs of The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour Period Photo of cover of Songs of The Beatles' White Album Period Photo of cover of Songs of The Beatles' Let It Be Period Photo of cover of Songs of The Beatles' Abbey Road Period
Book contents Book contents Book contents Book contents
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This series is a scholarly work intended for Beatleologists (students of The Beatles). There are copious illustsrations (tables and graphs) but no photographs. Books are 8-1/2"x11" with an average of 210 pages (95,000+ words per book).

The limited interest in books of this nature meant each book was produced by hand (using machines to make each book individually). The covers are printed on index card stock, the inside pages glued to this cover, and the book trimmed. Buyers should be aware the handmade process results in variations from book to book. For example, they may not line up exactly even on a book shelf (see photo of book spines).

General Book Format

Each volume is divided into these sections:

Introduction An orientation to the Beatle Periods and where the UK releases fall within the Periods.
Period Overview Shows the songs recorded during the featured Period and what releases they appeared on. Tables chronologically summarize the release and studio activity during the featured Period.
Releases Details UK records containing songs recorded during the featured Period, including UK chart activity.
Hearing the Music Includes an orientation and history about the records and how they were intended to be heard. A summary of individual song times and tempos is included.
The Songs This makes up the bulk of the book. Records appear chronologically by UK release date. Within each record songs appear in the order they appear on that record, side one first. This way you can easily follow along in the book as you listen.
Appendix Includes a glossary, references, and an index.
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Cover Format

Most book covers are designed by graphic artists to catch the eye and sell books. When I'm looking for information I want to find the right book as quickly as possible. I designed my book covers with that selfish intent. The LP name is in big letters, followed by the dates the book covers. The LP name, dates, and volume number are on both front and back covers AND on the spine (so I can pick it out in a stack of books).

Songs within the book are all listed on both front and back covers so I don't have to open the book to see if it's the volume I want.

The cover is tinted so it can be located from a distance. The color was chosen based on the dominant color on the LP album cover.

Be aware that current covers are uncoated (some have acrylic spray applied). They're not as pretty, shiny, or durable as covers I hope to have later.

The Front Cover

sample front cover layout

The top of the front cover shows the volume number, Period name/book title, dates covered, and the songs detailed in that volume.

The songs are listed in the order they were released and as they appeared on each record: side A/1 on the left, side B/2 on the right.

Sample front cover
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The Back Cover

sample back cover layout

The top of the back cover duplicates the title on the front so the book can easily be found if face-down on a messy pile.


The songs listed on the front cover are printed in a table on the back but this time in alphabetical order so you can quickly confirm the song you seek is in that particular volume.



Beneath that is a table showing all the Beatle Periods by date.

Sample back cover
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The Songs Section

The bulk of the book consists of The Songs Section. Each song gets a chapter. Each chapter has the same format, which is roughly based on the chronology of a song's creation. The sections within a Song Chapter are:

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Origins and Production

Sample Origins and part of a Production section

The song chapter heading shows the song name and composer(s).

Gives a history of the song, including who wrote it and whatever details are known regarding inspirations and influences.

All the details of how the song was made (produced). A summary table shows one-line entries for each step from recording to overdubs to mixing to first release.

After the summary comes details for each session, including other songs recorded during that session, producer/engineer/tape operator, takes and tracks. Be aware not all details are known - only publicly documented information appears.

Sample Origins and Production subsections
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Sample Musicology section

The Peformances section shows where the song was performed. Not all songs have entries in all sub-sections.

Instruments & Musicians
Who played on the song and which instrument (lead/rhythm guitar, bass guitar, drums, piano, etc.). When known, specific instruments are identified (like "1961 Hofner 500/1 violin left-handed bass guitar").

Score Settings
Key, time signature, tempo, time (song duration).

Features of this particular song are discussed. In particular, "newness" like the first time a technique was used. Sometimes song structure is given.

sample Musicology section
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Commercial Activity: UK & US

Sample Commercial Activity section

The Comercial Activity heading shows the Chart Highlights for the UK and US. Not all chart details are known or shown for all charts, some due to copyright restrictions (blanks are left for reader research and entries). Where known, shows date entered chart & position, date peaked & position, weeks at high position and weeks on chart.

UK (and US)
Complete Chart details are shown for the UK music periodical New Musical Express. Details include release date, label & catalog number, songs on the release, composers, song time. A table shows weekly rank and date, followed by a graph of the ranking data.

The same data is given for the first US release, but for the Cash Box charts, not Billboard (copyrights assertd).

photo of book page
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Sample Performances section

The Peformances section shows where the song was performed. Not all songs have entries in all sub-sections.

in Concert
Live performances in a concert setting. When played as part of a tour, just the tour name and date range are given.

on UK Radio
The Beatles personal appearances on UK radio programs like Top of the Pops, Saturday Club, and Pop Go The Beatles. The date of their first appearance is shown.

on Television
Personal appearances on TV shows like Thank Your Lucky Stars and The Ed Sullivan Show are shown.

on Video
Appearances on videotape and DVD (like The Beatles Anthology) are described, including index location on tape/disc when known.

Photo of Sample Performances section
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Where To Hear It

Sample Where To Hear It section

Where To Hear It lists all known media where you can hear the song. Details are given where known, otherwise left blank for you to enter from your own collection. Column headings are:
On: LP, CD, VHS, DVD, etc.
In: Country of release
Name of album, or flip side of single
Release date
Label and catalog number
Side track
Time (duration of song)
Mono/stereo/fake stereo
Got: a box to check if you own a copy

Official Releases
The top section shows official releases.

Where a song appears on a video medium like videotape or DVD.

Unofficial or unauthorized releases.

sample Where To Hear It section
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Copyright 2006-09 by Ken Westover at Cliff Canyon Publishing Co. All rights reserved.
This material may not be distributed without the written permission of the author.
E-mail questions or comments to

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