Title: The Beatles Album File & Complete Discography
Author: Jeff Russell
Page Count/Review Word Count: 464
This book is like the holy grail for Beatles fans – it’s effectively a printed database of every Beatles album that was ever released, including all of the variations that were released across the world, with comprehensive notes about the tracks which appear upon them.
Each song includes all of the information that you’re ever likely to need, including the length of the track, the personnel who feature on the recording, the dates and locations of the recording sessions, and a summary by the author, which highlights interesting trivia that even the most hardened Beatles fan might not happen to know.
It’s clearly a very well-written and very well-researched collection of information, but I do feel like it was difficult to just ‘read’ – it’s the sort of book that someone might keep in the bathroom or something, because you can only really dip in and out of it. It gets kind of overwhelming if you try to read it from start to finish, like I did.
The actual physical dimensions of the book are unusual, too – it’s square–shaped, which makes it stand out on my bookcase, and which is presumably an aesthetic choice to try to make the book more of a collector’s item or a novelty item. I think more could have been done with the design and the layout, perhaps by pulling this together into an A4 sized hardback, but the information is there either way – it’s just that there’s probably a better way to present it.
I’m a huge Beatles fan, which made it a lot of fun for me to read, but I did have to dip in and out of it to try to keep my morale up, so I could make it to the end. This book isn’t necessarily for everyone, but if you do decide to go for it then it isn’t impossible to make it to the end – trust me, I’ve tried.
I also like the fact that Jeff Russell, the book’s author, is a Liverpudlian, and that he’s dedicated a large part of his life to The Beatles. You can really tell, because his enthusiasm comes across – it’s just that it’s a bit like the enthusiasm of a rabid train spotter who wants to tell you all about his hobby. It’s almost overenthusiastic, which you can’t necessarily complain about, but it can be almost overwhelming.
Still, if you’re a Beatles fan and you’re thinking about getting this, or if you know a Beatles fan and you’re thinking about getting it for them, there’s a lot worse that you could do. I’d recommend checking this out – why the hell not?