New book: “The Beatles: Solo”


Biographers of individual Beatles are often guilty of focusing on the well told story of the Fab Four and then skipping over the period when the musician in question wasn’t a Beatle anymore –  the solo years.

So it is good to see that journalist Mat Snow has done the opposite and ignored the period where the boys were toppermost of the poppermost, in his new four-volume book set The Beatles Solo.

Collectively, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr have released 70 LPs and 900 songs since 1968, and The Beatles Solo promises to take in all the highs and lows of this post-Beatles era. As Snow points out, this includes ‘masterpieces and missteps, triumphs and tragedies, moments of clarity and serious lapses in judgment’.

This set contains four illustrated books – one for each Beatle – and totals nearly 400 pages that include photos, quotes, lyrics, and memorabilia. The four books are packaged in a slipcase (see image of German edition above).

The Beatles Solo: The Illustrated Chronicles of  John, Paul, George and Ringo after The Beatles is published on 17 October in the UK, with a slight variation in other territories.

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And doesn’t cost $100 or 100 pounds? I’m shocked. Since pop culture knowledge is now exclusively for the wealthy (witness Mark Lewisohn’s $120/ 75 pound forthcoming Beatles biography) I can’t believe the author or the publisher didn’t add 20 more pages to each book, hail it as “exclusive” and charge an ungodly ridiculous amount of money to the final cost. (Am I bitter? Hardly. I’m just fed up with the insatiable greed–witness the forthcoming Velvet Underground box: two discs for $30 or three discs for $100.)

Stan Butler

If there are 200 photos spread across the 400 pages, then it’s not going to leave much room for an authoritative account of each solo career.

Looks nice though.


Nearly 400 pages. So that’s just under 100 per book? That can’t be right can it?


Well, a 100 pages about Ringo brief discography and not that interesting solo career and the same 100 pages about Paul just to keep the 4 books equal in size?


Ringo has a “brief discography” does he?

I wouldn’t call 16 (count ’em) studio albums “brief”, not to mention his Christmas album – and some of these albums are on par with the output of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison.