Book Review: “Tune In: The Beatles – All These Years” by Mark Lewisohn

Tune In The Beatles All These Years Mark LewisohnPublished in 2013, Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years comes in at a whooping 932 pages (803 without the bibliography and index). One would think that’s a lot of pages for the first of three books that author Mark Lewisohn has planned for this series, until you realize that Tune In: The Beatles – All These Years – Unedited/Extended Special Edition has 1728 pages! So…why did I wait so long to read this book? Well, over the past 5 years I’ve probably said at least 5 times, “I will never read that book. It’s just too long!” And what changed my mind? Well, it was you, dear readers. The guilt of not posting anything of real substance over the past several months finally made me take this book down from my bookshelf.

I thought I could sit down and read the entire book in a weekend, but it proved to be just too much information coming at me all at once. And even though I’ve read dozens of books about the Fab Four, Mark Lewisohn’s in-depth research left me with so many more questions that I actually wonder if I should pick up the unedited edition some day. Eegads folks…what kind of introverted, anti-social monster has he turned me into? So many details and yet so much more to learn, Lewisohn turns his readers into Fab Four junkies before hitting the halfway mark in this book. The Beatles are my sugar of choice and Mark Lewisohn is my candy man!

One thing about the book that left me scratching my head, though, was that throughout, Lewisohn goes into great detail to describe pictures that were taken during the early stages of the Beatles career, yet these pictures are not contained within the book. Some of them are, but the majority is not. Whether or not they’re in the extended edition, I don’t know. Hopefully, one of my readers can enlighten me on that fact. Also, the author really did his homework when it comes to the women that John, Paul, George, Pete and Ringo dated in their pre-fame days, mentioning so many of them by name and even providing details and quotes from them. Yet, Cynthia Powell seems to not be as prominent even though by the end of the book she’s 4 months pregnant and living with John’s aunt Mimi. I’m not sure if Lewisohn is just downplaying her part in John’s life (since it is a book about The Beatles and not John), or maybe so much has already been written about her, or maybe no one close to Cynthia (including Cynthia) would talk to Lewisohn during his research. It’s a question I’d love to ask him.

Still, I can’t blame Mark for the faults in this book when I obviously took the easy way out and read the shorter version. Maybe all of my questions would be answered in the unedited edition. Maybe someday I’ll read it! LOL More likely, I’ll buy the audio version (if it’s ever made available). Never the less, this book is the bible for all Beatles fans and leaves me with one final question…why would anyone need to read another book about the Beatles after reading this one? And for that reason…

I rate this book, 4 out of 4 Beetles!








Filed under Beatles books, Book Review

8 responses to “Book Review: “Tune In: The Beatles – All These Years” by Mark Lewisohn

  1. Rob Geurtsen

    Quite strange indeed, that Cynthia doesn’t get the attention we expected. Bcause it woudl be quite a thing if she were only a girlfriend (un-)lucky enough to become pregnant… – changes quite a lot about John’s love life… Something Lewisohn should not ignore… no must pay attention to.

  2. David Thomas

    I started with the audiobook version of what you read (the year it was released) , and I’m now about 85% finished with the printed extended version. I STILL have questions. I think it’s just too much information to absorb at one time. Meticulously researched, well written, but an awful lot to take in.

    • Maybe some day we’ll find Mark sitting in a corner booth in a pub and we can trap him in their and just start laying questions on him! 😉

    • Rob Geurtsen

      Hi David. I think it would be great to have all the questions out there. My bet is most of them can be answered by others, and the remainder will be a wonderfull conversation with Mark at Beatlesfest, blogs or podcasts. Do you dare?

      • It would be great if Mark Lewisohn had a place where we could post questions that either he or others could answer. I know he has a Facebook page, but I’m not sure if he takes questions there. Otherwise, the Beatlesfest question is a good one, but if I had the opportunity, I’d be sure to write all my questions down in advance. 😉


      • Rob Geurtsen

        Mmmm, it would almost be impolite to put all the questions anybody has on the table to Mark. We have too many questions that can be resolved with the author, the remainder are probably worthwhile.
        So why not put up a posting here with all the relevant questions and get Beatles-fans over here to discuss them. Maybe such a place already exists. For my research I haven’t yet try to find it…

      • Rob – I’m not writing a book, and don’t need all my questions answered. My statement that “I still have questions” was more to point out to Jennifer that a) she is not alone, and b) reading the extended version may or may not answer all the ones she has. I’m sure that with each read through the book I’ll find that it wasn’t the author’s lack of clarity, but my own fault for missing something, that caused me to have a question. Like I said, it’s a LOT of information to absorb. I will tell Jennifer, however, that the photos she is looking for are not all in the extended version either, which puzzled me a bit as well. Why refer to a photo if you’re not going to include it?

  3. Dave – in reference to the missing photos, you answered my question and I’m not happy about the answer. I’m with you on the why mention them if you’re not going to include them?

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