Kit O’Toole’s Top Beatles Albums, Books, Collectibles and Movies for 2016

The most heavily hyped Beatles release of 2016 was the Eight Days A Week documentary. After a successful limited run in theaters, it is now available on DVD and Blu-ray, in addition to streaming on Hulu. However, the year also marked many notable books spotlighting previously overlooked elements of Beatles history, reissued albums, and a Lego toy that both kids and adults can enjoy.

This list of Top Beatles Albums, Books, Collectibles and Movies for 2016 includes selections that every fan on your gift list will love …

BOOKS

These are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble unless otherwise indicated. Prices included are list price, but costs vary from store to store.

The Beatles in Canada by Piers Hemmingsen (hardcover, $200 CAD; softcover, $100 CAD): A lavish book packed with extremely rare photos and memorabilia, Hemmingsen discusses how the group impacted Canada and its music scene. Did you know that Beatlemania hit Canada a full year before the United States? Learn these facts and many more in this absorbing read. For ordering information and international prices, visit The Beatles in Canada.

Beatlemania in St. Louis by Sara Schmidt ($25): Those who enjoy exploring lesser-known corners of Beatles history will appreciate this book highlighting the Beatles’ tour stops in St. Louis, Mo. Through rare photographs and diligent research, Schmidt examines Beatlemania through this unique lens.

The Beatles A Hard Day’s Night: A Private Archive by Mark Lewisohn ($125): While fans eagerly await the second volume in Lewisohn’s planned trilogy, they can read this “behind the scenes” look at the group’s iconic film. Little-seen photos, ephemera, and new text courtesy of leading Beatles historian Lewisohn give readers a “fly on the wall” experience as to the making of the movie.

John Lennon vs. the U.S.A. by Leon Wildes ($28): During Lennon’s fight to remain in the United States, attorney Wilder represented the rock star. In John Lennon vs. the U.S.A., Wildes recounts his four-year battle to finally award Lennon his Green Card. Visit The Fest for Beatles Fans to order.

New Critical Perspectives on the Beatles: Things We Said Today (Pop Music, Culture and Identity) by Kenneth Womack and Katie Kapurch ($99.99): Beatles scholars — or those interested in learning about the group through different perspectives — will enjoy reading essays examining the Beatles’ influence on history, music, and fandom in general. It also features a forward by Beatles author (and co-editor of this collection) Womack.

Birth of an Icon: Revolver 50 by Klaus Voormann ($79): Close friend, artist, and bassist Voormann revisits the making of Revolver through his graphic novel. Beatles fans will appreciate this loving tribute, and will treasure this soon-to-be collector’s item. Visit The Fest for Beatles Fans to order.

Looking Through You: Rare And Unseen Photographs from The Beatles Book Archive by Andy Neill ($40): Founded in 1963, the Beatles Book was a monthly publication dedicated to the band and their fans. Brian Epstein allowed the editors and photographers extraordinary access, resulting in a treasure trove of candid pictures. This book presents a scrapbook of those photos, many never before published.

Tom Murray’s Mad Day Out ($150): One of only a few photographers to take some of the best color photographs of the Beatles during their final years, Murray shares his pictures from one frantic day: July 28, 1968. These iconic photos are presented in a lavish hardcover volume, complete with behind the scenes stories from that multi-location shoot. Visit The Fest for Beatles Fans to order.

All You Need Is Love – 1st Fans’ Ltd. Edition Book ($90): The Beatles’ performance of “All You Need Is Love” during the 1967 Our World satellite broadcast remains one of the group’s most historic moments. The limited edition book presents vivid full-color images from that extraordinary day, accompanied by a timeline of events. Visit The Fest for Beatles Fans to order.

Days in the Life: A Father and Son on a Beatles Tour by Aaron Krerowicz ($18.99): Beatles fans span multiple generations, and this short book accentuates that fact. Expert Krerowicz lectures at various libraries across the country, and Days in the Life chronicles his experiences traveling with his Beatles fan father. The tale proves that music bonds people together.

Paul McCartney: The Life by Phillip Norman ($32): Rock journalist Norman has written several books on the Beatles, including the classic Shout! The Beatles in Their Generation. This year, he released his latest, an authorized biography of McCartney.

John Lennon: The Boy Who Became a Legend by Michael Hill ($19.95): Wonder what Lennon was like as a child? Boyhood friend Hill shares his recollections of the star, describing how they discovered rock and roll together. Anyone curious about Lennon’s formative years will find his insights on the Beatle’s family and friends fascinating. Visit the author’s website for international prices and ordering information.

Hello Goodbye: The Beatles In Tokyo, 1966 by Shimpei Asai (£265): Those looking for a Christmas splurge will find this elaborate salute to the Beatles’ Japanese concert tour stops an indulgence. Photographer Asai presents photos never seen outside of Japan. True to Genesis releases, the lavish book comes in a leather slipcase, covered in a cloth kimono design, and encloses a facsimile concert ticket. Visit the Genesis website to order.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Lennon on Lennon: Conversations with John Lennon (Musicians in Their Own Words) by Jeff Burger ($28.99)
Beatles ’66: The Revolutionary Tour by Steve Turner ($27.99)
Conversations with McCartney by Paul Du Noyer ($29.95)
The Beatles: Fab Finds of the Fab Four by Noah Fleisher ($26.99)
Love Me Do to Love Me Don’t: The Beatles on Record by Spencer Leigh ($22.95)
The Ray Connolly Beatles Archive by Ray Connolly ($16.99)
The Cavern Club: The Rise of the Beatles and Merseybeat by Spencer Leigh ($22.95)

NEW IN PAPERBACK

Some Fun Tonight Volumes 1 and 2: The Backstage Story Of How The Beatles Rocked America by Chuck Gunderson ($40 at Backbeat Books)
When They Were Boys: The True Story of the Beatles’ Rise to the Top by Larry Kane ($14.42)
Beatleness: How the Beatles and Their Fans Remade the World by Candy Leonard ($15.99)
Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years by Mark Lewisohn ($20)
The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story Expanded Edition by Vivek J. Tiwary ($14.99)
The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four by Kenneth Womack ($30)

CDs, BOX SETS, DVDs, BLU-RAY

George Fest: 2 CD/1 DVD set, or 2 CD/1 Blu-ray set ($24.98): This musical tribute to George Harrison was filmed September 28, 2014 at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles, and features an array of musicians (both famous and lesser-known) saluting the Beatle and his extensive catalog. Performers include Conan O’Brien, Weird Al Yankovic, Norah Jones, and Brian Wilson. It’s a great chance to see some not-so-obvious acts reinterpret their favorite Harrison classics.

Live at the Hollywood Bowl – The Beatles ($11.72): One of the most eagerly anticipated releases of 2016 for Beatles fans, the long out-of-print album was reissued with crystal-clear sound, reduced crowd noise, and bonus Hollywood Bowl tracks, many never officially released. Overseen by George Martin’s son Giles, the collection captures the frenzy and energy surrounding Beatlemania.

Pure McCartney: Deluxe Edition – Paul McCartney ($31.92): Not a typical greatest hits collection, the four-CD Pure McCartney includes tracks personally selected by the musician. In promotional interviews, he stated that the compilation amounts to a “mixtape,” which explains the presence of deep album tracks in addition to the big hits.

The Beatles Eight Days A Week Deluxe Blu-ray 2 Disk Set ($36.98) and DVD 2 Disk Set ($29.98): The somewhat controversial Ron Howard-directed documentary chronicles the Beatles’ performing years, including rare footage and new interviews with McCartney and Starr. Harrison and Lennon are represented through archival interview footage. The deluxe editions feature bonus material, including five additional performances, a look at Liverpool, and further recollections of specific dates such as Shea Stadium, Japan, and Australia.

Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music (DVD or Blu-ray, $49.99): Recently aired on PBS, the eight-part series explores various aspects of the recording process. The role of the producer, the influence of sampling, and the LP, CD, and MP3 are among the discussed topics. Produced by George Martin shortly before his death, Soundbreaking is a must-watch for any music enthusiast.

FUN STUFF

LEGO Ideas Yellow Submarine Building Kit ($59.99): Kids and adults will love putting together a yellow submarine that features a removable top, cockpit, periscopes, and rotating propellers. Four Beatles figures (and even Jeremy Hillary Boob, Ph.D.) complete the cute set.

Kit O'Toole

Kit O'Toole

Kit O'Toole is a lifelong music enthusiast who maintains a stand-alone music blog called Listen to the Band. In addition, she is the internet columnist and a contributing editor for Beatlefan magazine. She also holds an Ed.D. in Instructional Technology. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Kit O'Toole