Callaway Arts & Entertainment and Apple Corps Ltd. have announced the global publication on August 31, 2021 of the book The Beatles: Get Back. The volume will be the first official standalone book to be released by The Beatles since the international bestseller The Beatles Anthology in 2000.
The 240-page hardcover book, beautifully designed and produced, tells the story of how The Beatles created their 1970 album, Let It Be, in their own words. It’s based on transcribed conversations drawn from over 120 recorded hours of the band’s studio sessions, and includes hundreds of previously unpublished images, including photographs by Ethan A. Russell and Linda McCartney.
The Beatles: Get Back also includes a foreword written by Peter Jackson and an introduction by Hanif Kureishi. Jackson’s feature documentary of the same name, on which he started work in 2018, is set for theatrical release on August 27, 2021. It will reexamine the album recording sessions with access to more than 55 hours of unreleased, original 16-millimetre footage filmed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg in 1969 and now restored. The film will also draw on 120 hours of mostly unheard audio recordings.
The sumptuous book also features many unseen high-resolution film frames, taken from the same footage. The texts, edited by music writer John Harris, are taken from original conversations between John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr over three weeks of recording, which culminated in The Beatles’ celebrated final concert on the roof of the Apple Corps building.
The book takes readers back to January 1969 and the outset of what turned out to be The Beatles’ last year as a band. Their self-titled “White Album” was still at No.1 as the quartet regrouped in London for a new project, initially called Get Back. Over a three-week period, first at Twickenham Film Studios and then at their own, new Apple Studios, they rehearsed a vast number of new and old songs for what would be their last concert, while cameras and tape recorders captured every day’s work.
“Some of their best work”
Acclaimed novelist Hanif Kureishi writes in his introduction to the book that, in contrast to the popular view of the tensions within the band at the time, “in fact this was a productive time for them, when they created some of their best work. And it is here that we have the privilege of witnessing their early drafts, the mistakes, the drift and digressions, the boredom, the excitement, joyous jamming and sudden breakthroughs that led to the work we now know and admire.”
The Wylie Agency of New York and London will sell global co-edition rights to the book. Ingram Publisher Services will be the distributor for the US, Canada, the UK, and Ireland. “The Beatles gave my generation their genius and their joy and they changed the world through their art,” says Nicholas Callaway, founder and publisher of Callaway Arts & Entertainment. “The creativity and inspiration expressed in this landmark book and in Peter Jackson’s film are as important and relevant today as ever.”
The Beatles: Get Back is published on August 31, 2021. Pre-order it here.