Music and pop-culture fans alike have much to thank the BBC for, and now we are in their debt once again. For nearly a decade the Fab Four were a feature as a unit and individually on BBC radio and television. This curated collection is a beautifully designed boxed set of Beatles transcripts, memorabilia, photography, and, yes, recordings of their appearances. Kevin Howlett left no archive unturned as he gathered the best for this historic anthology, The Beatles: The BBC Archives, 1962-1970 (Harper Design, $60). Far from being another book of recycled information, The BBC Archives is filled with cuts, photos, documents, and the fully fleshed out life of the band and their relationship to the BBC for those nine incredible years. The changes seen by England and the world, both in music and in culture as a whole, are found in microcosm in this box—open it up!
For years, popular culture has pitted music fans into one of two houses of rock and roll: You’re either a Beatles fan or a Rolling Stones fan. In Beatles vs. Stones (Simon & Schuster, $26) writer and rock music fanatic John McMillian explores the celebrity, reputations, and media frenzy surrounding the historic rivalry of two of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands ever. Suggesting that the groups’ rivalry was merely a fabrication of the music industry and their managers, McMillian traverses the history and culture of the ‘60s to reflect on the public and personal relationships of the bands. From the streets of London to the arenas of the States, the book unveils the true characters of the bands; The Beatles were ruffians posed as the boys next door, the Rolling Stones were suburban gentleman made into streetfighters. Through McMillian’s painstaking research and passionate storytelling, this book stands as a refreshing take on two of the most beloved bands of all time.