Introduction to the special issue on The Beatles

Nothing you can know that isn’t known?


  • Marcus Collins Loughborough University



1960s, The Beatles, historiography, popular music


Writing on The Beatles has multiplied and diversified to an astonishing extent over the past half century. The contribution of academics to this literature has until recently been modest in volume and impact. However, multidisciplinary scholarship is now producing new insights into such subjects as The Beatles’ reception and their creative and commercial collaborations. Far from there being ‘Nothing you can know that isn’t known’ about The Beatles, scholars have much to explain regarding the band’s value and meaning in the 1960s and beyond.

Author Biography

Marcus Collins, Loughborough University

Marcus Collins is Senior Lecturer in Cultural History at Loughborough University. He is the author of Modern Love (2003) and editor of The Permissive Society and its Enemies (2007) and numerous articles on The Beatles and their contemporaries. He is currently completing a monograph on The Beatles and the culture, society and politics of 1960s Britain.


Badman, Keith. 2000. The Beatles Off the Record: Outrageous Opinions and Unreleased Interviews. London: Omnibus.

Baur, Michael, and Steven Baur, eds. 2005. The Beatles and Philosophy. Chicago, IL: Open Court.

Brocken, Michael, and Melissa Davis. 2012. The Beatles Bibliography: A New Guide to the Literature. Manitou Springs, CO: Beatle Works.

Buskin, Richard. 1998. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to The Beatles. East Rutherford, NJ: Alpha Books.

Carlson, Bill, and Denise Gardner. 2007. The Beatles! A One-night Stand in the Heartland. Nashville, TN: Cumberland House.

City of Liverpool Public Relations Department. 1975. The Beatles Collection. Liverpool: City of Liverpool Public Relations Department.

Coleman, Ray. 1963. ‘Beatsville’. Melody Maker, 16 November.

—1995. McCartney: Yesterday and Today. Guildford: Genesis.

Courtney, Richard, and George Cassidy. 2010. Come Together: The Business Wisdom of The Beatles. Nashville, TN: Trade Paper Press.

DiLello, Richard. 2001. The Longest Cocktail Party: An Insider’s Diary of The Beatles, their Million-Dollar Apple Empire and its Wild Rise and Fall. London: Mojo.

Edgers, Geoff, and Jeremy Tugeau. 2006. Who were The Beatles? New York: Grosset and Dunlap.

Frontani, Michael. 2007. The Beatles: Image and the Media. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi.

Gross, John. 1963. ‘The Myth of Mass Culture’. The Observer, 15 December.

Hall, Gary. 2006. Living Life without Loving The Beatles: A Survivor’s Guide, rev. ed. Sheffield: Equinox.

Handy, Bruce. 2007. ‘Nothing You Can Know that isn’t Known’. New York Times, 28 October.

Harris, John. 2013. ‘A Good Little Band’. The Guardian, 2 October.

Harry, Bill. 1984. Paperback Writers: The History of The Beatles in Print. London: Virgin.

Helbig, Jörg, and Simon Warner, eds. 2008. Summer of Love: The Beatles, Art and Culture in the Sixties. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag.

Hemenway, Robert. 1970. The Girl Who Sang with the Beatles — and Other Stories. New York: Alfred A Knopf.

Inglis, Ian. 2012. The Beatles in Hamburg. London: Reaktion.

Jarniewicz, Jerzy, and Alina Kwiatkowska, eds. 2010. Fifty Years with The Beatles: The Impact of The Beatles on Contemporary Culture. ?ód?: ?ód? University Press.

Julien, Olivier, ed. 2009. Sgt. Pepper and The Beatles: It was Forty Years Ago Today. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Kasser, Tim. 2013. Lucy in the Mind of Lennon. New York: Oxford University Press.

King, Martin. 2013. Men, Masculinity and The Beatles. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Lange, Larry. 2001. The Beatles’ Way: Fab Wisdom for Everyday Life. Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words.

Leigh, Spencer. 2005. ‘Beatle Books: Gimme Some Truth, Pt. 1’.

Lewisohn, Mark. 2013. Tune In: All These Years, vol. 1. London: Little, Brown.

McMillian, John. 2013. Beatles vs. Stones. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Millard, André. 2012. Beatlemania: Technology, Business and Teen Culture in Cold War America. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Norman, Philip. 2005. Shout! The True Story of The Beatles, rev. ed. New York: Fireside.

O’Donnell, Jim. 1996. The Day John Met Paul: An Hour-by-Hour Account of How The Beatles Began. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

PFD (Peters Fraser Dunlop). 2007. ‘Mark Lewisohn CV’.

Polard, Jean-Louis, and François Jouffa. 1995. Le dictionnaire des Beatles. Neuilly-sur-Seine: Michel Lafon.

Sandercombe, W. Fraser. 2009. Beatle Books: From Genesis to Revolution. Burlington, OT: Collector’s Guide Publishing.

Schaffner, Nicholas. 1977. The Beatles Forever. New York: McGraw–Hill.

Schneider, Matthew. 2008. The Long and Winding Road from Blake to The Beatles. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Schultheiss, Tom, ed. 1980. A Day in the Life: Beatles Day-by-Day, 1960–70. Ann Arbor, MI: Pierian Press.

Schwartz, David. 1990. Listening to The Beatles: An Audiophile’s Guide to the Sound of the Fab Four: Singles, vol. 1. Ann Arbor, MI: Pierian Press.

Shipper, Mark. 1978. Paperback Writer—The Life and Times of The Beatles: The Spurious Chronicle of their Rise to Stardom. London: New English Library.

Spignesi, Stephen J. 1999. She Came in through the Kitchen Window: Recipes Inspired by The Beatles and their Music. New York: Birch Lane Press.

Terry, Carol D. 1985. Here, There and Everywhere: The First International Beatles Bibliography 1962–1982. Ann Arbor, MI: Pierian Press.

Womack, Kenneth. 2007. Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of The Beatles. New York: Continuum.

Womack, Kenneth, ed. 2009. The Cambridge Companion to The Beatles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Womack, Kenneth, and Todd F. Davis, eds. 2006. Reading The Beatles: Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism and the Fab Four. Albany, NY: State University of New York.




How to Cite

Collins, M. (2015). Introduction to the special issue on The Beatles: Nothing you can know that isn’t known?. Popular Music History, 9(1), 5–10.