Beatles for Sale, By John Blaney

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The Independent Culture

The Beatles were musical geniuses, but financial innocents. Their music was so successful that they couldn't help but get rich, but the amount of money that they earned was only a fraction of the amount that got away. John Blaney's thoroughly researched book details the deals, the percentages, the disputes, and the roles played by Brian Epstein, Lee Eastman and Allen Klein – though there is such a thicket of detail that it's sometimes hard to work out exactly what was going wrong.

Which is why the Beatles' financial affairs provided so many lawyers with so much gainful employment – on an average double page I counted mentions of 26 of them. After the lawyers had done their stuff the Beatles began to earn serious money; amazingly, they earned more in 1996 than in any year of the 1960s. It is a tad dry in places, but amid the numbers are some interesting facts, and any book this informative about the best band the world has ever seen, is worth reading.