Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney, By Howard Sounes

McCartney...weighed and measured

Howard Sounes says that he set out neither to find fault with Sir Paul nor to glorify his career – yet this fascinating biography succeeds in doing both.

He gives equal billing to the life and the music, showing how each has impacted on the other. The narrative is comprehensive: birth, grammar school, death of mother, Hamburg, Beatlemania, the death of John, the inconsistent post-Beatles career.

Macca's achievements as songwriter and musician are given full credit, yet Sounes is right that, with a few exceptions ("Eleanor Rigby", "Penny Lane") his lyrics don't match the quality of his melodies. One has to concur that he hasn't pushed his talent to the limit, yet how grateful we should feel for the music he's given us, even so.