There are many books addressing the British Invasion and Beat Groups from around the world. These are my favorites.
The British Encyclopedia of British Beat Groups & Solo Artists of the Sixties – By Colin Cross – First published 1980 by Omnibus Press in England – 96pp – Impressive alphabetical presentation of the obscure – Abdabs, Brook Brothers, Shane Fenton & the Fentones, Jimmy Powell & the Five Dimensions – to the well-known – Animals, Herman’s Hermits, Dusty Springfield, the Zombies. It can be located used on Book Finder starting at $10 used.
British Beat – 1960 – 1969 – By Terry Rawlings – First published 2002 – by Omibus Press (208 pages) – Another great alpha listing of many Invasion Era groups with an abundance of obscure group listings.
British Beat – By Chris May & Tim Phillips – First published 1974 by Sociopack Publications (104 pages) – Covers the “mid 1960’s Mersey Beat groups” but actually goes back further than that and is not exclusive to Mersey Beat.
The Complete Book of the British Charts (third edition) – by Neil Warwick, Jon Kutner and Tony Brown – First published in 2004 by Omnibus Press (1,522 pages) – Here is an alpha-by-artist comprehensive listing of all the singles, extended plays and long plays landing on the British Charts based on both “Melody Maker” and “Record Mirror” from the mid 1950’s up through the present day.
Beat Merchants – The origins, history, impact and rock legacy of the 1960s British Pop Groups By Alan Clayson – First published Blanford (UK) in 1995 – 320pp – This one is an amazing recitation of the Beat Groups across all municipalities of the UK . You have to browse through a copy to witness how deep this book runs. There are references here to literally 1,000s of combos and artists from the era – most very obscure. Clayson has authored many subjects (Stones, Led Zeppelin, and various works centering on individual band members from the Beatles and more. Readily available at Book Finders starting at about $10.
Call up the Groups – The Golden Age of British Beat 1962-67 – By Alan Clayson – First published 1985 by Blandford Press – 192 pp. Another great British Invasion publication from Alan Clayson – This was an earlier effort than the above publication – more focused on fewer groups and focused on the core Beat/Invasion years – Readily available starting at about $9 on Book Finder.
These two publications are three absolutely amazing rock chronicles by UK rock journalist, Pete Frame – They hand crafted flow-charts depicting the roots of rock bands primarily in the UK in origin and sometimes crossing paths with the U.S. groups (See the “Pop Pubs” page for Pete Frame’s “More Rock Family Trees”. If you really want to know the nitty-gritty of the rock and roll scene – these are the books. “The Beatles and Some Other Guys” is one of the most indepth depictions of the UK Beat Groups and subsequent Invasion Groups (and more)! Their journies are traced far forward beyond the Invasion Era. All of Pete Frame’s books are readily available on Amazon, EBay, and many other sources including brand new from the Omnibus website. Omnibus is a great place to locate additional rock journals.
Rock Family Trees – By Pete Frame – First published by Omnibus Press in 1979 – 60 pp – fold out pages
The Beatles and Some Other Guys – By Pete Frame – First published by Omnibus Press in 1997 – 36 pp – fold out pages
The Fab British Rock n’ Roll Invasion of 1964 – by Dave McAleer – First Published by Reed International Books Ltd 1994 – 160 pp
The book covers the mainstream and concentrates on the first three years of the Invasion – with plenty of side trips: “American Beat”, “Shapes of Things to Come”, etc.
Goldmine British Invasion Record Price Guide – by Tim Neely & Dave Thompson – First Published by Krause Publications 1997 – 407 pp
Visit the Krause Publications record and music publication section of their web site
Price Guide for the Beatles American Records by Perry Cox & Frank Daniels: First published in 2007 by 498 Productions LLC (www.beatle.net) (330 pages) – Nobody does it better than Cox and Daniels documenting every American legitimate recording by the Beatles all formats – even CD’s
The Beatles Discovered by Belmo: First published in 2005 by Belmo Publishing (156 pages) – presents “Beatle tribute albums, cover songs, comedy & novelty records, parody albums and more”.
The Bruce Spizer Beatle Discography Series
(This series travels well beyond discographies – detailing release histories and behind the scenes production tid-bits as well as covering every imaginable variation for every recording – Visit www.Beatle.net to order)
The Beatles Swan Song “She Loves You & Other Records” by Bruce Spizer: First published in 2007 by 498 Productions LLC (www.beatle.net) (280 pages) – The first in a fantastic series of Beatle discography presentations with the focus being the early U.S. labels who ushered the Beatles into the United States (before Capitol Records jumped in). The book includes information on Vee Jay even though Spizer published a book focusing on that label shortly after this was published.
The Beatles’ Story On Capitol Records – Part One: Beatlemania & The Singles by Bruce Spizer: First published in 2000 by 498 Productions LLC (226 pages)
The Beatles’ Story On Capitol Records – Part Two: The Albums by Bruce Spizer: First published in 2000 by 498 Productions LLC (264 pages)
The Beatles on Apple Records by Bruce Spizer: First published 2003 by 498 Publications LLC (310 pages): “The stories behind the entire Beatles catalog on Apple Records – from Hey Jude and The White Album through Anthology and Beatles 1
The Beatles Solo on Apple Records by Bruce Spizer: First published 2005 by 498 Productions LLC (358 pages) – “The stories behind the entire Beatles solo catalog on Apple Records including Imagine, Band on the Run, All Things Must Pass and Ringo.
Songs, Pictures & Stories of the Fabulous Beatles Records on Vee Jay by Bruce Spizer: This particular volume has been out of print for quite some time and color me suspicious. Copies typically now go for several hundred dollars on auction sites which makes me wonder…..