With scads of photos, facts, concert programs, annual charts, and what have you, Schaffner has put together a jam-packed but lively and literate account of the Beatles' development--as individuals, group, and phenomenon--from the forming of the Fab Four in 1959 to the present state of their solo careers. This is not the place to look for chronological song-by-song analysis or for favorite-color fanzine trivia; Schaffner instead gives an ongoing, overall view of the Beatles' evolution in the context of musical and cultural trends, personal influences, and popular, critical, and commercial reaction. (That schlocky Yellow Submarine merchandise has by now achieved considerable collectible status.) Schaffner indicates the influences and new directions apparent in each group and solo album--George's introduction of Eastern thought and music, Lennon's LSD-inspired musical experiments, echoes of Dylan in the incorporation of folk elements and meaningful lyrics; and throughout he works in such intriguing incidentals as the story of how Dylan first turned the Beatles on, the meaning of the number on your White Album, the clues in the Paul-Is-Dead hoax, and the fact that the Beatles' ""I Feel Fine"" was the first song to feature electric guitar feedback. Not least, he appends for Beatlemaniacs a complete international discography of all singles and L.P.'s made by John, George, Paul, and Ringo separately and together.