Tracking the Beatles: Visualizing the Fab Four's Complete Recording History by Harrison Wedel
'Tracking the Beatles' visualizes the group’s recording history across their full career & each of their 12 albums, designed as inserts to fold & fit into the sleeves your favorite Beatles vinyl records. Designed as exploratory infographics, the work invites Beatles and music fans to explore the creation of their favorite songs and albums from a new perspective, lending further appreciation and wonder for the works they created.
I’ve long been captivated by the rapid creative progression of the group; they recorded twelve studio albums despite only being active for less than a decade, pushing the creative boundaries of recording with each release. This fascination only grew after viewing of Peter Jackson’s spellbinding Beatles documentary Get Back, which documents the rocky creation of Let It Be; I was captivated by how candid the films portrayed the group and their creative process. I found myself thinking “Wow, I wish I could see the making of the rest of their albums!”. Upon discovering The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn, a complete history of every recording session the group took part in, I realized that I could use data visualization to pursue this goal.
Data was manually complied into Excel, analyzed in Tableau, and visualized in Tableau, Flourish and Illustrator from the following sources:
• The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn (Dates, studios, tape tracks, original/covers, rhythm/overdub tracks, working hours)
• Revolution in the Head, by Ian MacDonald (Dates, studios, songwriting credits, original/covers)