I have had more reliable Beatle books in my life (Mark Lewisohn). I have probably had better Beatle books (Bob Spitz). But The Beatles by Hunter Davies was my first book and as everyone knows, you never forget your first… The Beatles (as simply and elegantly titled as The White Album truly was) will always stand in the Beatles biographical pantheon as the only book ever authorized by the group, as the first serious attempt to document their career and as the only tome to capture the band at the height of their musical collaboration and esprit de corp, published before the bitter recriminations of the break up to come and the decades of memories as hindsight that followed. Hunter Davies himself admits that the writing is a bit bumpy at times, but that’s all part of doing it in the road. Although time has probably dulled many of the stories and quotes contained within The Beatles, it was here that they were written down first, showing the dazzling wit, insight and perspectives of each individual. Remarkably candid at times considering its publication date, there is also much that can be read between the lines here and read it I have, more times than I can remember. I’ve enjoyed each updated edition Hunter Davies had brought out over the years, containing lengthy and fascinating additions to the original story. In many ways, all Beatle books written since this one has built upon and are in the debt of this biography and it will always remain as an essential snapshot in time of the world’s greatest group in their prime.