London: Heinemann, 1968. [Music biography] FIRST EDITION, with photographic plates. Octavo (24 x 16cm), pp.374. With four suites of black and white plates. Purple cloth in glossy psychedelic jacket designed by Alan Aldridge with printed price of 30s net. Very good, but with the usual edge spotting and a few nicks to spine. British author Hunter Davies was the Beatles' only authorized biographer and 'The Beatles' is a portrait of the group at the peak of their creative powers; granted extraordinary access to the band, Davies was at Abbey Road studios for many of the Sgt. Pepper recordings and sat in on several Lennon-McCartney songwriting sessions; he also spent many hours documenting, for the first time, the individual Beatles' own recollections. Released in 1968, when the band's future still seemed limitless, the book was an engaging and surprisingly honest first-hand account. Although he has added illuminating postscripts to subsequent editions, Davies never 'finished' the book, sparing readers the excruciating details of the Beatles' disintegration. It remains the most enjoyable of all Beatle biographies, and the core from which all others have been constructed. Item #53341
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