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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing Beatles story from a 1968 view
This is a 2009 update on Hunter Davies' original tome from 1968. By update, I mean that he has included the 1985 postscript and has now added some text from this year. These extra entries are a perfect complement to the 1968 book, which is reproduced as the main part of the book.

The story itself is utterly compelling even to long-standing Beatles fans like...
Published on 4 Sep 2009 by Mike Quinn

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good - then bland.
Before a visit to the childhood homes of Lennon and McCartney I wanted to read about their early years. This book did the job perfectly. The four separate stories are covered clearly, and then interwoven. But as it moves on to Hamburg, Beatle-mania and the years of studio recording it loses its touch. Hunter Davies was one of the Beatles inner circle - and values his...
Published 1 month ago by Ignorant Bystander


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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing Beatles story from a 1968 view, 4 Sep 2009
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This review is from: The Beatles: The Authorised Biography (Paperback)
This is a 2009 update on Hunter Davies' original tome from 1968. By update, I mean that he has included the 1985 postscript and has now added some text from this year. These extra entries are a perfect complement to the 1968 book, which is reproduced as the main part of the book.

The story itself is utterly compelling even to long-standing Beatles fans like myself. I cannot read too much about this wonderful band even if I already know some of the facts. I say "some" because there is always something new to learn about them as you will find in this book. The author tells the story beautifully and breaks the chapters down into different segments (e.g. a chapter on each of the fab four and chapters on Hamburg, Beatlemania, The End Of Touring etc.). There is a certain chronology to the book without becoming the usual month-by-month tale.

I found it difficult to put this book down. Hunter Davies' style is crisp, witty but factual and lets family and friends do the 'talking' when necessary. I had an eerie feeling whilst reading this, especially the 1967/68 years when the breakup of marriages and indeed the band itself had yet to come. A great book for anyone who wishes to read the story about The Beatles, a marvellous one for fans like myself.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 13 Jan 2010
By 
John W. Edelman - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Beatles: The Authorised Biography (Paperback)
This was the first book about the Beatles that I read and I would highly recommend it to anyone just starting out in the world of the Beatles. In fact I think that if you read this, then Revolution In The Head and finally You Never Give Me Your Money, in that order, you will have a good all round Beatle education; something that every music fan should aspire to!
By all means buy other books about the Beatles (I have bought tons over the years) but you don't NEED anymore than these three (IMHO).
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An updated edition!, 6 July 2009
By 
R. E. Sheehan - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Beatles: The Authorised Biography (Paperback)
I am only reviewing this book to address the 1 star given by the only other reviewer as of July 2009. The previous reviewer seemed to be complaining about Amazon's lack of information about whether the book is a reprint rather than the book itself.

Hunter Davies' was the authorised biography and this is an updated edition of that biography. It is a hugely enjoyable read and much of the content of other books on the fabs is taken from here.

It thoroughly deserves the 5 stars and is highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A useful insight into the fab four, 12 July 2011
By 
LXIX (scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Beatles: The Authorised Biography (Paperback)
Hunter Davies, a Sunday Times journalist and originally from Scotland, was given exclusive access in the late 60's to put together the first official and authorised Beatles biography. His terms of reference had two main implications - on the positive side it was jam packed with anecdotal details (e.g. the Beatles got lost near Wolverhampton during the 10 hour drive to London for the Decca audition on New Year's Eve 1961; Pete Best (unsurprisingly) never turned up for the Chester gig after being dismissed that afternoon on 15 August 1962 etc); however, on the downside, due to the need for a myriad of approvals before publication, some of the book feels like it has been written by committee - this is manifest in sections where short sharp sentences dominate, and, of course, in the lack of opinionated analysis.

I was also left wondering if it was all 100% fact or if any urban legends had perhaps slipped through the net ... for example, did a "Raymond Jones" really walk into Brian Epstein's record store in 1961 and ask for a copy of "My Bonnie"? This may be a minor and irrelevant point, but Alistair Taylor, an assistant of Brian Epstein, is quoted in The Brian Epstein Story as saying that "The legend has it that a lad named Raymond Jones walked into the shop and asked for 'My Bonnie' by the Beatles and that Brian put his name in the book and that's how we found the Beatles. What in fact happened was that I got fed up with youngsters coming in asking for the Beatles record. So I put in a name, Raymond Jones, in the order book. I just made it up." Interesting!

Ironically, some of the most rivetting and enjoyable parts of this revised version are the updated the 68 page Introduction section (written in 2009) and the 44 page Postscript (written in 1985), both penned when the author had more licence to articulate the background to his book, his personal insights and the subsequent impact that the Beatles have had on music and culture. Another fascinating section is the description of the creative process, with case studies provided of 'With a Little Help From My Friends,' 'It's Getting Better,' and 'Magical Mystery Tour.' The author was privileged to sit in on these sessions and provides a lucid account of the nuts and bolts of how the Beatles actually put their songs together.

If you're expecting a nuts and bolts overview of each Beatles album and how it was put together, then you won't get that from this book. Instead, there's a great deal on family backgrounds and even a 'through the keyhole' approach to how all 4 were living in 1967/1968. This was quite intriguing stuff. All 4 seemed to have happy home lives, and yet they all subsequently left the women that they were with as this point in time (Cynthia, Jane, Patti and Maureen later making way for Yoko, Linda, Olivia and Barbara).

The story of the Beatles is quite possibly the greatest in the history of the music industry. They demonstrate what can be achieved when talent, hard work, organisation, and of course, the lucky breaks all come together. Indeed, at one point the author refers to their "illogical" optimism when all the record labels in London had turned their nose up at them.

This book is therefore a must have for any Beatles fan. You'll get plenty from it and may actually be rather inspired if you have any artistic leanings of your own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The True History of The Beatles!, 29 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Beatles: The Authorised Biography (Paperback)
Anyone who either lived through the sixties or loves the Beatles will adore this fabulous book by Hunter Davis. It is a real page-turner.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A day in the life, 29 Dec 2010
I love the beatles and always have and this book has given me even more information on them from before they picked up an instrument and played a tune and so far I've only read a sample and can't wait to read the rest.
From Harry
12 year old
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life of The Beatles, 12 Feb 2010
By 
Mr. R. STANSON "rodley" (liverpool) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Beatles: The Authorised Biography (Paperback)
If you like your info on the group to be true and very intersting, this update is a must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab for Fab-Four fans!, 28 Mar 2012
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This review is from: The Beatles: The Authorised Biography (Paperback)
This is the only `official authorised biography' of the Beatles and, as such, has some wonderful advantages over other studies.

All the key personalities get to have their say; friends and family as well as professional contacts. Mums and Dads, brothers and sisters, Aunt Mimi and, even, Freddie Lennon are all here.

Davies deals honestly with the Sutcliffe and Best matters and he makes no attempt to make excuses for our heroes as they behaved so badly toward two young men who were crucial to the band's early development. (There's a whole chapter devoted to `Decca And Pete Best').

The book moves chronologically from the earliest days up to 1968. By then the touring was over and the band were peaking as a truly innovative musical force in the studio.

My own (2009) edition has a 'postscript' which Davies penned in `85 and brought things up to date at that point.

For fans of the Beatles this book is pretty much indispensable.
Depending what you want to know about the most influential music-group of all time, this book may well be all that you'll ever need.
For fans who want to know more about the music that the Beatles created and how they did it, `Revolution In The Head' by Ian MacDonald would make an ideal companion read to this book by Davies.

Barry
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good - then bland., 28 Oct 2014
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Before a visit to the childhood homes of Lennon and McCartney I wanted to read about their early years. This book did the job perfectly. The four separate stories are covered clearly, and then interwoven. But as it moves on to Hamburg, Beatle-mania and the years of studio recording it loses its touch. Hunter Davies was one of the Beatles inner circle - and values his access a little too much. He is very coy about the drug use, the sexual exploits and infidelities. I know they are not central, but to gloss over them leaves the story incomplete.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, 28 April 2014
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An interesting insight into the history of the Beatles, their history and perhaps everyday lives.

Also includes up dates from the 1980's and 2000's which enables the author to be a little more free with his opinions and stories.
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The Beatles: The Authorised Biography
The Beatles: The Authorised Biography by Hunter Davies (Paperback - 7 May 2009)
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