Friday, June 17, 2016

My Thoughts on the Beatles Anthology

This June my Dad and I watched The Beatles Anthology. (Thank you, inter-library loan system!) I was tempted to say rewatch because we had--as a whole family essentially--watched the television broadcast in 1995. The TV broadcast was six hours--including commercials. The DVD release is about ten hours--no commercials of course. So there was SO MUCH MORE to watch.

When I first watched The Beatles Anthology, I was somewhat familiar with the blue and red albums. (The red album was 1962-1966; the blue album was 1967-1970). I didn't have any absolute definite favorites.

Within a year of watching The Beatles Anthology, I would own all the albums--even Yellow Submarine. I listened to their music--a lot. I watched their movies--some. I read a handful of biographies. I even did a research project on The Beatles in college for a history class. (Another fun 'research project' I did in college was a report on the Teletubbies for a linguistics class.)

This video has a lot to offer fans: interviews with all four Beatles (John's portions being from radio and TV interviews), interviews with others close to the Beatles Derek Taylor, Neil Aspinall, George Martin, Brian Epstein (his portions coming from radio/TV interviews), footage of the group performing, rehearsing, filming, traveling, goofing around. The TV broadcast kept more to the point perhaps in telling a narrative story. There was a beginning, middle, and end. The DVDs allow a lot more messy completeness. A lot more rehearsals. A lot more full performances. What viewers get is a very, very human side to the Beatles.

So there are eight episodes total. The first episode really just gets down to basics. When each Beatle was born. The home life of each Beatle. How each Beatle got interested in music. How each Beatle learned to play music. How they met each other--when they met each other. The early days of performing in public--and getting paid for it. The rest of the episodes really focus on THE BEATLES. Getting discovered. Recording singles and albums. Playing various clubs. Getting fans. Touring and performing, etc. There are a lot of details in this success story. And it's a fantastic, absorbing documentary.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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