Let It Be release petition
|Photo: Ethan Russell|
There are many things to come from the Beatles in 2014. It starts off with the US Albums boxed set on January 20th, and we also anticipates a “1”-themed DVD of the promo clips in October. What we have been told, however, is that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and that a virtual avalanche of Beatles releases are headed our way this year.
LET IT BE
One of the most wanted releases, and a pet subject of this blog, is that elusive last Beatles film, Let It Be. It was available on video cassettes in several countries in the early eighties, and also on laser disc in USA, but was never on an official DVD. The last couple of years also saw the Beatles complete the releases of their films on Blu-ray, all except “Let It Be”.
A HARD DAY’S NIGHT
From a tweet by Giles Martin in December, one could also make an educated guess that the Beatles finally have managed to get back the rights to release their first film, “A Hard Day’s Night”. Previously available on Blu-ray from Alliance Films, the release was marred by the fact that only the mono soundtrack was available to exploit, the copyright for the stereo versions of the songs was still held by the Beatles themselves. The picture itself was also badly framed. If the Beatles now hold the rights to the film itself, or if a collaboration has been set up, a new and better version, incorporating the full image along with selectable audio tracks including a stereo option is a possibility. And with Giles Martin involved, at least the audio portion would be in good hands.
That leaves us with Let It Be.
As previously reported, in October 2011, “Let It Be” director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who was then making the rounds to promote his autobiography “Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York, and Points Beyond” spoke about the film in an interview with radio station WNYC-FM: “We have been been working on it pretty much every year for the last couple of years. And the plan is, at the moment, to have it come out, I think, in 2013,” Lindsay-Hogg said. He says that second disc will be filled with the film’s outtakes. “When we first put ‘Let It Be’ out, I had to cut out a lot of stuff that I really like and wanted to stay in there. The stuff in the new DVD has a lot of the stuff that had to be cut out. So for me, it’s like the egg is now complete.”
Of course, we didn’t see the project come to fruition in 2013, although the Beatles new record company liaison, Universal Music did release “Help!” on Blu-ray in June, 2013.
Also in 2013, the 2003-album “Let It Be…Naked” was made available on iTunes for the first time, and along with the album, two film clips were available for purchase, “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down”. Also, a digital version of the Get Back book, originally part of the Let It Be boxed set in 1970, was part of the iTunes album download.
At the Paul McCartney concert at the Royal Albert Hall in March 2012, Richard Porter (London Beatles walk tour guide) learned from what he describes as a very reliable source that the film is now scheduled for release in 2014.
An online petition has been set up for the re-release of Let It Be. You can find and sign it on ipetitions.com
There’s also (as ever) a Facebook group for the petition. You will find that here.