Beatles 1 and Beatles 1+
|All three “Hello Goodbye” Saville Theatre videos are included. This is from Video #1.|
One of the most eagerly awaited Beatles products is about to hit the market. For Beatles video collectors, the release of a collection of the music videos was on the top 3 most wanted list, alongside the “Let It Be”-movie and “The Beatles at Shea Stadium” TV-film.
Yesterday, I first published a list of the releases as prematurely revealed by Amazon, and then waited for the official announcement, which was expected at 2pm UK time, 3pm my time here in Norway.
When the time was up, and the information went public, I just pasted the contents of the press release over my previous blog post, and then left it. The next hour I spent translating the text to Norwegian for an identical blog post on the site of Norwegian Wood, the Beatles fan club, and when that was finished I had to go, because Tuesdays I go pub-quizzing.
Today, when I again had access to my computer, I was amazed to find that yesterday’s WogBlog post had raked up the most traffic this blog has ever seen. More that 10,000 views in a single 24-hour session is fabulous by my standards.
After The Beatles’ “Anthology” TV series, then head of Apple Corps Ltd, Neil Aspinall was asked what was up next, perhaps a video collection of The Beatles’ promotional films? His reply was that it was “too obvious”. Well, we’re certainly glad things have changed with the new management.
Back in December 2013, when it was first revealed that a “1”-themed Beatles video collection was in the works, planned for release in October 2014, I wrote a blog post about it, and forwarded my suggestions about what the collection should look like. Let’s compare what I wrote with what came out of it.
In December 2013, I wrote: “One important decision to make is whether or not to make it a 16:9 (widescreen) or a 4:3 (old TV) collection. Back when McCartney released his own music video collection, “McCartney Years”, the director had chosen to make it 16:9 despite all the original music videos having been made in the 4:3 aspect ratio. So he chopped off tops and bottoms to make this happen, and there was an outcry among the fans about this. We don’t want that to happen again. But if they decide to go for this, the general public will want widescreen, please do all the necessary restoration work in the original 4:3 aspect ratio format and save it for history. When everything is done and ready, you can do the conversion to 16:9 and release that – perhaps with an option for the concerned core fans to purchase a limited edition 4:3 version of the DVD/Blu-ray or as a download”.
Judging by the samles they have offered in the promotional material for the new release, it does indeed look as if they have listened to my suggestions, as the videos seem to have kept their 4:3 aspect ratios.
In December 2013, I wrote: “As for sound, the ones that don’t have a unique audio mix should be synched to the remastered stereo sound from the albums, “Hey Jude” and “Revolution” should use the original soundtrack that was partly performed live as it happened. And hire Giles Martin to produce a 5.1 surround sound optional audio track. And use me as a consultant for the project”.
Well on this matter, they have bested me for sure. I never thought they’d give it a completely new stereo mix. I thought that idea went out of the window after the 1999 “Yellow Submarine Songtrack” album. Now that remixing is again back in fashion, perhaps we’ll see the whole catalogue revamped in modern stereo? They did hire Giles Martin, and he did produce a 5.1. surround sound mix. They never got around to hire me as a consultant, but then again they did get my advice for free through the blog post.
Here’s a video-by-video account of what I wrote back then and what they did:
1. Love Me Do.
I wrote: “EMI did make a video for this song back in 1982, and I think two different versions of it is circulating. Since this has been the official Love Me Do video for three decades now, it’s best to use it again. It may need to be recompiled, using the same footage in upgraded quality”.
Here’s their description: Newly edited clip, featuring material from BBC TV’s “The Mersey Sound”, with performance footage filmed on 27 August 1963 at the Little Theatre, Southport.
As the two videos I wrote about also were based on the mimed footage from the Little Theatre in Southport, they somehow used a bit of my idea. And the bit about recompiling the video with the same footage in upgraded quality was also used for their recreations of the “Get Back” and “Let It Be” promos.
2. From Me to You
3. She Loves You
I wrote: “There are no music videos or promotional films, as they said in the sixties, for these two. So they will probably make a couple, using performance clips or mimed TV appearances. Big Night Out/Ready Steady Go?”
They went for performance clips. For “From Me To You”, they used a live performance at the 1963 “Royal Variety Show”, filmed at The Prince Of Wales Theatre, London, on 4 November 1963. For “She Loves You”, they used a live performance from the Swedish Television show “Drop In”, recorded on 30 October 1963 during a short tour of Sweden.
4. I Want to Hold Your Hand
I wrote: “Again, the same sítuation (no known promo film exists), but the TV clip from “Late Scene Extra” of the Beatles miming to this song in front of a huge model of a camera has been regarded as the music video for this song among fans for a long time, so they should use that”.
And they did. Description: From the Granada TV programme “Late Scene Extra” filmed on 25 November 1963.
5. Can’t Buy Me Love
6. A Hard Day’s Night
For these two films, I suggested: “They could have used footage from the A Hard Day’s Night film for these, but that footage is now owned by Miramax and has to be licensed from them. Another option is to use performance footage and synch it to the records, for instance from the Shea Stadium film etc. Ready Steady Go for “Can’t Buy Me Love”?”
As they seemed to have come to an agreement regarding the “A Hard Day’s Night” film, and were involved in remixing the sound for the 2014 release, I suppose they could have used it now. But they didn’t. For “Can’t Buy Me Love”, they used a mimed performance from the TV show “Around The Beatles”, filmed on 28 April 1964 and broadcast the following month. For this show, the Beatles re-recorded the songs and mimed to these new recordings.
For “A Hard Day’s Night”, like earlier for the “From Me To You” and the “She Loves You” films, they turned to a live performance. The film they used came from a live performance at the Palais des Sports, Paris on 20 June 1965, while on a short European tour.
7. I Feel Fine
I wrote: “We are now entering the realm of the Intertel promo films, as produced by Tony Bramwell and directed by Joe McGrath. Tuesday November 25th, 1965, the Beatles filmed ten different promotional clips in black and white for five songs, “Help!,” “We Can Work It Out” (three versions), “Day Tripper” (three versions),” “Ticket To Ride” and “I Feel Fine” (two versions). So for this and some of the following clips, the producer of the new video collection has the luxury of choosing between several films. And I do think that the Intertel videos should be used, because they have been regarded as the music videos of these songs since the sixties. In Anthology, they would put several of these together to create variety, but in my opinion they should select one video of each to represent each song. If they want to include more than one, the alternative version(s) should be presented as bonus material on the DVD”.
Which is very much what they did. Of the ten Intertel films from Twickenham videotaped that day, they have used eight of them, over the two video discs. Both versions of “I Feel Fine” will be on the new releases, on video disc 2 of Beatles 1+ is the clip showing The Beatles eating fish and chips during their lunch break.
8. Eight Days a Week
Here I wrote: “No obvious choice. One thing to consider is to make use of the old US Beatles cartoons. That’s how bootleg DVD video makers have solved this in the past, but given Universal Music’s resources, they could also create a new video”.
And create a new video they did, using scenes from “The Beatles at Shea Stadium”, which is what I suggested for “A Hard Day’s Night” (see above). Their description: A brand new clip edited from material filmed at the Shea Stadium concert in New York City on 15 August 1965, during which the band performed twelve songs, but “Eight Days A Week” was not among them. The clip says so much about the band’s frenetic lifestyle in 1965, at the height of Beatlemania.
9. Ticket to Ride
My suggestion: “Intertel”.
And they did: Filmed at Twickenham Film Studios on 23 November 1965. The Beatles’ YouTube account actually published the full “Ticket To Ride” promo back in April 2015, but it is gone again now.
Again I suggested: “Intertel”.
And they did. Their description: The less frequently seen clip of those filmed at Twickenham Film Studios on 23 November 1965.
I wrote: “There are two performances they could use footage from: Blackpool and Ed Sullivan. No Beatles Greatest Hits video compilation is complete without “Yesterday”.”
They went for the latter of my suggestions: Paul performing on “The Ed Sullivan Show”, videotaped in New York City on 14 August 1965 and broadcast the following month, the day before the single was released in America.
12. Day Tripper
Again my suggestion was simply “Intertel”.
And they did: Three versions of this clip were filmed at Twickenham Film Studios on 23 November 1965. This is version 2, in which all of the group are wearing polo neck sweaters, except for Paul, who wears a black shirt. For the second video disc on the Beatles 1+ collection, they included one of the other two versions from the same day, with the group wearing their Shea Stadium jackets with the “Nehru” collars. So that leaves the third “Day Tripper” Intertel promo unused. But they also included a version from the TV special “The Music Of Lennon & McCartney” which was first broadcast in mid-December 1965.
13. We Can Work It Out
I just wrote: “Intertel”.
And they did. There were three versions of the “We Can Work It Out” video filmed at Twickenham Film Studios on 23 November 1965. On the first video disc, they included version 2 in which all four Beatles are wearing black polo neck sweaters. Another version is included on the second video disc for Beatles 1+, The Beatles wearing the Shea Stadium jackets. Which leaves the third Intertel “We Can Work It Out” unused.
I suggested: “As we saw in ‘Anthology’, there’s a gorgeous video for this, made in the gardens of Chiswick. But they also have several Intertel promos filmed in a studio, so again a choice has to be made. And again, other versions can be bonus material”.
They seem to have followed my suggestions, on video disc 1 is the film I mentioned first, filmed in 35mm, and in colour, in Chiswick Park, West London, by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg. On video disc 2 of Beatles 1+, they used the colour studio version which was filmed with Ringo’s introduction for The Ed Sullivan Show. A couple of black and white versions of “Paperback Writer” shot in Abbey Road’s Studio One went unused.
15. Yellow Submarine
I wrote: “They could make one from footage from the cartoon film, the same goes for the next one”:
16. Eleanor Rigby
And they have followed my suggestions. For “Yellow Submarine”, there’s a newly created clip from original “Yellow Submarine” footage, whereas “Eleanor Rigby” is taken directly from the “Yellow Submarine” movie.
17. Penny Lane
I wrote: “There’s only one music video for this one, and a great one it is, too”.
|A look at “Penny Lane” before and after colour corrections.|
And of course they used it, that one was in the cards. A ground-breaking clip by Swedish director Peter Goldmann that captures The Beatles in Stratford, London, and at Knole Park in Kent, with additional material shot in Liverpool.
18. All You Need Is Love
Here I wrote: “They have to go for the “Our World” clip, colourised or in black and white, either way is good”.
Another no-brainer, filmed in Studio One at Abbey Road, on 25 June 1967, and beamed around the globe as a part of the TV programme “Our World”. This colourised version was created for “The Beatles Anthology” TV programme in 1995. When you see clips from this film as part of the promo for the new video collections, it doesn’t look as good as the others. I don’t know if they’ve transferred the original video tape again in 4k and colourised it over again, but it doesn’t look like they have.
19. Hello, Goodbye
For this video, I wrote: “Three videos were made, all at the Savile Theatre. Of these, I prefer the one they made from outtakes, and it’s also the one that’s closest to modern music videos. In ‘Anthology’, they intercut footage from all three films, here they should use no. 3 and have no. 1 and 2 as bonus material”.
From looking at the descriptions for the new releases, it looks like they’ve gone for no. 1 on the first video disc, and nos 2 & 3 on the second. But they’ve included them all, so I’m good. Unless of course, they’ve tampered with no. 3 and given it new edits.
20. Lady Madonna
I wrote: “There’s two variations of this promo clip, both edited from footage of the Beatles recording “Hey Bulldog”. Go figure”!
Their description of the clip they used: Just prior to leaving for India, The Beatles met up in Studio Three at Abbey Road, on 11 February 1968. They were filmed while recording “Hey Bulldog”. So that seems good, I just hope they didn’t do what they did on ‘Anthology’, which mixed in unrelated footage.
21. Hey Jude
Another no-brainer, I wrote: “Michael Lindsay-Hogg recorded several takes of this at Twickenham. Use one of those”.
And here they have been very nice to us. One of the four takes has been used on video disc 1, and two of the other takes mixed together on video disc 2 of Beatles 1+. Which of course leaves us with the fourth take unused and we still don’t have the unaltered other two takes, just a mix of them. But hey, this is a commercial product!
Their descriptions: Filmed at Twickenham Film Studios on 4 September, for broadcast on David Frost’s TV show, “Frost On Sunday”. The introduction by David Frost is different from that on disc 2. On said disc: This is an edit of the two other takes filmed on 4 September 1968 for the “Frost On Sunday” TV show. This has a different David Frost intro to the clip on disc 1.
22. Get Back
For this track, I wrote “I would have gone for the studio version clip they made for ‘Let It Be…Naked'”.
Again, they have bested me by including both the clip I suggested (on video disc 2), and also recreated the original 1969 promo film from the original footage in better quality (on video disc 1).
Descriptions: The promo clip made available at the time of the original release of the single featured performances from the Apple rooftop synched to the record. This new clip has been rebuilt to replicate the original but with improved picture quality.
And on video disc 2: This clip was assembled in 2003 to support the release of the album “Let It Be…Naked” and utilises studio footage from the famous “Get Back”/”Let It Be” sessions.
23. The Ballad of John and Yoko
Here I wrote: “Another one which has several edits, use the one with colour footage throughout. Again, the Anthology used a combination of several versions. Stick with one”.
And it seems they may have followed my suggestion. Their description: This original promo clip features outtakes from the “Let It Be” movie, with other private footage shot in Amsterdam, London, Paris and Vienna.
We’ll just have to wait and see if it’s the one with the most colour footage throughout. No alternate versions made available.
A true no-brainer if there ever was one, “No problem here, the one and only ‘Something’ promo clip“, I suggested.
Their description: The video features George and Pattie, John and Yoko, Paul and Linda, and Ringo and Maureen. and was filmed at locations in Berkshire, Surrey, and the Mull of Kintyre.
From looking at the video clip of restoring this film, it does look as they went back to the original promo again, discarding previously restored versions. So it’s probably one of the new 4k transfers.
25. Come Together
Here I wrote: “They made a flash animated music video for this when “1” was new, use that. Fortunately, flash allows for limitless upscaling without the loss of resolution, so go find the flash source file”.
And they seemed to have followed suit, their description is: The clip was created in 2000 by Melon Dezign for the launch of thebeatles.com and the original Beatles 1 album.
26. Let It Be
I wrote: “The usual promo film for this, an outtake of the Let It Be movie. And the same goes for the next one”:
27. The Long and Winding Road
And this they have indeed done, although the first one has been recreated, using the same footage and edits, but with upgraded source material. Their descriptions: For “Let It Be”, a 1970 promo clip was made available to support the release of the single and it was different to the one featured in the “Let It Be” movie; this clip has been rebuilt from the original footage. “The Long And Winding Road” is taken straight from the “Let It Be” movie.
And that completes the Beatles 1 video disc. But of course, I also suggested to include some bonus material.
I wrote: “Now is the chance to unearth some of the Lennon B-sides of the singles, and Yoko Ono will be aware that in the later days, Paul usually had the A-sides and Lennon the B-sides. Arguably, the B-sides sold the exact same number of singles as the A-sides, so they should also be treated as number ones. And they should be placed chronologically alongside their A-sides”.
“So these should include: “This Boy”, “Rain”, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, “I Am The Walrus“, “Revolution” and “Don’t Let Me Down”. Possibly also “For You Blue”, using footage from the Get Back film. Olivia and Dhani Harrison will want that”.
Of these, Apple Corps Ltd and Universal Music Group has chosen to include four of the seven I suggested.
“Rain” was included thusly: Two versions, the colour film from Chiswick House, West London, on 20 May 1966 was used as the first version. A second version was edited together from several takes of “Rain” videotaped at Abbey Road on 19 May 1966. Which leaves the full Abbey Road Studio One versions unreleased.
|A sample of “Strawberry Fields Forever”.|
“Strawberry Fields Forever”: Directed by Peter Goldmann and with newly restored footage, this was filmed at Knole Park, Kent on 30 and 31 January 1967.
“Revolution”: One of two versions, this was shot the same day as “Hey Jude”. John’s lead vocal is completely live, as are most of Paul and George’s backing vocals. The instrumentation, including Nicky Hopkins’ electric piano, is from the master tape.
Which of course, leaves the other version unreleased.
“Don’t Let Me Down”: This was the B-side of “Get Back” and this clip is a composite of two live performances from the Apple rooftop in 1969. It was made available to support the release of “Let It Be…Naked” in 2003. It has also previously been available to purchase as a download on iTunes.
A 1969 promo film to accompany this song was also assembled from studio and rooftop footage. Like “Get Back” it could have been recreated for this collection but wasn’t.
Then I wrote: “In the same way, we have a few more one-offs which should make the DVD. The 1976 music video for “Back In The USSR” was made to promote the “Rock’n’Roll Music” compilation album, but it’s not necessary to include it here. The same goes for the 1983 music video for “Please Please Me”, both of these are largely forgettable”.
Point taken, not included.
However, they didn’t take this advice: “And the BBC 1994 “Baby It’s You” alongside the 2013 “Words Of Love” videos are also difficult to include on a “1” compilation. Same thing with the “Within You Without You”/”Tomorrow Never Knows” video, best used on a “Love” DVD”.
They included all three. But I’m not sorry they did. Description for “Baby It’s You”: One of two clips used to promote the single taken from the 1995 “Live At The BBC” album. The clip is enhanced by the inclusion of unique colour footage of The Beatles filmed outside the BBC’s Paris Studio on Lower Regent Street, London.
Of course, that colour footage was also included in one of the 1995 clips. This leaves the other 1995-video unused.
“Words of Love”
|The 2013 video for “Words Of Love”.|
When “On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2” was released in 2013, it included “Words Of Love”, a Buddy Holly composition that the band recorded for radio. This new clip is a mix of existing footage and innovative animation.
Description for “Within You Without You”/”Tomorrow Never Knows”: The merging of these two tracks, one from “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, the other from “Revolver”, was created for “The Beatles Love” show by Cirque du Soleil, which opened in June 2006 in Las Vegas. This video was created to promote the “Love” album released later that year.
Here’s one advice they followed: “However, 1999’s “Hey Bulldog” is a great video with the Beatles recording the song in the studio. Much of the same footage was used for the “Lady Madonna” promo, so “Hey Bulldog” is another track best kept outside the play list but should be a (hidden) bonus”.
“Hey Bulldog” is indeed included on video disc 2. Previously, it has also been available to purchase as a download on iTunes. I never anticipated that they would produce a whole second disc, so they had room to include more bonus material than what I initially suggested.
I also wrote: “Another bonus track could be the “Help” promo that was used in the movie, but without the dart throwing”.
The promo in question, by the way, is slightly different from the one used in the film, but is not listed in the contents of the new releases and remains unreleased, unless it’s an unlisted “easter egg” on one of the video discs.
Here are two other suggestions I made, both not adressed by the new release: “One video that’s already linked to “1” is the “I Feel Fine” flash animated video. It was made to promote the original “1” album release, and was used on The Beatles’ web site. So it could either go in to the play list instead of the Intertel promo, or as a bonus feature”.
This one was not included.
“Back in 2003, Apple made a music video for “Two Of Us”, and I’d hate to have it missing from the collection. However, it wasn’t a single so it could be a hidden track, accessible from the menu but not part of the play list”.
Again, not included – unless it’s a hidden track like I suggested.
Then again, they have included some films that I didn’t suggest:
“Twist and Shout” from the Granada Television programme “Scene At 6.30”, which was videotaped on 14 August 1963.
“Please Please Me” – a live performance videotaped on 9 February for “The Ed Sullivan Show”, which was screened on 23 February 1964.
“A Day In The Life” – a terrible oversight by me, I should have suggested this, as it is an original 1967 promo film. Filmed in Studio One at Abbey Road on 10 February 1967, this includes classical musicians, who were asked to wear evening dress, fake noses and funny hats for the recording session. The Beatles’ YouTube account actually published the full “A Day In The Life” promo back in February 2015, but it was removed again after a few days.
“Free As A Bird” – I didn’t suggest this and the next one, since they were both included on the Beatles “Anthology” DVD discs, so I didn’t think they needed a re-release. Still, it’s good to have them in this context – not to mention new audio mixes by Jeff Lynne. The 1995 video is a work of art by director Joe Pytka, who used the concept of a bird’s-eye view to pay homage to many Beatles songs and images.
“Real Love” – This video directed by Geoff Wonfor and ex-10cc and leading pop promo-maker Kevin Godley, this video was made in 1996 to support the release of the single. Two versions were made, so we’re probably still missing one – unless there’s one on “Anthology” and another one here.
Of course, I’m not implying that the powers that be read my blog post, but it’s nice to see that quite a number of my expectations have been met.
Promoting the promos
There is going to be a lot of hoopla surrounding these new releases, in the shape of printed ads in music papers and magazines, as well as radio and TV commercials. ITV in Great Britain is going to screen a 2 hour long programme called “Nation’s Favourite Beatles”, where the favourite Beatles song of Great Britain will be selected by viewer votes.
Of course, social media will also be utilized, we’ve already witnessed a bit of that on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
It also looks like Apple Corps Ltd is trying to get rid of unlawful former uploads of these videos on YouTube by various users. .
A one hour blu-ray presentation promo disc has been produced for insiders and partners, and a 15 minute film about the project itself has also been made. And as George Harrison would have said, somewhere down the line, there’s going to be a t-shirt.