January 29, 2006

DVD Review: The Beatles - from Liverpool to San Francisco

Let me get this out of the way right upfront, if you are looking for Beatles music, look elsewhere. This is not an official Beatles DVD, therefore, no music rights were granted. It's too bad, as the music that is here is rather lame and annoyingly repetitive. However, there is a distinct reason for the Beatles fan to want this, it is filled wall to wall with vintage interview footage. On top of that, the footage is in surprisingly good condition, there are marks and such, but it is better than I had expected.

This disk assembles the footage, and adds some rather lame voice over work to connect the clips, to document their iconic rise to world musical dominance throughout the 1960's. Fortunately, the quality and amount of footage more than makes up for the lack of any real documentary information.

All of the clips are arranged in chronological order and are a mix of interviews with the band, stock footage of them arriving at various points, and interviews with people associated with them or their controversy. I'd give you some details about the footage, but I don't want to spoil your viewing, but I guess giving you a little bit wouldn't hurt.

Some of the footage concerns how much money they are making, this is from early on when they weren't making all that much. There are interviews with Ringo, when he was sick and missed a few weeks on tour. See the controversy surrounding John Lennon's comment that The Beatles were bigger than Jesus, this also includes interviews with teens in the Bible belt and with religious leaders, not to mention the KKK!

Again, this suffers from not having any actual music, and it is not a documentary. The footage is fantastic and any aficionado should want to add this to their collection. I would warn off the casual fan, stick to the music, or find an actual documentary.

Bottomline. Fine archive of rare footage, in excellent shape. It was fun watching the boys back in the day, and seeing some of the craziness that followed them. It is good to have this footage available, much of it has probably not been seen in a long time. Overall, this is a fine set.



Post a Comment