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The Beatles Anthology [DVD] 
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All eight programmes from the epic documentary series are collected in this box set. It follows the development of the most popular band ever from the births of the band members (beginning in 1940) through to the acrimonious split in 1970. Also featured are interviews with all the influential people in the band's history and rare archive footage. This collection is almost twice as long as the version broadcast on television in 1995.
The Beatles Anthology was initially broadcast as a TV miniseries to run alongside the series of three Anthology double-CD albums. This set of eight documentaries has the heft and scope of one of Ken Burns' expansive projects. Still, you may find yourself with more material--particularly about the Beatles' early lives as lads in Liverpool--than you'll want to watch. The documentary material is copious, including early performance films and tapes, at the point before they found their true voices. The actual Beatlemania years--beginning in 1963 and concluding in 1970--feature extensive performance films, as well as home movies and archival material. The best parts, of course, are the interviews with the Beatles themselves, who produced the entire thing. Along with reworking two previously unreleased John Lennon tracks as "new Beatles songs", the Anthology includes some unseen Lennon interview tapes so that his acerbic voice can be heard as well. This stands as a comprehensive document of that heady period, the second coming of rock & roll, as the Beatles took what Elvis had started and expanded upon it exponentially. This box set gives a solid sense of the historical context and the way these four musicians changed the world around them in the 1960s. --Marshall Fine
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I've watched the first release on Laserdisc about 5 times and it's good to see that the full length episodes (longer than the 1 hour episodes screened on TV) have made it to the DVD release. Old interviews from John Lennon are spliced into newer interviews from Paul, George and Ringo and there is an overwhelming sense that what's presented is honest. Warts and all as they say. It is undoubtedly even more poignant to watch now that George has left us and it is now indisputable that the Beatles are history.
Perhaps there is a little too much bias towards the early days and there may be not enough on the time when I personally felt they were at their absolute peak (the Rubber Soul/Revolver era) but these are small criticisms.
The DVD extra material disc is also fantastic and I bought the set mainly for this as it wasn't part of the Laserdisc release. It was worth it. It was fantastic to see Paul, George and Ringo jamming together for fun and working in the studio on Free as a Bird and Real Love. Another treat was to see their own enthusiasm for listening to the original takes of songs like Tomorrow Never Knows and Golden Slumbers. My favourite bit must have been George asking which album the latter track was on!
Finally the price is incredible. At a fraction of the price of the original Laserdisc or VHS release, it is an essential purchase for anybody who has any desire to know more than just the albums and songs.
The Anthology DVDs are a rich, vibrant collection of snapshots and first hand recollections of the greatest band ever known. There are some deeply personal memories from the three surviving Beatles (this was obviously recorded before George sadly passed away) and some funny moments too. George, in particular seems to have the best sense of perspective about the whole thing. He says many times that the world just used the Beatles as an excuse to go mad. He believed the band were in the "eye of the hurricane" while the rest of the world went crazy.
Each episode is roughly 75 minutes in length so you get a good total viewing time. Obviously, there's a lot more that could've been included and maybe one day we'll get an expanded version.
The price of the set alone is worth it just for the inclusion of the extras disc. It was great seeing the guys playing together again and the insight into the recording of Real Love was a treat. I, for one, thought the two "new" Beatles tracks were excellent.
Worth every penny.
Each disc contains two episodes, and runs for about 2 and a half hours, making it a very comprehensive set. Along with the entire series there's a special features disc that has some absolute gems on, such as the Making of the Free as a Bird video.
As you all know, the series covers the (very) early beginnings of the group, right up to the end, and the 90's studio reunion.
The historical feel of how the band met, early gigs etc is conveyed well, and for fans there are countless hair-standing-up-on-the-back-of-the-neck moments! The series offers loads of behind the scenes insights into how the records were made, who influenced the band and so forth.
All the information is from the horses mouth, so to speak, making it the most accurate and genuine account of the Beatles incredible career.
The DTS sound is amazing, and I'm really pleased the option was included on this box-set because it would have been the easier option to overlook it. In hindsight, the fact it's included is typical of the care and attention that has been put into the entire Beatles Anthology project over the years.
Along with the three cds and the brilliant book, this dvd set represents the complete official history of the Beatles. I cannot recommend it enough.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Riveting from start to finish. Excellent production, editing and sound quality. I learned a lot from this documentary, a lot more than I thought I already knew. Read morePublished 4 days ago by I. Hubball
This is a really wonderful series, and much better than the recent 1+ release. The real joy in this of course isn't the old footage of the Beatles (although there is plenty of... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Boni T
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