This is the first in a series of DVD’s looking at Lennon and McCartney as songwriters both within, and after, the Beatles. A whole host of people are interviewed: Klaus Voorman, Barry Miles, Maureen Cleave, Paul Gambaccini, Chris Ingham, Allan Moore, Peter Doggett, Robert Christgou, Anthony DeCurtis, Johnny Rogan, Nigel Williamson and Steve Turner. These range from the editors of music magazines, broadcasters, journalists, those who have written about the Beatles and their friends, and they offer a whole host of insights into the most successful musical partnership of all time.
In the early works of the band, Lennon and McCartney were very much a two headed creative term, in the words of one interviewee. It was less “John and Paul” and more “Beatle music” that they were creating – enhancing each other’s gifts and collaborating – and often singing – together. The fight for dominance within the band is also explored. Although John was seen as the ‘leader’, it is interesting to note, for example, that most American viewers who tuned into the Ed Sullivan show had their first view of the Beatles with Paul singing lead on “All My Loving.”
This fascinating documentary examines their influences, especially that of Dylan on John Lennon. It looks at how they began to find their own voice and examines several songs in detail, such as “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “I’m a Loser,” “Help!”, “Nowhere Man,” “Norwegian Wood,” “Michelle” and “Yesterday.” By the time this finishes, the Beatles are headed into the unknown, and innovative, middle Sixties. For anyone interested in the song writing partnership of Lennon and McCartney and what made them successful, this is a really interesting programme. Those interviewed have links with the band – they are not just a random panel – and their comments are valid and insightful.
This disc also contains extras, including extended interviews with Barry Miles, Maureen Cleave, Klaus Voorman and Steve Turner and Chris Ingham discussing “We Can Work It Out."