86 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2003
This series defines the word definitive. Alot of us have felt like the Beatles were a part of us through their music and films. The die hard fans read books and watched interviews but nowhere has so much infomation on the band been presented in such a compelling fashion and from such a reliable source (the Beatles themselves)
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.
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2003
This box set is a must have for any fan of the Beatles. I bought the original box set on VHS video and have no regrets about re buying the set again on DVD. The quality is superb and sharp and the music is much clearer. Each disc contains 2 episodes except for the 5th and final disc. In my opinion, this is the real gem. To view Harrison, McCartney and Starr playing together again at George's house in 1994 and having fun is a joy to watch. Songs inlude an early Lennon & McCartney original titled 'Thinkin of Linking" and 'Blue Moon of Kentucky' along with others. This comes under the title of Recollections. Other titles on this disc are, Compiling The Anthology Albums, Back at Abbey Road-May 1995, Recording Free as a Bird and Real Love, Production Team(explaining how the series was created)Making the Free as a Bird Video and Real Love Video. The set is excellent viewing and worth a place in anyone's collection.
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
This was always going to be a five star review. There's nothing to be said for The Beatles, their music or the affect they had on the world around them that hasn't already been said many times before.
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.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2003
This is the dvd release of the Beatles Anthology series that was shown on tv in 1996. I was pleasantly surprised to find this box-set for around £35, bearing in mind the VHS version still costs over £100. Taking into account all the special features, quality picture and audio, there's no comparison between the two formats.
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.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2006
As an `official' Beatles history, this is definitive.
The pick of the set is the bonus DVD which features the surviving Beatles chatting and playing at George's house, plus features about Free as a Bird and Real Love.
There's plenty of rare footage on the other discs, interspersed with interviews (conducted by Jools Holland, I think) with all the Beatles, George Martin, Neil Aspinall and others. Many of the interviews, particularly with Ringo when he talks about how close they were, will leave a lump in your throat.
George's wry humour comes across, as does the tendency of all involved to gloss over some of the rancour and argy bargy which went on before and during the break-up.
Sound and video quality is fine throughout and if you love The Beatles this is an essential purchase.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2003
In all honesty, all Beatles fans were looking forward to this coming out on DVD, since most of us have it on a video box set that's now become almost worn to transparency!
All of the individual sections are fantastic, without becoming too long-winded, or bitchy for that matter.
The special features disc is interesting, including the video for Real Love, the making of the Free As A Bird video, extra interview footage, and an impromptu jam session between Starr, Harrison, and McCartney. Another fascinating extra is the Making of the Anthology album set with George Martin, even though I could personally listen to Mr Martin for a lot longer on the subject.
My only qualm about the set, which is just a small one, is that it would have been excellent to have had all of their promotional films for songs, or some thereof, especially as hidden easter eggs. Let's see if they do that for Help, Magical Mystery Tour, or Let It Be on DVD!
All in all though, outstanding value for money. I could watch it over and over again.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
How could this be less than 5 stars? The history of fabbest band of all time on a DVD boxset with interviews and lots of footage.
This is essential viewing for any Beatles fan. George, Paul and Ringo talk frankly about their time in the Beatles.
You feel that it sometimes avoids being too gritty, but it doesn't ruin the experience. It's great to hear the music and experiences of the band being told by the band members themselves (obviously without John though).
Free As A Bird and Real Love are the bonuses all Beatles fans wanted, and they are here in their full glory.
This is a box set you can watch over and over again, I'd love to see a 2nd edition of this with more modern footage from Paul and Ringo - this is over ten years old now! But as I say, this is a really fantastic box set with great artwork on the box.
This is the best Beatles documentary available on DVD (I've seen some truely dodgy ones over the last few years!)
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Probably the best piece of Beatles memorabilia you could ever buy. I had originally taped the series of TV way back in the mid 90's, but the DVD is now a permanent storage that won't have Gardner's World taped on it!
With all the members of the band present (except of course for the late John) their is a real authenticity about the footage - not just what a narrator thinks. They all give great in-depth in-sights, from how they all met, to the final and emotional days of Abbey Road. Perhaps one unique thing about the band members are their personalities - rarely would a band member these days take the time to produce such a long, in depth story of one of the greatest bands we've known.
The editing is super, and sets it aside from other documentaries. No split second footage of songs, so tiny cuts people talking - its just transcends so nicely. Many songs are actually footaged in their entirety, and the moving between stories/years is so smooth.
Perhaps the most emotional part of this collection is the end. The interviews end quite bluntly, but its rather fitting, as Ringo explains, because the band never talked about 'it being the end'. They just enjoyed making Abbey Road, and went their separate ways. The editing at thr very end which plays clips of songs mixed together, with the sad but happy photo of them in the field really touches your heart, after everything they had been through for almost a decade.
It's not surprising however that, in typical Paul McCartney fashion (ie. he wants to be 'different'), we see him not just talking and giving stories in one chair. He is constantly in several places, from piloting a boat, to rather oddly having a camp-fire in a field. Hmm...
What makes this more special now is that, with poor George passing (my fave Beatle for his simple down to earthness) we still have a lovely record of him here and looking very healthy. It was a real shock when he died, as he seemed such a lovely guy.
I can't recommend this highly enough. It's quite pricey, but what you may not realise is the sheer length of time it actually scales, and for that, its definitely worth considering.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2003
My boyfriend played all 5 DVDs over the course of a few evenings, and having expected to be a bit bored, I found I was totally hooked. I like the Beatles songs that I know, but was never a major fan, but I was absolutely captivated by the gradually unfolding story of this fantastically successful band. It was terribly poignant, too - all four of them could have - and should have - still been alive today, but instead only two are left, and I felt constantly reminded of that sad fact. Although there were references to tensions (even physical fights) between the band members in later years, what was very touching was the clear love and affection they all felt for each other - but you also understood very well by the end why they had to break up. If you like the Beatles, you will love these DVDs.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2003
Having eagerly awaited the Beatles Anthology on DVD I purchased it from Amazon at an amazing price
Anyway as I unpacked it and put in Disc 1 the first thing you'll notice is the sound quality its out of this world especially in DTS some of the early songs are breathtaking. Having seen it on television I was looking forward to the extra footage on the DVD. This was great but there could have been more, much more and a great oppotunity was lost, I have footage of them being interviewed with Ken Dodd in 1963 for Granada TV which was hilarious and also moving footage in the studio rehearsing Hey Jude with sound and jokes to name but two. With them spending the last few years in the studio far more footage should have been included instead of a montage. For the diehard Beatle fans like myself it's just another collection of clips, as we already know the story, but for people getting to know them for the first time this is great. The extra bonus disc is FAB especially to see Paul George and Ringo playing together again.
I would recommend this to anyone with regard to the sound but to me it still falls far short with regard to the extra footage on offer.