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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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Beatles' "Anthology" project was a major event - involving the release of new singles (Free As A Bird & Real Love), three double albums (Anthology 1, Anthology 2 and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by S P Mead
A wonderful rags to riches story.Of course I remember all of it even though I was a child when it all started.Very nostalgic I watch it often.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
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 5 months ago by I. Hubball