7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Historic Beatles performances are a must-have!,
This review is from: The Beatles - Four Complete ed Sullivan Shows [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show four times in 1964-65. This is the first time that the shows have been available in their entirety, so this is an essential purchase for any serious fan. Never mind launching them in America, it was one of THE cultural events of the century. You now have the chance to relive it.
It’s fascinating to see these performances now – and also to get a glimpse of US popular entertainment as it was then. The band appeared on a bill which included now-forgotten comedians, magicians, boxers, and second banana 50s musical stars. This in itself is unique – you can almost put yourself in a middle America living room on a Sunday night, even to the point of watching the original ads which are hilarious. Against that backdrop, the Beatles look almost futuristic. The sound balance is slightly wrong – apparently, the technicians marked the microphone volume settings with chalk, went for a break and returned to find the cleaners had been in… As a result, Lennon’s mike is barely audible. Yet nearly 40 years on, that first appearance still jumps out of the TV. The reaction of the audience at the first show is something to see: a mixture of surprise, delight, confusion, and sheer joy.
The other 1964 appearances don’t quite match its impact – how could they? - but they are still memorable. Great versions of This Boy, Twist and Shout and Please Please Me...it’s early period Beatles at its best. Their next appearance was recorded eighteen months later on Aug 14 1965 – the day before the historic Shea Stadium concert. It’s like watching a different band – the energy of the ’64 shows has been replaced by a knowing hipness. You get Lennon playing the organ on I’m Down, McCartney doing Yesterday on acoustic...it’s a band jaded by fame but still able to turn it on and charm the pants off anyone with a pulse.
Buy it and know why.
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