Composing The Beatles Songbook Lennon and McCartney 1966-1970 Release date: 11/25/2008

***NOTE*** This DVD is not authorized by Paul McCartney or the estate of John Lennon.  ***NOTE***

Bonus Material Includes:
Biographies
Extended Interviews
Beyond DVD Section

Songs Include:
1.) "Eleanor Rigby"
2.) "I'm Only Sleeping"
3.) "Tommorrow Never Knows"
4.) "Strawberry Fields Forever"
5.) "A Day In The Life"
6.) "I Am The Walrus"
7.) "Hey Jude"
8.) "Revolution"
9.) "Helter Skelter"
10.) "Golden Slumbers"
11.) "Get Back"

THE PANEL:
Klaus Voorman (musician, artist, friend of The Beatles)
Paul Gambaccini (broadcaster, journalist, author-'The McCartney Interviews')
Peter Doggett (journalist, author-'The Art And Music Of John Lennon')
Barry Miles (friend of The Beatles, author, Paul McCartney's official biographer)
Chris Inghan (musicologist, author, Beatles Academic)
Robert Christgau (journalist, music editor -'The Village Voice', contributing editor 'The Rolling Stone')
Maureen Cleave (journalist, friend of The Beatles)
Allan Moore (musician, author -'The Rough Guide To The Beatles)
Anthony DeCurtis (journalist, contributing editor to 'The Rolling Stone')
Johnny Rogan (music writer, author -'John Lennon; The Albums')
Nigel Williamson (journalist, contributing editor to 'Uncut Magazine')
Steve Turner (journalist, author -'A Hard Day's Write', 'The Gospel According To The Beatles')


     On December 3, 1965 The Beatles released their sixth album ‘Rubber Soul’.  Chris Ingham makes the point on the DVD, “That there is a good argument to say that ‘Rubber Soul’ is the great Beatles album in the sense that they were still a group working the way groups work.  As a unit, as a playing unit, as a creative unit.”. 
  
  August 5, 1966 The Beatles release their seventh album titled, ‘Revolver’.  This is the first album were the Lennon/McCartney songwriting team begins to show their individual personalities as songwriters.  In March of the same year while being interviewed by journalist and friend Maureen Cleave of the London Evening Standard John made the following statement; "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."  This was a small part of the article and no one really took notice in Britain.  Five months later, on July 29, a teen magazine in the US of A (land of the free, especially religious freedom), Datebook, reprinted the quote out of context instead of submerged in an article, and used it as a part of a front cover story.  Within the bible belt of the U.S. the statements lead to a backlash of hate against The Beatles that included Beatles memorabilia burning and death threats.   Contrary to belief this is not the reason The Beatles made the decision that performance at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on August 29, 1966 was their last.  From one perspective most fans will never see the band perform live again.  However, if it had not been for this decision then you can just about guarantee John/Paul/George/Ringo would have never recorded some of the greatest songs ever written.
     OK, let’s put aside the fact The Beatles next album, ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band’ released on June 1, 1967 could be argumentatively one of the greatest albums ever recorded.  However, this is where I disagreed in part with some of the panel on the DVD.  It has been very well documented that the members of The Beatles were not allowed to discuss certain subjects with the media, ex. The Vietnam War.  Several members of this panel went on and on about how evident it was of John’s absence on the album.  Don’t get me wrong they brought up several great points about the Lennon/McCartney collaboration of track 13, “A Day In The Life” and the rest of the time spent between Paul’s “When I’m Sixty-Four” and how disinterested John must have been to literally write a song based upon a circus poster. (Which, I thought was a pretty unique way of writing a song.  Let’s see them try it!)  However, not a word was mentioned on what is in my opinion the best collaboration on the album track 6, “She’s Leaving Home”.  I literally have dreams of writing & arranging a song such as this.
     On August 27, 1967 manager to The Beatles and father figure to John passed away from a drug overdose.  ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ the band’s eighth release was released on December 8, 1967 as a EP within the United Kingdom, then as a full length LP on November 27, 1967 within the United States.  When you listen to ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ from beginning to end the only track of John’s where he even remotely acts like he is having a good time was the song “I Am The Walrus”.
   In May of 1968 John began seeing artist Yoko Ono from now until December 8, 1980 the two will be side by side.  November 22, of the same year The Beatles began working on their ninth album simply titled, ‘The Beatles’ however it is more commonly known as The White Album.  Growing up I use to sneak into my brother’s bedroom and listen to his Beatles albums, I remember listening to the ‘White Album’.  Even though I think I was maybe 9 or 10 I remember thinking to myself these guys have done too many drugs (not even knowing what drugs were at the time).  However, now that I’m in my late thirties, I listen to the album and think it is The Beatles at their finest.
     On September 26, 1969 The Beatles released their eleventh album.  Though work on ‘Abbey Road’ began in April 1969, making it the twelfth and final album recorded by the band; ‘Let It Be’ was the last album released before the Beatles' dissolution in 1970.  For me the film was upsetting on several different levels.  All I will say is if you have not seen it then buy a copy on Ebay.  It will be the best money you have ever spent.
 McCartney publicly announced the break-up of The Beatles on April 10 1970, two months and four days before I was born.  Since then everyone has wrote a biography or filmed a documentary.  There has been so many for all I know I could have written one!...ha,ha,.  In closing this review there is good news and bad news.  I’ll give the bad news first, though the DVD is ‘Composing The Beatles Songbook Lennon And McCartney 1966-1970’ and John & Paul did write the bulk of The Beatles catalog however The Beatles was a foursome.  It was those four that made the songs what they were.  If that was not the case Pete Best would have never been replaced!  Now the good news, anytime you can get the chance to read or watch a biography or documentary on a band that completely re-wrote the playbook of Rock ‘n’ Roll then you should take the time to read or watch it and draw your own opinion.  Hence the reason we have a brain.