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Beatles - Composing Outside The Beatles: Lennon & McCartney 1967-1972

3.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Documentary looking at the solo careers of John Lennon and Paul McCartney during the initial post-Beatles period. Recordings by individual members of the Beatles had appeared as early as 1966 with Paul McCartney and George Martin's soundtrack to 'Family Way', but it was not until John Lennon's string of singles in the late 1960s that their careers began to diverge significantly.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Beatles
  • Directors: n, a
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Stereo)
  • Subtitles: None
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Pride
  • DVD Release Date: November 17, 2009
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002M9FXM2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,351 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

This DVD follows on from the two “Composing The Beatles Songbook” Lennon and McCartney documentaries : 1957-1965 and 1966-1970. Although this has a great panel discussing the songs, including Klaus Voorman, Paul Gambaccini, Chris Ingham, Denny Seiwell and Johnny Rogan, amongst others, the programme doesn’t work as well as the previous two for me. Firstly, because the time period is an odd one to choose in my opinion – although listed as 1967-1972, the music covered is mostly post-Beatles, apart from John’s early avant-garde collaborations with Yoko. Also, this particular DVD is very heavily Lennon biased. I like all the Beatles, but Paul is certainly my favourite and I would have liked to have had a more 50/50 split for a documentary, which should have given them equal space.

That aside, what does this documentary focus on? There is the breakup of the Beatles and the influence of Yoko and Linda – mostly Yoko, Linda gets a brief mention here and there, despite her musical contribution. “Give Peace A Chance,” “Cold Turkey,” “Instant Karma,” and the sessions for “Plastic Ono Band,” “Imagine,” and the concert in Toronto (with John so nervous before his first live show without the Beatles that he spent most of the time being sick in a corner) are all covered in detail. Later, there is also the influence of primal therapy; “Mother” and “God,” and the always over examined, “How Do You Sleep?” Klaus Voorman is very interesting in talking about this period of John’s early solo career, discussing Yoko’s insensitivity during the “Imagine” sessions (he calls her ’silly’ and you feel that he really wants to say more....) and Ringo’s sadness at that time.
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When I stumbled upon this video in a store, the title and back cover synopsis immediately sold me. "This film shows how and why [Lennon and McCartney] composed the music they did during this era and illustrates their use of old and new techniques. . . we discover the true story of how their music was composed when writing alone or with new partners." The word "composed," "composer," or "composing" appears on the package no fewer than seven times.

Unfortunately, the video sheds virtually no light on the compositional process of either Lennon or McCartney. Recording approach, yes; compositional process, no. For example, bringing total strangers in from the street to sing "Give Peace a Chance" on a portable 8-track tape machine in a hotel room may have been a new way to record a song. . . but the filmmakers do not share how the song itself was written. Throughout, we hear many anecdotes and insights, but few, if any of them address musical composition.

We learn that John's interest in sloganeering changed his approach to lyrics; we hear Klaus Voorman gush about Phil Spector being a genius and have a few isolated sound examples of his production techniques; we get a sense that Paul let his band members have great personal freedom when interpreting his music; we hear what several people think about what Yoko and Linda's presence meant to their respective husbands during this time. . . but again, we learn relatively little about how either composed during these years.

Most of the period footage in the video can be found elsewhere, and many essential voices are missing. The film's packaging states "This project is an independent review requiring independent editorial control.
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I love all things Beatles, group, solo etc. In the name of full disclosure, George is my favorite Beatle. While this DVD is good, I have 2 main comments. As others have said, McCartneys' work is almost an after thought. they go into great detail about the activities surrounding Lennons work. Then it gives short thrift to McCartney's work. Secondly, it spends way too much time on the "Unfinished Music" trilogy. I mean really, who even considers this to be music? When was the last time that you listened to the "White Album" and didn't skip over Revolution #9?, and its way more interesting than the trilogy. All in all, I enjoyed it, and would recommend it to any Beatles fan. Just be forewarned.
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I love this series. Not sure why everyone is focused on the negative McCartney aspect. I think it is a film that needs to be watched as a set. There are four in total and this is just a fraction of the complete story. There are many McCartney friendly observation throughout this series and some fascinating bits of information as well. I particularly enjoyed the bit on A Day in a Life. My only question is why did they not do one about Harrison? I would love that. ..
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The DVD is a bit "Lennon-heavy", but to be fair, Lennon's "outside The Beatles" recording was more prolific in a way. Sure, Paul did a lot of experimenting in those years, but not much made vinyl.

I love the trilogy of DVDs, though, and has watched them more than once. Fantastic for the true fans.
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Emily Blunt at BluntReview (dot) com says: Documentaries are (- can be -) a marvel. If done correctly, the film maker opens up a behind-the-scenes view of their subject you'd otherwise never be privy to.

Such is the case in one pure gem of a doc practically no one's seen called, Composing Outside The Beatles: Lennon & McCartney 1967-1972. Another odd title with dynamic content.

Story goes ...Through point-blank conversation and detailed accounts the time of transition from being a Beatle to just being...watching two close friends and musical geniuses grow. And, even after 101910 Beatle docs, this is fresh.

Today we know Paul was set forth as "The Cute One", and therefore the least to be slaughtered, to announce the end of The Fab Four. A precise measure to ease the blow ...But, realities were far from simple. Some truths were known; the men had grown, got new significant others, and the group needed a kind of divorce.

The only way to grow, for John and Paul at least, was to go in separate directions. That, and Apple and money men were very much Big Blue Meanies into which McCartney marched straight into a long Shakespearian-like, not-so-cute battle with.

Composing Outside The Beatles: Lennon & McCartney 1967-1972 has marvelous clips and footage for any Beatle fan (including the Mike Douglas Show Lennon take over!). But it's so much more. If you're a music fanatic - the sort that enjoys the nitty gritty of what went into say the ultra-personal "God" by John Lennon, or McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" in it's first incarnation as a simple raw ballad of love. You can not get this fast enough.

Keep your eye out for the teams; there's clearly a couple of pro-John vs.
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