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Beatles - Composing Outside The Beatles: Lennon & McCartney 1973-1980 (2011)

Beatles  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Beatles - Composing Outside The Beatles: Lennon & McCartney 1973-1980 + Composing The Beatles Songbook: Lennon and McCartney 1966-1970 + Beatles - Composing Outside The Beatles: Lennon & McCartney 1967-1972
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Product Details

  • Actors: Beatles
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PRIDE
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005ER6S96
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,160 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In the early 1970s both Lennon and McCartney carved out hugely successful solo careers - both critically and commercially. However, by the end of 1972 the pair had both hit the lowest points in their respective careers. 1973's output, however, put both of them back on the musical map and so began the final period during which John and Paul were recording and releasing music simultaneously. Composing Outside The Beatles - Lennon & McCartney 1973-80 is an independent documentary film which reviews John and Paul's music during the second and final part of their parallel post-Beatles careers.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Presents a rounded picture of the artists' decade October 22, 2011
James A. Stewart, DVD Verdict --The general angle of Composing Outside The Beatles is that McCartney fared better in the post-Beatles world by going after popularity with Wings--the band he formed with his wife Linda, Denny Laine of the Moody Blues, and a number of other people who came and went--while Lennon's artistic ambitions were less successful.

Whether you agree with the conclusion or not, Composing Outside The Beatles does a good job of outlining Lennon's and McCartney's work and presenting its case. It generally gets closer to McCartney's life, thanks to contributions from Laine and Wings drummer Denny Seiwell, but manages to show how a rough patch in Lennon's marriage to Yoko Ono affected his music--and led to a reunion with McCartney. Music videos and concert clips are plentiful, excerpted to give viewers reminders of songs such as McCartney's "My Love," "Live and Let Die," "Band on the Run," and "Coming Up," and Lennon's "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" and "Woman." Comments from critics and acquaintances help present a rounded picture of the artists' decade.

Composing is a little long, clocking in at over two hours, but it rarely bogs down. It's apparently a three-part television documentary released as one long unit on DVD; it would have been helpful to keep any divisions so viewers could watch at their own pace. I also noticed that there's another volume available on

As you'd expect, picture quality varies widely, depending on the clips. It's an all-regions disc. Some extra Laine comments, particularly on his "friendly competition" with McCartney, and contributor bios are included. The DVD box gives a rundown of the contributors so you know who's who among the talking heads.

-Full review at
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...decomposing... November 19, 2011
By rocky-o
There is a new addition to the "Composing The Beatles" series out on dvd this week, concluding the lifelong contribution to music that John Lennon favored us with, along with the continuing attributes of Sir Paul McCartney.

The `now-in-total' four disc set, (sold separately), reveals the trials and tribulations regarding the `Lennon-McCartney' partnership, as some would say, the greatest songwriting team of all time...but...

In the first disc of The Beatles early years, it was indeed a team effort that quickly grew apart where the songwriting was concerned, and, by disc 2, it was all over but the memories. This `team', although credited as such, rarely wrote much together, and it's evident to all those questioned, as well as to all those who listen, who really wrote what.

Disc 3 and 4 go under the paraphrased titles of "Composing Outside The Beatles", and take a look at the solo careers of John and Paul, after the breakup.

Clearly, in all four discs, the consensus is that John was indeed the better writer of the two, and that never becomes more clear than on disc 3, where their early solo efforts contrasted like night and day.

While John released brilliant efforts like "Imagine" and the `Plastic Ono Band' l.p., Paul was struggling with efforts like "Wild Life" and "Ram".

But, on disc 4, the newest entry, Paul's fortunes change, and, though he still isn't given much credit as far as being a songwriter goes, the charts told a different story, as he skyrocketed to #1 with the album still considered his post-Beatle magnum opus, "Band on The Run".

John, at this point, was not very focused on the music, and personal issues took him away from it for a while.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent Solo L & M Documentary February 6, 2012
Nothing gets Beatlemaniacs fired up quicker than a debate on the early solo albums by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Here, critics and former band associates opine on the subject, among them, ex-Wings members Denny Laine and drummer Denny Seiwell, and Lennon mate Klaus Voormann. This covers Wings and McCartney's dismal first albums, such as Wildlife and Red Rose Speedway. In contrast, Lennon exited the Beatles with powerhouse singles like "Instant Karma" and "Imagine," giving him the mantle of hit pop tunesmith - a role most expected for McCartney. The commentary from Laine and Seiwell is especially interesting, especially the latter, who recounts McCartney writing "Live and Let Die" in 10 minutes. While McCartney soared in the mid '70s, Lennon's solo career lost focus, including album misfires such as Somewhere in New York City, Mind Games, and Rock & Roll (though the song "Mind Games" remains a solo gem). Also discussed is Lennon's "lost weekend" in California, where he partied to excess and, unbeknownst to many, jammed with McCartney in a session that produced a sloppy, drunken version of "Stand By Me." Another f lashpoint is his last album, Double Fantasy, which the critics here argue over whether was it a final glimpse of genius or a f laccid bit of tripe. Your call. For the most part, this DVD is compelling, although neither George Harrison nor Ringo Starr's solo albums are discussed. The critics tend to fawn over McCartney while painting Lennon - somewhat simplistically - as a troubled solo artist. But for the most part, Composing Outside the Beatles asks enough questions to make it worthy of a purchase and repeated viewings. -
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good job lots of Beatle info things I did not know
Published 1 month ago by Carole Beaudin
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Collection
The previous volume (1967-1972) was more dedicated to John's stuff. This new volume covers the period of 1973-1980 and, understandably, is much more to Paul's stuff. Read more
Published 1 month ago by fabio parente
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Interesting as always when new views or information arises.
Published 1 month ago by Calin
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Don't have
Published 1 month ago by Beth Gilbertson
3.0 out of 5 stars No big whoop.
No big whoop. Very drama oriented presentation which seemed to be about the competition between McCartney's success vs. Lennon's success. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Square
5.0 out of 5 stars Liked it!!!
I've been a Beatles fan all my life so obviously I'm biased to anything I see by The Beatles....This is very good,it goes into their personal lives and tells you things that I... Read more
Published 4 months ago by C. Perez
4.0 out of 5 stars Lennon and McCartney - Composing Outside the Beatles 1973-1980
This is the fourth DVD in this series and the second looking at Lennon and McCartney’s solo output. The previous disc looked at the period 1967-1972 and was a disappointment for... Read more
Published 6 months ago by S Riaz
4.0 out of 5 stars It's OK.
Well, I would say this makes up for the second documentary in the series, in that it pays major homage to McCartney with a little bit of Lennon thrown in. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Longish, but a quality doc on L-M's post-Beatles musical careers
The rise of relatively inexpensive desktop video editing has produced something of a cottage industry in rock 'n' roll documentaries, often characterized by repetitive use of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by windycitytarheel
5.0 out of 5 stars Things you never knew and videos you have never seen
I was very skeptical about what this video would be like. Especially when looking at the two hour plus run time. turned out to be very good. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Joyce
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