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The Beatles Anthology

4.8 out of 5 stars 521 customer reviews

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(Apr 01, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

THE BEATLES' STORY AS TOLD BY THE BEATLES THEMSELVES. THE ORIGINAL 8 VHS TAPE SET SPANS 4 DVDS AND THE 5TH DISC CONTAINS PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN MATERIAL EXCLUSIVE TO THIS DVD PACKAGE.

Special Features

Newly mixed in 5.1 surround sound with picture restoration
Contains all 8 original video programs on 4 DVDs
Bonus disc of rare and never-before-seen footage, including:
  • Recollections (June 1994): Paul, George, and Ringo spend a summer's day together singing, playing and warmly remembering the early days
  • Back at Abbey Road (May 1995): Paul, George, and Ringo at Abbey Road Studios with George Martin, play back the multi-tracks of some of their classic recordings and reveal the inventive techniques used during the original sessions
  • Recording "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love": Paul, George, and Ringo, along with Jeff Lynne, discuss the story behind these recordings - includes intimate footage of them at work in the studio
  • Real Love Video: The video not screened as part of the original Anthology series, now in glorious 5.1 surround sound
  • Compiling the Anthology Albums: Paul, George, Ringo, and George Martin talk about how the three Anthology double albums were compiled
  • Making the "Free as a Bird" video: An intriguing insight from director Joe Pytka into how the Grammy Award winning video was created
  • Production Team: The team behind the Anthology series discuss how the programmes were made

Product Details

  • Actors: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, George Martin
  • Directors: Bob Smeaton, Geoff Wonfor, Kevin Godley
  • Writers: Bob Smeaton
  • Producers: Neil Aspinall, Chips Chipperfield, Stan Storc
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), English (PCM Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Capitol
  • DVD Release Date: April 1, 2003
  • Run Time: 600 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (521 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008GKEG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,675 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Beatles Anthology" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Back in January 2000, I reviewed this box set here (see "If You Liked the TV Special, You'll Love This!"). 3 years later, many Beatles fans' prayers (including my own) have been answered with the release of this video library in DVD form. Rather than resay what I said back then, I just thought I'd write with a different perspective. The opening statement is from the liner notes of Derek Taylor, who served as the Beatles' press agent.
To answer a recent review, here's what's on it: performances of the Beatles live in concert and television performances (not complete concerts), some original videos, narrated by Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, the late George Harrison (who was still around during the making of this documentary) and the late John Lennon (his comments are culled by old interviews), excerpts from early recordings, studio outtakes, press conferences and all 5 of their movies and finally, over 30 complete Beatles tracks (By the way, "Real Love" is included in this edition).
The sound quality is superior here than the original VHS (and you have the option of LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital surround sound and DTS 5.1 surround sound). You also have the option of subtitles in English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese (Brazilian and European). Just don't expect your Linguistics teachers to be impressed with how many French or Spanish words you learned while watching this!
It is a bit of a shame that individual tracks weren't assembled for complete songs. Oh well, a minour disappointment! Keep in mind that the 8 video VHS box set was actually pricier than the 5 DVD box set back when it was released in 1996 (I remember paying over [money] for mine!).
Then of course, there's the Special Features DVD.
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Format: VHS Tape
This video series is highly recommended for any serious Beatle fan! While I agree that you can't say it all in just 8 hours, all 4 beatles share stuff you won't find in any book on the Beatles.
Tape 1 begins with a video collage of their history, features their youthful beginnings, days in Hamburg, how Ringo joined the band, and their rise to the top in England.
Tape 2 shows their growth as a band, talks on their BBC sessions, performing for the Queen, stories about touring, and some hilarious TV segments!
Tape 3 begins with their introduction into America, talks about their performance on the Ed Sullivan Show, Ringo's tonsilitis, and their 1st movie A Hard Day's Night.
Tape 4 talks about the pressures of touring, drugs, Dylan, the making of Help!, the inspiration for Yesterday, and winning the MBE award.
Tape 5 talks about their Shea Stadium performance, meeting Elvis, Rubber Soul and Revolver.
Tape 6 talks on the events that led to the Beatles' final tour in 1966 (the Philippines and John's remarks about Jesus), Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane,Sgt. Pepper, and their holiday in Greece.
Tape 7 starts with the One World performance of "All You Need Is Love", and talks about the Maharishi, the death of Brian Epstein, Magical Mystery Tour, the opening of Apple, Yellow Submarine, and John's new companion, Yoko Ono.
Tape 8 begins with the White Album, discusses the closing and dissolution of Apple, Hey Jude, Let It Be, Paul's marriage to Linda, John's marriage to Yoko, George and John's drug busts, Abbey Road, and the Free As a Bird video (what? Real Love isn't included! ).
A splendid time is guaranteed for all!
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Format: DVD
As the bombs fell over England in 1940, John Winston Lennon was born and as war raged, Sir James Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Richard Starkey a.k.a. Ringo Starr began their young lives in a dirty port city called Liverpool. They were mostly poor boys who today are legends.
The most interesting thing from the TV special in 1995, the 3 albums that followed and the 8 VHS tapes that expanded the story was the fact that it was "The Beatles" in their own words and recollections.
There's so much packed inside this story and safe to say, so much more we don't know, that it is engrossing each time you watch it. The interweaving of outtakes, never before heard songs and footage is beautiful. George Martin's emotional talk and tears as he remembers John Lennon is heartwrenching. You see here the strength of the four lads from Liverpool, the closeness of their friendship and those involved with them.
The DVD version is jammed with more than the 8 VHS tapes and elevates the "Anthology" to a rounder story. At the time of its initial release, there were 3 surviving Beatles, sadly now there are 2. One sit through of this is not enough for you are sure to miss elements. As timeless as The Beatles themselves, so is their story and this anthology.
Robert Eldridge (...)
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Format: VHS Tape
The Beatles Anthology is a great video set documenting the lifeand times of the greatest band of this century. There are 8 tapes,starting with the births of the fab four and ending with the 1970 breakup (and the "Free As A Bird" video as a poignant epilogue). There are rare film clips included. If you are new to the Beatles, then this set will provide a wonderful introduction to John, Paul, George and Ringo. If you are an avid fan, then you know already that the set includes various anecdotes that shed new light on the Beatles.

Here are some highlights: - the lovely montage at the beginning, with the apt "In My Life" as the song. - the story about the burnt condom (Tape 1) - an early film of the Beatles singing the song "Some Other Guy" at the Cavern (Tape 1) - a funny juxtaposition of three versions of the song "How Do You Do It" (Tape 1) - juxtaposition of the Rolling Stones cover and the Beatles rendition of "I Wanna Be Your Man" (Tape 2) - Paul's story on "Yesterday" (Tape 4) - George's story about how he and John got introduced to LSD (Tape 5) - the "amazing" Japanese efficiency on the Beatles Japan tour (Tape 5) - the film of "A Day In The Life" (Tape 6) - George's way of saying that the Magical Mystery Tour album was "Paul's idea.
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lennon and mccartney voice peaked on what album
To me, there was no one period where John or Paul "peaked". From their earlier stuff to the very end, they always sounded great to me. To say that John's vocal on gems like "I Should Have Known Better" or "Twist and Shout" and Paul's vocal on "I'm Down"... Read More
Aug 6, 2010 by Cozyjo |  See all 4 posts
Beatles Anthology on Blu Ray ???
I think there's a possibility. The DVDs are all well and good, but at some points there are some compression artifacts due to the amount of video they squeezed on these discs. The LaserDisc version doesn't have this, but the resolution is a bit less. Blu-Ray has so much better audio & audio... Read More
Jul 18, 2011 by Steven Matarazzo |  See all 8 posts
VHS vs. DVD
The DVD set contains all 8 original programs on 4 DVDs plus a 5th disc of extras. Extras include the "Real Love" video, the making of the Anthology CDs and more.

Note that 2 programs are on 1 disc but after the 1st program plays you must return to the menu and select the 2nd one, the... Read More
Sep 9, 2012 by Jesse Ross |  See all 3 posts
Anthology Alternate Version
I have the Directors Cut. It's 10 DVDs and is, in many cases, very different than the final, official version. Also, the last 2 discs of the Director's Cut are various EPKs, promos and TV ads for the Anthology. I find those very interesting.
Feb 1, 2011 by Jesse Ross |  See all 4 posts
appropriate for children?
There is some swearing, but not too much. Drug use is mentioned heavily but very little actually shown. There is brief nudity in part 7 when John and Yoko's naked album cover is revealed. Hope this helps.
Sep 13, 2012 by Jesse Ross |  See all 3 posts
Is there a way to get this music? Be the first to reply
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