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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: #143,791 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S Riaz TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 27, 2014
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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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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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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It's true that more time is devoted to Lennon during this period but the documentary isn't a "hatchet job" on McCartney by any means. Lennon's work during these years is just more deserving of extended reflection. McCartney receives plenty of positive attention for what he did produce at the time. Both songwriters are praised and criticized by the commentators. The next DVD in the series (covering 1973-1980) devotes more time to McCartney's output because there's more to examine from that period.
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