Beatles - Composing Outside The Beatles: Lennon & McCartney 1973-1980
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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.
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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 Amazon.com.
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 dvdverdict.com
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. Personal issues, however, constantly plagued Paul's new band `Wings', as the band members became a rotating multiplex of names and faces, struggling to find their place amongst the ex-Beatle.
And, sadly, by the end of disc four, the fatal day occurred, practically moments after John got back into the studio to release one of his most prominent efforts, "Double Fantasy". All four of these discs together mark the legacy from beginning to end, and struggle to understand it all, while simply appreciating the time we had.
worth the watch especially like the interviews of the band members of both their solo careers
total Beatles and John Lennon fan