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Paul McCartney - Live in Red Square

4.2 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews

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(Jun 14, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Go backstage with the Emmy Award-winning, landmark concert film and documentary PAUL McCARTNEY IN RED SQUARE, and experience the hit songs, rare performance footage and exclusive interviews that marked this watershed moment in rock and roll history.

Though the Beatles were banned from Russia in the 1960s, their music offered hope and inspiration to an entire nation for years. Finally, on May 24, 2003, Paul McCartney satisfied decades of anticipation with his first-ever concert in Russia--wowing a crowd of over 100,000 people in Moscow s Red Square.

PAUL McCARTNEY IN RED SQUARE--plus Bonus Concert Paul McCartney: Live in St. Petersburg features live performances of more than 30 songs, including:

Yesterday / We Can Work it Out / Fool on the Hill / I've Just Seen a Face / Two of Us / Maybe I'm Amazed / She's Leaving Home / Can't Buy Me Love / Birthday / Live & Let Die / Get Back / Getting Better / Hey Jude / Got To Get You Into My Life / Sgt. Pepper s Lonely Hearts Club Band / I Saw Her Standing There / Flaming Pie / Drive My Car / Penny Lane / Jet / Let It Be / The End / Band on the Run / Back in the U.S.S.R. / I ve Got A Feeling / Helter Skelter ... and more

DVD Features: Bonus Concert: Paul McCartney: Live in St. Petersburg; Behind The Curtain: Memories from Red Square; Featurette from THE HISTORY CHANNEL: Russia and the Beatles: A Brief Journey; Song Selection; Engilsh Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired... and more!


The Beatles Anthology may be the motherlode for fans of the Fabs, but among other Beatle-related video offerings, only The Concert for George matches Paul McCartney - Live in Red Square for sheer emotional and musical impact. It's no coincidence that the latter two chronicle not just concerts but significant events--a memorial for Harrison (he had died a year earlier), and Sir Paul's first visit to the former Soviet Union.

For the Russian audience, McCartney's appearance in Moscow is little short of a miracle. The Beatles were banned for decades by the Soviet government, which regarded their music as the epitome of Western decadence and propaganda, and the fans' only access to the group was through the occasional photo or black market album. Their reaction to his 2003 visit is a mixture of frenzy and rapture; in interview after interview, what one fan calls the Beatles' "gentle intervention" is credited with helping to bring down the whole Soviet system, simply because they represented a creativity and freedom that had been almost totally silenced. And that's all before McCartney plays "Back in the U.S.S.R.," which inspires a response that simply must be seen and heard to be believed.

Elsewhere, Macca and his superb band perform a variety of Beatles tunes, along with some highlights from his solo career and stint with Wings. Considering the dozens of classics in the Lennon-McCartney catalogue, the majority of them never performed live by the group, he could hardly go wrong. Still, the choices are almost unerring; along with "Hey Jude," "Yesterday," and "Let it Be" are some unexpected treats (including "Getting Better" and "She's Leaving Home" from the Sgt. Pepper album, as well as "Fool on the Hill," "I've Just Seen a Face," and "Two of Us"). And that's not all: additional footage from a show in St. Petersburg features "Drive My Car," "Helter Skelter," and a powerful medley of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band" and "The End." The sound and visuals are good, and the extra features (including a brief parallel history of the Beatles and the U.S.S.R. in the '60s) are interesting. No, the Beatles will never reform. But Paul McCartney - Live in Red Square ain't a bad substitute. --Sam Graham

Special Features

  • Director's cut features 20 minutes of never-aired footage, plus behind-the-scenes featurette, song selection, and more
  • Song list: Getting Better, Band on the Run, Can't Buy Me Love, Two of Us, I Saw Her Standing There, We Can Work It Out, I've Just Seen a Face, Live and Let Die, Let 'Em In, Fool on the Hill, The Things We Said Today, Birthday, Maybe I'm Amazed, Back in the USSR, Calico Skies, Hey Jude, She's Leaving Home, Yesterday, Let It Be, Back in the USSR (reprise)
  • Full-length bonus concert Paul McCartney Live in St. Petersburg: Intro, Jet, Got to Get You Into My Life, Flaming Pie, Let Me Roll It, Drive My Car, Penny Lane, Get Back, Back in the USSR, I've Got a Feeling, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/The End, Helter Skelter (first live performance)
  • Behind the Curtain: Memories from Red Square
  • Featurette from the History Channel: Russia and the Beatles: A Brief Journey

Product Details

  • Actors: Paul McCartney
  • Directors: Mark Haefeli
  • Format: Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2005
  • Run Time: 160 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007QJ1ES
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,558 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Paul McCartney - Live in Red Square" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By o dubhthaigh VINE VOICE on June 20, 2005
Format: DVD
One of the great things about Macca is he's never forgotten where he came from, and inspite of the wealth and success, he knows what's important. That comes through in spades on this disc which is both a great concert film and a rather touching documentary on a number of social and political notions.

It isn't meant to be heavy going, and because of that, when you see the footage of the kids in the orphanage (the raison d'etre for the concert appearance), when you hear former Soviet military ministers saying they learned English from Beatles records, when you see even Putin crack the KGB veneer to acknowledge that something about the message of love that 4 guys from Liverpool stood for warmed even the iciest of hearts. McCartney seems to know that there was something in the Russian psyche that needed respect from his as well and he is also the consummate diplomat and a generous and genuine musical ambassador. After touring the Hermitage with Putin, he acknowledges how touched he is that the kids in the orphanage who perform for him are dressed in their Sunday best. That's a sensibility that only a working class kid would understand and recognize as important. He also gets quite a giggle out of the Russian police chasing him out of Red Square on his bicycle (it's a no-no), not caring who the heck he is. The laugh is on Mac and he enjoys it, sheepishly.

As for the Concert in Red Square and in St Petersburg, the shows are incredible. A number of talking heads relate their tales of securing Beatles records as they grew up, and it's rather touching. You get the picture that they got the message far more profoundly than those in the west. So as the band hits the stage, the rush in the crowd is exhilarating.
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Format: DVD
If you want to be treated to some excellent music performed live and enjoy equally excellent footage, then this is for you. Paul McCartney is not only a class act, but a veteran entertainer who appears to be happy with himself and at home in his profession. Both speak to the good.

I like the way documenatary footage was added which for me made for a bonus part of the show. Although it was not a "true live experience," it was indeed a delightful performance and the contrast between documentary and concert footage helped strengthen the film. Viewers got an even deeper sense of the concert and what took place in making it possible.

I LOVED the inclusion of several of my favorite Beatle songs!
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I was a bit surprised at first when I realized there would be commentary between each song. Having visited Russia (the U.S.S.R. then) in April, 1971 I understand how necessary the commentary is to impress upon the average viewer the importance this concert had for the Red Square audience, many who had grown up in the late 60's and early 70's and were looked upon at that time as the future of communism by the Soviet government. There were also many young people in the audience, their ages appearing to range from 40 to 10

The concert itself, the sound and picture quality are excellent. Seeing it performed in Red Square brought back many memories of my own visit. The prescence of the commentary between songs is extremely valid.

When we were preparing to visit in '71 we were told that if we could afford it we should take rock records with us, especially Beatles as their music was banned in the U.S.S.R., to give to Russian students. I presented the Beatles album I had taken to a student in Moscow. His eyes lit up immediately as he grasped it, turned and ran towards his friends, holding it high and shouting, "Beatles! Beatles!"

At a dinner with Russain students given for us in Moscow there was a Russian band performing. They played several Beatles tunes, including Can't Buy Me Love. When we were leaving St. Petersburg (called Leningrad then) we were fogged in for an hour, the majority of our group went to dinner but four of us stayed in the terminal playing chess and drinking Dark Eyes wine. Whoever was in charge of the airport speaker system took a great gamble and played the White Album for us, side 1, of course.
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This DVD is more than just a great concert, it is an historical look at how the Soviet Union and its citizens responded to the Beatles and their music in the 60's up until the fall of Communism in the late 80's early 90's.

Intermittent between each of the songs is a story from McCartney, or a Russian individual. Certain Russian audience members who grew up in the 60's describe how the Beatles's music was banned in their country and how they took painstaking risks to buy their music and memorabilia (at the risk of being thrown in jail by the Soviet KGB). The DVD contains segments of interviews with former soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev describing how important Beatles music was to the Soviet people in a time of oppression. President Putin confirms these remarks by Gorbachev by describing how the Beatles were banned from the U.S.S.R. when he was younger and how he had an opportunity to hear several of their songs as a child (Putin shows up to the Moscow show in a very moving moment during the show).

The DVD is very moving. In fact, during the Moscow concert many members of the audience are in tears as Paul plays the older Beatles's tunes. Several Soviet musicians from the 60's who are interviewed throughout the video describe how they had secret concerts, and secret gatherings to buy on the black market the Beatles's music. Many of these musicians describe how they were unable to obtain any Beatles music and had only one or two photo's of the band and would try to guess who was Paul or who was John, etc. in the photo (having not found out who each Beatles member was until much later).

Aside from the history, the two concerts (one in Moscow and one in St. Petersburg) are fantastic. Paul plays many of the Beatles music intermittent with his own solo work.
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