Written by By Katie Jansen, CNN
Anyone who witnessed the Beatles’ arrival in the U.S. during 1964 will have a clear sense of what music history looks like today. Two astonishing singles emerged: “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “I Am the Walrus.”
They will inevitably be enthralled by Sgt. Pepper ‘s Lonely Hearts Club Band , The Beatles’ innovative concept album that spawned such hits as “A Day in the Life,” “Helter Skelter” and “The Long and Winding Road.”
The Beatles: Get Back. Courtesy Sky
But in 1994, a mere 15 years after the band’s last and arguably greatest album was released, a crowd-sourced documentary entitled “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years” was released. It included seldom-seen, but never before publicly released footage — and it’s a major event to watch in this new package, “The Beatles: Get Back,” recorded in 2001.
The remaining members of the Beatles were now aged between 44 and 59 and this “under-55s’ band is astounding,” notes music writer and author Jonah Weiner.
Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were joined by Jimmy Page , John Lennon’s drummer on “Abbey Road,” as well as Paul Simon, Stephen Stills and Joe Walsh (no Beatles had played together before the tour).
The story opens with the following voice-over — it actually reads like film script: “In 1964, the four men from Liverpool were on the verge of breaking the mould. Let it be known that these are not your average Liverpudlians. This will be in sharp contrast to Beatlemania, the general hysteria that was building around them. To everyone who thought that what these young boys were doing was silly or foolish or just plain wrong, we say that they are no longer kidding.”
Executive producer David Holmes had also created “The Beatles: The Director’s Cut,” a four-disc deluxe edition that compiled more than 10 hours of previously unreleased recordings and features the final performance of John Lennon at the “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964.
Weiner argues “the new compilation of footage … is testament to the limitations of that generation, and specifically (Paul) McCartney — who, despite his tiny frame and energy, is the least approachable of the four Beatles.”