"The Beatles on Record" is a decent documentary about the Beatles' evolution as musicians, by taking their various albums and discussing them. Besides footage of old interviews and performance clips, there is also narration by George Martin, and the fab four themselves -- taken from archival interviews but nevertheless effective. There are also never-before-heard outtakes of studio chat from the band's first recording sessions at the Abbey Road studios.
The music evolved along with the Beatles themselves, who started out as a young, clean cut group who enjoyed their stardom to men who had experimented with drugs and Indian philosophy, each ready to go his own way. Live performing became impossible for them because they couldn't even hear one another, so recording became their venue. From the pedantic, teenage "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" to the sophistication of the second side of the Abbey Road album, the Beatles became great artists, and, separately and together, left a great legacy. After all those years of working together - dating back to way before the Beatles - it's sad to think of Lennon's diatribe against Paul in "How Do You Sleep?" It certainly was a remarkable partnership while it lasted - the Beatles seemed to be always together, even sharing hotel rooms, and George commented that the songs he wrote and recorded were welcomed, not merely tolerated by the group. They were that tight. For a fad, they sure made their mark.
One very funny aside - when they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, the comics Mitzi McCall and Charlie Brill were on the show. The Coke machine was in their dressing room, so John came in to get a Coke, sat down, and while talking with Charlie Brill, he drew a picture, signed it, and left it with Brill. Brill looked at it and said, what an egomaniac, and threw it out. I'm sure whenever Brill hears the name "The Beatles" today, he remembers that very valuable waste basket.
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