Music Video Commentary: 1+ – The Beatles

A Very Merry Beatles Christmas, everyone!  As if all the music streaming yesterday wasn’t enough of a present!

Now, I have always been a Beatles fan, via my mother who was alive for the actual British Invasion.  I don’t know everything about them, and I used to be more actively involved, but the Beatles will always be on a musical pedestal that can never be knocked down.  I’m sure many of you understand the feeling.  I’ve read biographies, I’ve watched the live action movies, even an episode of their cartoon–not to be confused with “Yellow Submarine”, which I haven’t watched.  This one:

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Beatles to the rescue indeed.  After all this, I’m tempted to read another biography (I’m trying to read 10 new books in 2016!  I can do it!).  One of my presents this year was the Beatles 1+ music video collection, and I can sing along to the first Bluray of songs, although I haven’t watched many of the music videos in full.  So I’m having a very fun time of it.  Like, who knew there were hula dancers in “Hello, Goodbye”?

There is a striking  visual difference when the videos turn to color after the B&W.  I don’t know if it’s because of the camera used that had color capabilities, but the images are much more clear.  Of course, by today’s standards, the music videos are not generally exciting.  There is no complicated storyline or choreography (in most, there have been some exceptions like Yellow Submarine, Eleanor Rigby, and Penny Lane).  It’s four men with their instruments either playing or faux-playing their songs.  And it’s delightful.  It may be nostalgia goggles (I’m sure it is, for some of it), but it feels clean.  This is what music should be about: not flashy graphics and high production values, but good singers/songwriters/musicians just doing what they do.  Don’t expect any more or any less.

But it’s still entertaining to see those moments of personality on the screen.  And it’s still hard to separate their music from their lives and not take the persona for the person.  I generally don’t pay a lick of attention to celebrity gossip and celebrity culture, but there are a few times I fall prey to that psychology, and the Beatles is one of those places.  I admit, okay, “Something” made me cry a little.  “Hey, Jude” and “Let it Be” almost always make me cry.  But there are the fun moments, too.  Especially in the early videos, John had that manic drive to dance around and make ridiculous faces.  Ringo was riding an exercise bike in one.  I particularly like the one for “I Feel Fine” where they’re eating and not even pretending to sing except for once or twice.  Paul and George try to be the most serious, but it doesn’t always work.  See here captured very well in the movie “Help”:

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I truly and absolutely love these men.  For the 1+ collection, it has been a fun journey.  My biggest complaint has been with “Come Together,” and by extension if people computer generate some weird video for any of the others.  If the Beatles didn’t make a music video, just put stock footage and photographs together.  That video just looked weird.  Sorry, Melon.

Thank you, Beatles.  Here’s to your music.

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Tracklist from wikipedia:

CD/First DVD
  1. “Love Me Do” – 2:21
    • Released in the UK on 5 October 1962, and in the U.S. on 27 April 1964. Reached No. 1 in the U.S. for one week on 30 May 1964. This is the version released in the U.S. with Ringo Starr on tambourine and session musician Andy White on drums. First included on Introducing… The Beatles (1964) and Please Please Me (1963), depending on the territory.
  2. “From Me to You” – 1:55
    • Released in the UK on 11 April 1963, and in the U.S. on 27 May. Reached No. 1 in the UK for seven weeks on 2 May 1963. First included on The Beatles/1962-1966 (1973) and A Collection of Beatles Oldies (1966), depending on the territory.
    • The DVD track is from the Royal Variety performance of 4 November 1963.
  3. “She Loves You” – 2:21
    • Released in the UK on 23 August 1963, and in the U.S. on 16 September. Reached No. 1 in the UK for four weeks on 14 September 1963, then again for two weeks on 28 November. Reached No. 1 in the U.S. for two weeks on 21 March 1964. First included on The Beatles’ Second Album (1964) and A Collection of Beatles Oldies (1966), depending on the territory.
    • The DVD track is from the Swedish television pop music show Drop In, recorded 30 October 1963, aired 3 November.
  4. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” – 2:24
    • Released in the UK on 29 November 1963, and in the U.S. on 26 December. Reached No. 1 in the UK for five weeks on 21 December, and for another week on 16 May 1964. Reached No. 1 in the U.S. for seven weeks on 1 February 1964. First included on Meet the Beatles! (1964) and A Collection of Beatles Oldies (1966), depending on the territory.
  5. “Can’t Buy Me Love” – 2:11
    • Released in the U.S. on 16 March 1964, and in the UK on 20 March. Reached No. 1 in the UK for three weeks on 2 April 1964, and in the U.S. for five weeks on 4 April. First included on respective territorial versions of A Hard Day’s Night (1964).
    • The DVD track is from the Beatles’ television special Around the Beatles, music recorded on 19 April 1964, performed lip-synched on 28 April, and aired on Rediffusion 6 May.
  6. “A Hard Day’s Night” – 2:33
    • Released in the UK on 10 July 1964, and in the U.S. on 13 July. Reached No. 1 in the UK for three weeks on 23 July 1964, and in the U.S. for two weeks on 1 August. First included on respective territorial versions of A Hard Day’s Night (1964).
    • The DVD track is from the Palais des Sports, Paris, France, 20 June 1965.
  7. “I Feel Fine” – 2:18
    • Released in the U.S. on 23 November 1964, and in the UK on 27 November. Reached No. 1 in the UK for five weeks on 10 December 1964, and in the U.S. for three weeks on 26 December. First included on Beatles ’65 (1964) and A Collection of Beatles Oldies (1966), depending on the territory.
  8. “Eight Days a Week” – 2:43
    • Released in the U.S. on 15 February 1965, where it reached No. 1 for two weeks on 13 March. First included on Beatles VI (1965) and Beatles for Sale (1964), depending on the territory.
  9. “Ticket to Ride” – 3:08
    • Released in the UK on 9 April 1965, and in the U.S. on 19 April. Reached No. 1 in the UK for three weeks on 22 April 1965, and in the U.S. for one week on 22 May. First included on respective territorial versions of Help! (1965).
  10. “Help!” – 2:18
    • Released in the U.S. on 19 July 1965, and in the UK on 23 July. Reached No. 1 in the UK for three weeks on 5 August 1965, and in the U.S. for three weeks on 4 September. First included on respective territorial versions of Help! (1965).
  11. “Yesterday” – 2:05
    • Released in the U.S. on 13 September 1965, where it reached No. 1 for four weeks on 9 October. First included on Help! (1965) and Yesterday and Today (1966), depending on the territory.
    • The DVD track is from The Ed Sullivan Show, recorded 14 August 1965, aired 12 September. The double-DVD-edition book erroneously cites this programme as the first episode of Ed Sullivan’s fall season, repeating an earlier mistake by Mark Lewisohn. The fall season premiere actually occurred the following week.
  12. “Day Tripper” – 2:48
    • Released in the UK on 3 December 1965, and in the U.S. on 6 December. Reached No. 1 in the UK for five weeks on 16 December 1965. A tape drop-out that appears in previous stereo releases of this song has been corrected here. First included on the 1966 albums Yesterday and Today and A Collection of Beatles Oldies, depending on the territory.
  13. “We Can Work It Out” – 2:15
    • Released in the UK on 3 December 1965, and in the U.S. on 6 December. Reached No. 1 in the UK for five weeks on 16 December 1965, and in the U.S. for two weeks on 8 January 1966, and for another week on 29 January. First included on the 1966 albums Yesterday and Today and A Collection of Beatles Oldies, depending on the territory.
  14. “Paperback Writer” – 2:16
    • Released in the U.S. on 30 May 1966, and in the UK on 10 June. Reached No. 1 in the UK for two weeks on 23 June 1966, and in the U.S. for one week on 25 June, and for another week on 9 July. First included on A Collection of Beatles Oldies (1966) and Hey Jude (1970), depending on the territory.
  15. “Yellow Submarine” – 2:37
    • Released in the UK on 5 August 1966, and in the U.S. on 8 August. Reached No. 1 in the UK for four weeks on 18 August 1966. First included on respective territorial versions of Revolver (1966).
  16. “Eleanor Rigby” – 2:06
    • Released in the UK on 5 August 1966, and in the U.S. on 8 August. Reached No. 1 in the UK for four weeks on 18 August 1966, as part of a double-A-sided single with “Yellow Submarine”. First included on respective territorial versions of Revolver (1966).
  17. “Penny Lane” – 3:00
    • Released in the U.S. on 13 February 1967, and in the UK on 17 February. Reached No. 1 in the U.S. for one week on 18 March 1967. First included on Magical Mystery Tour (1967).
  18. “All You Need Is Love” – 3:46
    • Released in the UK on 7 July 1967, and in the U.S. on 17 July. Reached No. 1 in the UK for three weeks on 19 July 1967, and in the U.S. for one week on 19 August. First included on Magical Mystery Tour (1967).
  19. “Hello, Goodbye” – 3:26
    • Released in the UK on 24 November 1967, and in the U.S. on 27 November. Reached No. 1 in the UK for seven weeks on 6 December 1967, and in the U.S. for three weeks on 30 December. First included on Magical Mystery Tour (1967).
  20. “Lady Madonna” – 2:15
    • Released in the UK on 15 March 1968, and in the U.S. on 18 March. Reached No. 1 in the UK for two weeks on 27 March 1968. First included on Hey Jude (1970).
  21. “Hey Jude” – 7:03
    • Released in the U.S. on 26 August 1968, and in the UK on 30 August. Reached No. 1 in the UK for two weeks on 11 September 1968, and in the U.S. for a record nine weeks on 28 September. First included on Hey Jude (1970).
    • The DVD track is a promotional recording made on 4 September 1968, with live vocal from Paul.
  22. “Get Back” – 3:12
    • Released in the UK on 11 April 1969, and in the U.S. on 5 May. Reached No. 1 in the UK for six weeks on 23 April 1969, and in the U.S. for five weeks on 24 May. While a different version was included on Let It Be (1970), this version was first included on The Beatles/1967-1970 (1973).
  23. “The Ballad of John and Yoko” – 2:57
    • Released in the UK on 30 May 1969, and in the U.S. on 4 June. Reached No. 1 in the UK for three weeks on 11 June 1969. First included on Hey Jude (1970).
  24. “Something” – 3:01
    • Released in the U.S. on 6 October 1969, and in the UK on 31 October. Reached No. 1 in the U.S. for one week on 29 November 1969. First included on Abbey Road (1969).
  25. “Come Together” – 4:16
    • Released in the U.S. on 6 October 1969, and in the UK on 31 October. As the B-side of a double-A-sided single with “Something”, it reached No. 1 in the U.S. for one week on 29 November 1969. First included on Abbey Road (1969).
  26. “Let It Be” – 3:48
    • Released in the UK on 6 March 1970, and in the U.S. on 11 March. Reached No. 1 in the U.S. for two weeks on 11 April 1970. While a different version was included on Let It Be (1970), this version was first included on The Beatles/1967-1970 (1973).
  27. “The Long and Winding Road” – 3:36
    • Released in the U.S. on 11 May 1970, where it reached No. 1 for two weeks on 13 June. First included on Let It Be (1970).
    • The DVD track is from the film Let It Be, recorded 31 January 1969.
Second DVD in 1+
  1. “Twist and Shout” (Bert Berns/Phil Medley)
  2. “Baby It’s You” (Burt Bacharach/Mack David/Barney Williams) from episode 2 of the BBC radio series Pop Go the Beatles, recorded 1 June 1963, aired 11 June
  3. “Words of Love” (Buddy Holly) from episode 10 of Pop Go the Beatles, recorded 16 July 1963, aired 20 August, with sounds effects added in video production
  4. “Please Please Me” from The Ed Sullivan Show, recorded 9 February 1964, aired 23 February
  5. “I Feel Fine” alternate promotional film
  6. “Day Tripper”, lip-synching filmed for the television special The Music of Lennon and McCartney, aired 16 December 1965 in London, 17 December in the rest of Britain
  7. “Day Tripper” alternate promotional film
  8. “We Can Work It Out” alternate promotional film
  9. “Paperback Writer” alternate promotional film
  10. “Rain”
  11. “Rain” alternate promotional film
  12. “Strawberry Fields Forever”
  13. “Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows” mash-up from the album Love
  14. “A Day in the Life”
  15. “Hello, Goodbye” alternate promotional film
  16. “Hello, Goodbye” third version promotional film
  17. “Hey Bulldog”
  18. “Hey Jude” alternate promotional recording made on 4 September 1968, with live vocal from Paul
  19. “Revolution” promotional recording made on 4 September 1968, with live vocals
  20. “Get Back” from the album Let It Be… Naked
  21. “Don’t Let Me Down” from the album Let It Be… Naked, an edit of two of the Apple headquarters rooftop performances of 30 January 1969
  22. “Free as a Bird” (Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey)
  23. “Real Love” (Lennon)
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