It is not until the second rendition of Don’t Let Me Down, an underappreciated B-Side masterclass of The Beatles’ back catalogue, that Get Back (Rooftop Performance) comes into its own. That realisation is toward the end of the album, and it makes for an enchanting second listen, once all the background chatter and bandmate banter is exposed that much better. More than just a tie into The Beatles: Get Back, and thankfully so. Not quite the nine hours of content Peter Jackson provided with his three-part Disney+ miniseries, but a remastering of mistake-riddled songs that have become endearing because it marked the final live performance of The Fab Four.
Nothing quite like The Beatles coming together to sacrifice themselves to an Eastern European cult. Naturally, Ringo Starr is the man offered up to the Gods and Kings these people worship. Trying to capitalise on that A Hard Day’s Night success once again, Help! is a flop offering from The Fab Four. A collection of music videos with a bit of story connecting them all together. There goes the heart, soul and charm of this influential band. Not quite, but close enough. Reinventing the wheel is not possible. They cannot go out and capture the charm of A Hard Day’s Night because their music has moved on and so too have they. Their acting hasn’t improved, that is reassuring.
Where Let it Be would never be enough of a documentary to capture the rise and fall of The Beatles, at least it was not a bewildering eight hours in length. The Beatles: Get Back is. The latest feature turned miniseries from Disney+ sees Peter Jackson tackle 60 hours worth of footage and cram it down into a digestible time for those hoping to understand the fractured, confusing end of Beatlemania. Here, it is up to Jackson and the men at the heart of his footage to figure out that. The Beatles: Get Back has plenty of time to figure it out. Beautifully lit and intimate it may be, the framing and camera angles provide delicate close-ups of four men at the end of their tether. Not with each other, but with the fame, the fortune, and the glory of being so talented.
Few musicians have given it their absolute all to music. Regardless of how you feel about John Lennon and The Beatles, you can’t underestimate how influential his work has been for so many. If it weren’t for him, then we wouldn’t have Oasis, which, actually, would’ve made the world a better place. In his only feature documentary, director Andrew Solt pieces Imagine: John Lennon together through hundreds of hours of interview footage, homemade content, and concert footage. His aim of giving a profile to one of the great beacons of rock music is an admirable effort, and a huge undertaking for any director.
For some time, my favourite album from The Beatles was Magical Mystery Tour. Once my taste had improved, however, I realised that I was absolutely correct and that The Fab Four’s greatest efforts regarding their LSD-laden album was indeed the album that featured their greatest song, Strawberry Fields Forever. That’s a handful of bold statements to make in two sentences, but I stand by it. Looking to melt my mind a little more after a long day, I popped Magical Mystery Tour on, the movie tie-in to their 1967 album masterclass. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, although the visual and philosophical style of the album would surely seep into the fabric of this Bernard Knowles and Beatles directed film.
Everyone has their favourite Beatles album. Most would say Revolver, a few outliers might say Abbey Road, and unconventional idiots like me would say Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band or Magical Mystery Tour. Finding myself more and more inundated with the acid trip era of The Beatles, I’ll admit that right now, their best album is Magical Mystery Tour.Already I can tell people are going to judge me for that, but hear me out. It’s not only the most tonally consistent album The Beatles ever released but also an album that perfectly encapsulates the era of its release. A whole time period condensed into one album.