The “Abbey Road Video Show” may be one of the biggest and best Beatle smuggles that had happened since the cache of ‘Let It Be’ reels fell out of the back door in 1971 and circulated around for many years hence.
Rather than retell the full story, I’m linking here to the Daily Beatle
site where Roger details the full experience as how he saw it. The page also makes mention of a HMC production from 2015 – A new production that this set looks to emulate – that seems to be a straight copy from the John Barrett tapes. The story of how it was all originally released is on the Daily Beatle site, previous releases of this set were best found on CDs like “Abbey Road Video Show” (Strawberry STR 020) where the outtakes appeared in astounding quality, the Roger Scott commentary snipped and trimmed away for ease of putting these on a single CD.
What Goldies have done is essentially release this again with a few additional, longer outtakes and remake the CD so it fills up the space – essentially making a 72 minute CD, a 79 minute CD. And one that’s in press after 23 years, too. All the (un)usual outtakes are here from ‘How Do You Do It?’ (Longer on this release), the early versions of ‘One After 909’ (Longer on this release), outtakes of the first Harrison, ‘Don’t Bother Me’ (Longer on this release), ‘Leave My Kitten Alone’(Again ..), takes one of ’She’s A Woman’ and ’Norwegian Wood’, ‘Rain’, three various takes of ’Strawberry Fields Forever’, ‘A Day In The Life’, ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Because’ to name a few.
Other tracks that have had their longer variations tracked in are; ‘Help’, ’Norwegian Wood’ and ‘I’m Looking Through You’. ‘No.9 Dream’ has been reinstated to the end of the compilation as it was in the documentary – This is just the CV however and sounds like it’s from an old record.
The DVD features a refresher on the video that you might have seen in HMC’s set, ’The Beatles At Abbey Road -1983’, though, while it starts in the right way, features much different footage. Most of this is trimmed from Pathe news reels showing the Beatles at the time, some of it unsynched to the music that the Beatles are playing, the usual video clips from “1”, it also fades out between the announcement links making this selection less documentary, more video album naggingly , there’s the usual smattering of AI colour influenced segments (While these are getting better, it’s like they’ve ever seen a Peter Jackson / Wingnut production and some of them look crass and over coloured to my eyes). The “floating cut out”’ technology (My term for the studio shots that float around that make the Fabs look like cardboard maquetes in the studio) that’s used on, for instance, the ‘One After 909’ segment is too new for the technology of 1983. The effort that is made to make this video film look modern and refurbished takes us out of the time frame of the film. This twinned with the rather choppy elements of taking away from the flow of the film put me off a little and I ended up doing other things around the house while I listened to the TV without taking in the visuals, mainly confident that, after all this, I wasn’t missing much at all.
Interestingly enough, the alternate videos at the end of the DVD are closer to the ones on the HMC disk and appear to be of better quality sometimes. An odd process but more fitting with the video show. I enjoyed watching the promo for ‘Love Me Do’ the day after the 60th anniversary. This finishes to Roger Scott detailing the Beatles early career. The alternate SFF looks like an odd late 70’s abbomination mixed with the outtakes from the shoot. Surprisingly enough, this breaks through to Roger Scott’s narration too meaning that this was also taken from the presentation originally.
‘Bravermans Condensed cream of Beatles’ was, as described by Archive.org: “Filmmaker Charles Braverman made a Beatles Collage in the mid-1970’s called “Braverman’s Condensed Cream of Beatles. The film was distributed as an educational resource as indicated by a review from the English Journal in May of 1974. However, it was shown on network television at least once on the late night magazine show “Goodnight America” hosted by Geraldo Rivera.” It has been uploaded to the internet and this is obviously the source. I might regret saying that this might be the most interesting thing about the set as an historical artefact but buried away only to be copied on to a silver DVD, this amusing little collage kept me rapt for 7 or so minutes.
Again, one of the expanded Goldies releases that either hits the mark or misses the point, whichever way you look at at. I’m the proud owner of the original Strawberry disk (plus a few of the other Barrett dubs), and I think what was wrong with that? It was from the original sources, didn’t need any other explanatory extension, the other tracks that wouldn’t have been on THAT set wouldn’t have needed drafting over to this really. Sure, it’s nice, it adds a little more detail to it’s tracklisting than the Strawberry one did (Though the age of the internet broadened that out) but, apart from the Braverman segment, I’m not sure I’ll be pulling out to see again.