The Undiscovered Beatles Vol. 1: A Collection Of The Beatles Film Archives (Master Of Beatles Essentials MBE2007SPV02)
ITN News London Palladium (TV Interview in London UK October 13th, 1963 (dressing room interview)), She Loves You (Swedish TV, Sweden October 30th, 1963 (“Drop In”, alternate source)), She Loves You (“The Royal Variety Performance” London, England, November 4th, 1963 (no time code and remastered)), CBS News – “Beatleland” (CBS TV November 16th, 1963 (rebroadast 2001)), I Want To Hold Your Hand (“Morecambe & Wise” TV Show UK, December 2nd, 1963 (no time code and remastered)), Twist And Shout (ITN News live At Olympia Theatre Paris France January 16th, 1964), Jimmy Nicol rehearsal (Abbey Road Studio, London UK June 3rd 1964), She Loves You (live At Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia June 14th, 1964 (new source)), Hollywood Backstage newsreels (AMC rebroadcast (opening / press conference / Cinnamon Cinder press conference / Twist And Shout / You Can’t Do That / All My Loving /”Hollywood Bowl Concert Report August 23rd, 1964)), medley : Twist And Shout / You Can’t Do That / All My Loving / Things We Said Today / Roll Over Beethoven (live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver August 26th, 1964), She Loves You (live at Cincinnati Gardens, Cincinnati, OH – August 27th, 1964), Philadelphia press conference, Opening / Twist And Shout, You Can’t Do That, All My Loving, She Loves You (live at Convention Hall, Philadelphia September 2nd, 1964), If I Fell (live at Indiana State Fair Coliseum, Indianapolis September 3rd, 1964), BBC News (interviews at ABC Cinema, Plymouth, England – October 29th, 1964), medley: Twist And Shout / She’s A Woman / I Feel Fine / Ticket To Ride / A Hard Day’s Night / Help! / I’m Down (live at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, ON, Canada – August 17th, 1965), medley: She’s A Woman / Day Tripper / I Feel Fine / She’s A Woman (live at Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan – June 30th & July 1st, 1966 (8mm color films)), Rock And Roll Music / Baby’s In Black / Long Tall Sally (live at Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, TN – August 19th, 1966), “The Unseen Beatles” commercial
The Undiscovered Beatles Vol. 1 is a collection of various documents spread throughout The Beatles’ live career. Pressed on silver DVD by the Master Of Beatles Essentials label (one of two major Beatles labels out of the Far East), this seventy-six minute long production presents many new films that have surfaced of late and some which are an improvement over what is currently circulating. The tracks are arranged in chronological order beginning in 1963 and running through their last tour in 1966.
The disc is in NTSC no-region format to be playable on all DVD players. The picture preserves the 4:3 ratio for television and is non-anamorphic, but most of these sources come from television broadcasts.
The first clip is from the “Val Parnell’s Sunday Night At The London Palladium,” an hour long variety show that ran on the BBC between 1955-1967 . The Beatles appeared on the show on Sunday, October 13th and played four songs, “From Me To You,” “I’ll Get You,” “She Loves You,” and “Twist And Shout.” The forty five second clip presented here is only a short interview conducted with the group where Parnell asks them about their screaming fans and if they’ve ever been in danger (“Yes, but only in a big mob” George replies). The video quality is slightly scratchy and the soundtrack is thin, but it is clear and an interesting look at an early television appearance.
The second track is “She Loves You” from the Swedish television variety show “Drop In.” This was taped on the final day of their first tour of Sweden at the Arena Theater at Gröna Lund on October 30th and was broadcasted on November 4th. It made sporadic appearances on television until 1996 when Apple obtained the rights.
The Beatles were scheduled to play only “She Loves You” and “Twist And Shout.” They were persuaded by the mc Klas Burling two play two more songs, “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Long Tall Sally” before they joined in on the “Drop In” theme with the audience and the Swedish group The Telstars. Unfortunately the first song only is present on this disc. It has the time counter in the upper left hand corner but the picture quality is very clear and enjoyable.
The third clip comes from their appearance on “The Royal Variety Performance.” This was taped at the Prince Of Wales Theater in London on November 4th and aired on November 13th, 1963. They played four songs, “From Me To You,” “She Loves You,” “Till There Was You,” and “Twist And Shout.” An eleven minute tape with all four songs exists but with the time counter in the upper part of the screen. MBE have only one song, “She Loves You” in mostly clear quality but with a bit of fuzziness in the top half of the screen but without the time counter.
Following this is a news report lasting several minutes long called “Beatleland.” This is a news report on CBS television in New York with Alexander Kendrick reporting. A short clip aired on “The CBS Morning News” on November 22nd, 1963.
The full report was scheduled to air that evening on “The CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite,” but at 1:40 pm that day all scheduling was cancelled to cover the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The tape on this DVD comes from a 2001 retrospective on CBS and is in very good quality with the CBS “eye” logo in the bottom right hand corner, and is the first American television mention of Beatlemania. The broadcast begins with a snippet of the band playing “She Loves You” and cuts to Kendrick sitting in a room with workers sending out fan letters for the band.
“Beatleland,” the new name for England, is undergoing the epidemic of Beatlemania. This is followed by more clips of the band playing in Bournemouth and screaming girls before a short interview with the band speaking about their hair, the “Mersey Sound,” and whether they fear that their popularity will diminish in the future.
The newscast finishes with Kendrick offering some analysis of the phenomena of Beatlemania, saying they are more than the latest object of teenage adulation and culturally the manifestation of compulsive tribal singing and dancing, but also “they are the authentic voice of the proletariat…the authentic voice of Britain in revolt against the American cult of pop singers represented by Elvis.”
Of course this newscast didn’t offer much in terms of debate and for the most part was obscured by the events of the day, but it inspired a fifteen year old girl named Marsha Albert of Silver Spring, Maryland to write a letter to WWDC DJ Carroll James asking him to play more songs by The Beatles, which prompted Capitol Records to push up the release date of their latest single “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and the rest is history.
This is followed by The Beatles’ appearance on “The Morecambe & Wise” television show, a sketch comedy show whose first incarnation on the BBC ran from 1962 to 1966. This appearance dates from December 2nd and was taped at Studio C, Elstree Studio Centre, Borehamwood. The Beatles performed “This Boy,” “All My Loving” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” but only the last is present. The picture is again very clear but the audio is a bit hissy.
The next clip comes from the Théâtre de l’Olympia, Paris on January 16th. It is very short, an excerpt of the band playing “Twist & Shout” and contains footage mostly of the audience screaming. It is in good quality with the time code in the lower part of the screen. Next is a very short, silent clip of Ringo’s replacement for the Australian tour Jimmy Nichol. Visible is Nichol sitting behind a drum kit as the rest of the band approach him and smile for the camera.
This is followed by “She Loves You” from the Festival Hall in Melbourne on June 14th, 1964. This comes from a new, very clear video tape which is curious for having no shots of Nichol playing at all.
The following clip is an original “Hollywood Star Newsreel” made in 1964 and featured also Ann Margret, David Janssen, Ken Murray, Jack Paar, Kim Novak, and Billy Wilder. MBE use a source taped off of a rebroadcast on “Hollywood Backstage” on the American Movie Classics cable station broadcast on June 15th, 1998. The footage consists of the two press conferences on August 18th, 1964 when The Beatles played their first show at the Hollywood Bowl.
The morning conference is held at LAX and is chaotic with the reporters asking the different musicians different questions at the same time. The rest of the broadcast has footage from the Cinnamon Cinder press conference later in the day, but with a voice over from the narrator. Both of these clips are in black and white and ends with the camera following the band’s limo to the venue. This is followed by another clip of the Cinnamon Cinder press conference from an 8mm color film. There is no audio and the voice over narration from the “Hollywood Star Newsreel” is used.
Following is a snippet from channel seven news of some girls speaking about how special The Beatles are before several minutes of professionally shot footage of the concert. Bob Eubanks introduces the band and is followed by impressive looking and sounding full versions of “Twist And Shout,” “You Can’t Do That,” and “All My Loving.”
The footage ends with the Beatles playing “She Loves You” with a newscaster speaking about how the police are keeping order and how much of a spectacle it all is. The following track is footage from the August 26th show at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, Colorado which appears on The Eye Of The Hurricane (PPDVD15-16).
It is a one camera film from right stage capturing very clear close ups of the band, audience, and press corps in excellent quality. It contains excerpts of “Twist And Shout,” “You Can’t Do That,” “All My Loving,” “Things We Said Today,” and “Roll Over Beethoven.” The quality suggests it was filmed by the venue or a local news organization.
The clip from the Cincinnati show on August 27th is from an amateur 8mm from the right stage in the audience. The quality is fair and the sound is poor with screaming girls obscuring the audio. It shows the band playing “She Loves You” before fading out and is a tantalizing glimpse into the show but is otherwise here for completeness.
The September 2nd Philadelphia segment is the same twenty-one minute track that appears on The Eye Of The Hurricane (PPDVD15-16) 2DVD set released by Picture Perfect last year. It has a forty-second interview of Lennon over scenes outside of Constitution Hall, the eight minute long press conference but with a radio interview on the soundtrack, and four songs from the show “Twist & Shout,” “You Can’t Do That,” “All My Loving,” and “She Loves You” followed by crowd scenes and chanting.
“If I Fell” from Indianapolis is a short excerpt of the song from the front of the stage in very clear quality and the following BBC news clip is a short news item about the surfacing of the October 29th, 1964 interview with the Beatles that had been lost for almost forty years. The Toronto track contains amateur 8mm clips of the show in poor quality. None of the songs are complete and a soundboard recording from the Philly show is synced with the footage.
This is followed by short clips from amateur 8mm color film from the two Budokan shows in very good quality. What is impressive about this footage is seeing how big the stage set up is for these important performances. The Memphis 1966 news clips are fragmented but in excellent quality with the time code at the bottom of the screen. The same footage appears on the Misterclaudel set Final Live Moment Of Their Career in similar quality.
MBE ends this title with a short commercial for “The Unseen Beatles” program on the Discovery/Times channel on cable. The Undiscovered Beatles Vol. 1 has good navigation on the menu and is overall a good summary of much of the footage that has been surfacing the past couple yearsIf you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)