Thursday, 2 January 2014

Let It Be release petition

Photo: Ethan Russell
There are many things to come from the Beatles in 2014. It starts off with the US Albums boxed set on January 20th, and we also anticipates a "1"-themed DVD of the promo clips in October. What we have been told, however, is that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and that a virtual avalanche of Beatles releases are headed our way this year.

LET IT BE

One of the most wanted releases, and a pet subject of this blog, is that elusive last Beatles film, Let It Be. It was available on video cassettes in several countries in the early eighties, and also on laser disc in USA, but was never on an official DVD. The last couple of years also saw the Beatles complete the releases of their films on Blu-ray, all except "Let It Be".

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT

From a tweet by Giles Martin in December, one could also make an educated guess that the Beatles finally have managed to get back the rights to release their first film, "A Hard Day's Night". Previously available on Blu-ray from Alliance Films, the release was marred by the fact that only the mono soundtrack was available to exploit, the copyright for the stereo versions of the songs was still held by the Beatles themselves. The picture itself was also badly framed. If the Beatles now hold the rights to the film itself, or if a collaboration has been set up, a new and better version, incorporating the full image along with selectable audio tracks including a stereo option is a possibility. And with Giles Martin involved, at least the audio portion would be in good hands.
That leaves us with Let It Be.

INDICATIONS

As previously reported, in October 2011, "Let It Be" director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who was then making the rounds to promote his autobiography "Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York, and Points Beyond" spoke about the film in an interview with radio station WNYC-FM: "We have been been working on it pretty much every year for the last couple of years. And the plan is, at the moment, to have it come out, I think, in 2013," Lindsay-Hogg said. He says that second disc will be filled with the film's outtakes. "When we first put 'Let It Be' out, I had to cut out a lot of stuff that I really like and wanted to stay in there. The stuff in the new DVD has a lot of the stuff that had to be cut out. So for me, it's like the egg is now complete."

Of course, we didn't see the project come to fruition in 2013, although the Beatles new record company liaison, Universal Music did release "Help!" on Blu-ray in June, 2013.

Also in 2013, the 2003-album "Let It Be...Naked" was made available on iTunes for the first time, and along with the album, two film clips were available for purchase, "Get Back" and "Don't Let Me Down". Also, a digital version of the Get Back book, originally part of the Let It Be boxed set in 1970, was part of the iTunes album download.

At the Paul McCartney concert at the Royal Albert Hall in March 2012, Richard Porter (London Beatles walk tour guide) learned from what he describes as a very reliable source that the film is now scheduled for release in 2014.

PETITION

An online petition has been set up for the re-release of Let It Be. You can find and sign it on ipetitions.com
There's also (as ever) a Facebook group for the petition. You will find that here.

11 comments:

Joe Dee said...

I'm very interested in an Apple authorized HDN blu ray. I never bought the blu ray released a few years ago because it seemed like too much of a third party product and it was so expensive for basically the same contents as the dvd. Hopefully this time along with the remastered audio and visual they can include commentary from Dick Lester and Paul and/or Ringo. As for Let It Be, this really should have been released years ago. There is no reason why it should take this long, unless they are remastering every single bit of footage filmed and recorded and plan on releasing that (which of course they aren't and won't). This one too, when it finally, inevitably comes out, should include commentary from Lindsey-Hogg and a member of the band, as well as an abundance of special features. If they waited this long and skimp on the bonus material it would feel a bit of a cheat to me. It should also be packaged with the book that came with the original deluxe vinyl release as well as a further comprehensive detailed booklet/liner notes. Having said that, with the release of the U.S. albums, possible HDN blu ray and rumored film clips set, It seem's to me this years releases will be dominated by the early Beatles era to coincide with anniversaries and what not, therefore I think we will get a Shea dvd sometime next year. Unless Apple/Universal simply don't care about flooding the market with Beatles product (as opposed to Apple under EMI/Aspinall, and which they evidently don't seem to mind too much based on the last few months) then a seemingly random release of LIB wouldn't be too much of a surprise. The Help and MMT blu ray releases and most notably BBC vol 2 seemed to have come out of nowhere unexpectedly with no rhyme or reason so LIB, while I wouldn't bet any money on showing up this year, I can totally see happening.... sorry for the rambling....anyway, bring it on Apple!

EricTheDerek said...

I'm no film expert, but it seems to me (and many others, based on the comments) that Criterion is teasing a Beatles release in 2014 in the little cartoon they posted on Facebook the other day. Let It Be, perhaps? That makes sense, given what we know and have already. It seems like a perfect release for them, given that they're known for having extensive bonus features and whatnot.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153738908850565&set=a.267108010564.311536.24856820564&type=1&theater

Brian Fried said...

If Criterion is teasing a Beatles film, it will be a film that is important to cinematic history — which is most likely going to mean the reissue of A Hard Day's Night, complete with essay by some film historian over its role in the development of the rock musical.

Personally, I think LIB will be delayed.

2014's releases will be the American LPs on CD, the Grammy tribute (summer DVD) and the 1964 bootleg series digital release. Then throw in the Criterion bluray edition of A Hard Day's Night and the year is full.

2015 will bring an anniversary of Shea, and most likely a live collection that utilizes the rest of the 1965 live performances.

So that delayed LIB until 2016 or beyond — most like 2019, as 2016 they can use the Candlestick show and videos, or the EP/singles collection using the 2009 masters, 2017 they can do the videos (in anniversary of those non-performance ones), 2018 the Esher demos, and 2019 will be the copyright on extra footage from the movie coming to elapsing time.

CrackinThunder said...

Let It Be warrants a box edition, just like the album was with a reprint of the original booklet, the vinyl record, double DVD with both 4:3 and 16:9 versions with outtakes. The DVD should have the original unedited rooftop concert(no overdubs) and the movie version. The concert should also have multicamera versions without the street scenes and cops coming in the front door so we get the full uninterrupted concert.

Roger Stormo said...

Mike Portnoy met Paul McCartney in June 2013: "I asked him what the hell is going on w Let It Be on video/DVD/Blu-ray
And we talked about that for a few minutes...he said there's been technical and legal reasons its been tied up all these years (didn't go into details), but that it is indeed happening and finally in the pipeline for a release soon..and told me about all of the incredible hours and hours of unused footage there is (and I told him most of us hardcore fans know about and have it!) But it was pretty surreal to talk about it directly with him and hear it from the horse's mouth!! "

dave9199 said...

Is there any more news on the expanded U.S. version of the book All Those Years Ago getting a release?

Brian Fried said...

While I applaud the words coming out of Paul's mouth, keep in mind that he also talked about Rude Studio being a collection of unreleased tracks/box set for years and nothing ever came of that. Paul is great at acknowledging fan interest — he's not that great at responding to it, and it doesn't really help that he's following Elvis Costello's advice of "It's bootlegged, so you don't have to release it" on some of the material.

shekespeare said...

Speaking of future developments, please can someone tell me what happened with the release of The Beatles Mono Box Set Vinyl?

torp it to full forward said...

I am a bit sick and tired of the games Apple play with the people that enjoy The Beatles's music. It is a cynical exercise which sees Apple release one Beatle project each year -usually just before Christmas.

The Let It Be DVD with additional footage should be the first thing released -not the 16th thing released after 23 editions of BBC tapes, or after Beatles American albums etc...mono box set etc. Going by the rate of release I think Let It Be will be released in about 2020..after box sets,etc. I have no faith in them doing the right thing.

Roger Stormo said...

shekespear: See previous post.

shekespeare said...

Thanks Roger, I'll be waiting for the vinyl Mono Box!