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Sunday, 31 January 2016

The Beatles and WW II

The soundtrack album, 1976.
All This and World War II is a strange 1976 musical documentary which juxtaposed Beatles songs, performed by a number of contemporary seventies artists, with World War II newsreel footage and 20th Century Fox films from the 1940s. It lasted two weeks in cinemas and was quickly sent into storage. The film has never been officially released on home video or DVD, but bootleg copies of the film are available from several collector-to-collector resources. A fairly high quality transfer is also available as an unofficial DVD release.

The Beatles World War II is the new title of the reedited film.
Now it's being readied for an official DVD release in May, but in edited form and with a new title, "The Beatles World War II". The new edit by Tony Palmer means it's not quite the same film - as great chunks of it is re-edited, but he has used much of the same material, and of course many of the same songs. This is the new song selection:

1. Greensleeves – arr. Vaughan Williams – 2:00
2. The Fool on the Hill – Helen Reddy – 3:37
3. Yesterday – David Essex – 2:44
4. The Long and Winding Road" – Leo Sayer – 4:47
5. I Am the Walrus – Leo Sayer – 3:49
6. Come Together – Tina Turner – 4:08
7. Shostakovich 11th Symphony – 3:00
8. Maxwell's Silver Hammer – Frankie Laine – 3:27
9. She's Leaving Home – Bryan Ferry – 3:07
10. Let It Be – Leo Sayer – 3:43
11. Getting Better – Status Quo – 2:19
12. Help! – Henry Gross – 3:07
13. Nowhere Man – Jeff Lynne – 3:56
14. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – Elton John – 6:15
15. With a Little Help from My Friends – Jeff Lynne – 3:00
16. Strawberry Fields Forever – Peter Gabriel – 2:30
17. Get Back – Rod Stewart – 4:24
18. A Day in the Life – Frankie Valli – 4:04
19. Shostakovich 11th Symphony – 3:00
20. Michelle – Richard Cocciante – 4:00
21. The Long and Winding Road" – Leo Sayer – 4:47
22. When I'm Sixty-Four – Keith Moon – 2:36
23. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight – The Bee Gees – 3:17
24. Hey Jude – The Brothers Johnson – 4:58
25. Shostakovich 4th Symphony – 4:00
26. Fool on the Hill – John Williams – 3:00

The original intention of the filmmakers was to use actual Beatles music in the film. The decision to use other artists covering Beatles music was made by the film's producers after they realised additional money could be made through a soundtrack album. The decision was a sound one, as the soundtrack actually generated more revenue than the film. The vinyl (and cassette) soundtrack album was released in November 1976, and as a limited CD release in 2007. It was re-released on CD last year, still as a limited edition release.

2015 CD re-release

Further reading:


Jeff Hitz said...

No Roy Wood???!!!

Unknown said...

No Ambrosia, either...


I have unreleased Beatles live recording 15 records anyone interested contact me ASAP

wogew said...

Here's a new interview with Tony Palmer about this release.