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Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Beatles Revisited

Around The Beatles
With the advent of DVD recording, those of us who had amassed huge piles of VHS cassettes with Beatles material set about transferring our videos to the new format. Both the ones who had early or late generations of videos. Countless versions of Beatles footage in varying degrees of deterioration, depending on how far removed from the source the video tape was, circulate among DVD traders and as internet downloads. I'm talking about this because of a project, initiated by a collector and video and audio amateur editor, entitled "The Beatles Revisited" sets about to upgrade the DVD's currently circulating. This is being done by assembling the "best" available versions that are out there, releasing it as free downloads on the internet and inviting downloaders who have even better versions sitting on their shelves to send it to him. Then he'll substitute the material he has released with the upgraded material sent in, so that each time he sends out a new version, it'll be better than the previous one. Eventually, it will be as good as it's possible to get it.
His releases are always sent out for free, as it is a non-profit, "made by fans for fans" project which he is doing for the fun of it, for his own collection and for the enjoyment of all Beatles fans. So far, the following releases have been made available by him and his collaborators:

- "Around The Beatles"
- "The Empire Strikes Back" (CD and DVD from the "It's The Beatles" special at Liverpool Empire, plus the Morecambe and Wise show and the Royal Variety performnce)
- "The Early Beatles"/"The Music of Lennon/McCartney"
- "There Was Love All Around" (Footage from Holland 1964, a new reconstruction of the complete Melbourne concert at Festival Hall, and Munich 1966)
- "Unsurpassed Promos" (a collection of the Beatles' promotional films, resynched and generally improved)

The material which originates from PAL video is preserved in PAL on DVD also, and NTSC tapes are made into NTSC DVD's. Because of the demand from US collectors, he has also made available some of the PAL DVD's in NTSC, but the first release will be PAL, with a later optional NTSC release following. Upcoming NTSC releases are:

- A Palladium 63 slideshow, with upgraded and (as far as I know) unbooted audio
- A Palladium 64 slideshow
- My Melbourne recon - with stereo audio added (combining the radio broadcast and TV soundtrack)
- A reconstruction of the Scottish Roundup interview, using the recently aired footage,plus audio for the remainder
- A reconstruction of the alternate Some Other Guy clip, with the acetate audio synched up
- An It's The Beatles reconstruction, using some (again, as far as I know) unbooted video snippets from another collector
- A reconstruction of Big Night Out from Feb '64, using material from the film and video versions
- That 'I Should Have Know Better' Granada footage with the audio synched up properly
- That 'Ticket To Ride' snippet from Top Of the Pops with the negative effect fixed
- The Paris concert with remastered sound and in the correct order, and some aspect ratio adjustments
- Blackpool night Out from Aug '65 reconstructed from the best audio and video sources
- A reconstruction of the 'dark suits' Budokan concert, using the laserdisc and a different source which doesn't have the horrible double-imaging effects seen on the laserdisc.
- A pretty nice copy of the 'light suits' concert

Do you have superior quality material sitting on your shelf? Are you sitting on stuff that remains uncirculated on the collector's circuit? If you are intereted in contributing to the project, get in touch
As I've personally observed, fellow Beatles collectors will have died before The Beatles/Apple will release their material officially. The floodwave of releases we anticipated following the Beatles Anthology series never appeared. When asked if a release of the Beatles promotional films were imminent, then Apple director Neil Aspinall famously replied that it "would be too obvious". He too was to die without it happening. The "Let It Be" DVD has been in the air for decades, and was especially mentioned by McCartney in conjunction with the "Let It Be...Naked" release - but remains in the archives. Same thing for the "Magical Mystery Tour" project of theirs. The iTunes release of the Washington DC concert film late last year came as a complete surprise to everyone and showed us what a superb concert it really was, when it was revealed in such a quality. You can get in touch via my address or by uploading material.

1 comment:

John McNally said...

I know the Beatles are red hot on copyright and quality issues, but if they wait too long Ringo and Paul will be dead before it happens.

2012 is the 60th anniversary of their Star Club debut, why not use that as their excuse to publish the whole series?

Leamington Spa, England