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Monday 9 December 2013

The "1" video collection

A Poster for "1". Photo: © Apple Corps Ltd.
The Beatles’ "1" was not just the Beatles' but the world’s best selling album of the last decade, compiling all of the Beatles’ number one singles on to one album. "1" made its digital download debut in 2011 and quickly went to number one on many global iTunes charts, including the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Japan. In addition, the remastered "1" album was also re-released on CD with updated packaging on September 13th 2011.
Now, according to the music merchandising wholesale representative, Break-Thru, the album will be used as a theme when the Beatles' music video collection is due for release in October 2014.

Here's what they are saying: "October: 1's Program: dvd video clip compilation on dvd / vinyl / other 1's pieces. Leading up to this is probably the ideal time to do an Avedon art. program."

So let's take a look at the options they have when compiling this music video DVD. And since we seemed to have an impact on whether George Harrison's tie should be short or long on the "On Air" cover, I'm hoping they are still monitoring this site and are open to some free advice - before it's too late.

1. Love Me Do.
EMI did make a video for this song back in 1982, and I think two different versions of it is circulating. Since this has been the official Love Me Do video for three decades now, it's best to use it again. It may need to be recompiled, using the same footage in upgraded quality.
2. From Me to You
3. She Loves You
There are no music videos or promotional films, as they said in the sixties, for these two. So they will probably make a couple, using performance clips or mimed TV appearances. Big Night Out/Ready Steady Go?
4. I Want to Hold Your Hand
Again, the same sítuation, but the TV clip from "Late Scene Extra" of the Beatles miming to this song in front of a huge model of a camera has been regarded as the music video for this song among fans for a long time, so they should use that.
5. Can’t Buy Me Love 
6. A Hard Day’s Night
They could have used footage from the A Hard Day's Night film for these, but that footage is now owned by Miramax and has to be licensed from them. Another option is to use performance footage and synch it to the records, for instance from the Shea Stadium film etc. Ready Steady Go for "Can't Buy Me Love"?
7. I Feel Fine
We are now entering the realm of the Intertel promo films, as produced by Tony Bramwell and directed by Joe McGrath. Tuesday November 25th, 1965, the Beatles filmed ten different promotional clips in black and white for five songs, "Help!," "We Can Work It Out" (three versions), "Day Tripper" (three versions)," "Ticket To Ride" and "I Feel Fine" (two versions). So for this and some of the following clips, the producer of the new video collection has the luxury of choosing between several films. And I do think that the Intertel videos should be used, because they have been regarded as the music videos of these songs since the sixties. In Anthology, they would put several of these together to create variety, but in my opinion they should select one video of each to represent each song. If they want to include more than one, the alternative version(s) should be presented as bonus material on the DVD.
8. Eight Days a Week
No obvious choice. One thing to consider is to make use of the old US Beatles cartoons. That's how bootleg DVD video makers have solved this in the past, but given Universal Music's resources, they could also create a new video.
9. Ticket to Ride
10. Help!
11. Yesterday
There are two performances they could use footage from: Blackpool and Ed Sullivan. No Beatles Greatest Hits video compilation is complete without "Yesterday".
12. Day Tripper
13. We Can Work It Out
14. Paperback Writer
As we saw in Anthology, there's a gorgeous video for this, made in the gardens of Chiswick. But they also have several Intertel promos filmed in a studio, so again a choice has to be made. And again, other versions can be bonus material.
15. Yellow Submarine
They could make one from footage from the cartoon film, the same goes for the next one:
16. Eleanor Rigby
17. Penny Lane
There's only one music video for this one, and a great one it is, too.
18. All You Need Is Love
They have to go for the "Our World" clip, colourised or in black and white, either way is good.
19. Hello, Goodbye
Three videos were made, all at the Savile Theatre. Of these, I prefer the one they made from outtakes, and it's also the one that's closest to modern music videos. In Anthology, they intercut footage from all three films, here they should use no. 3 and have no. 1 and 2 as bonus material.
20. Lady Madonna
There's two variations of this promo clip, both edited from footage of the Beatles recording "Hey Bulldog". Go figure!
21. Hey Jude
Michael Lindsay-Hogg recorded several takes of this at Twickenham. Use one of those.
22. Get Back
I would have gone for the studio version clip they made for "Let It Be...Naked".
23. The Ballad of John and Yoko
Another one which has several edits, use the one with colour footage throughout. Again, the Anthology used a combination of several versions. Stick with one.
24. Something
No problem here, the one and only "Something" promo clip.
25. Come Together
They made a flash animated music video for this when "1" was new, use that. Fortunately, flash allows for limitless upscaling without the loss of resolution, so go find the flash source file.
26. Let It Be
The usual promo film for this, an outtake of the Let It Be movie. And the same goes for the next one:
27. The Long and Winding Road

So there you have it, the "1" Beatles music video compilation. But with this opportunity, they shouldn't stop here.

Extra videos

Now is the chance to unearth some of the Lennon B-sides of the singles, and Yoko Ono will be aware that in the later days, Paul usually had the A-sides and Lennon the B-sides. Arguably, the B-sides sold the exact same number of singles as the A-sides, so they should also be treated as number ones. And they should be placed chronologically alongside their A-sides.

So these should include: "This Boy", "Rain", "Strawberry Fields Forever", "I Am The Walrus", "Revolution" and "Don't Let Me Down". Possibly also "For You Blue", using footage from the Get Back film. Olivia and Dhani Harrison will want that.

One video that's already linked to "1" is the "I Feel Fine" flash animated video. It was made to promote the original "1" album release, and was used on The Beatles' web site. So it could either go in to the play list instead of the Intertel promo, or as a bonus feature.

Back in 2003, Apple made a music video for "Two Of Us", and I'd hate to have it missing from the collection. However, it wasn't a single so it could be a hidden track, accessible from the menu but not part of the play list.

In the same way, we have a few more one-offs which should make the DVD. The 1976 music video for "Back In The USSR" was made to promote the "Rock'n'Roll Music" compilation album, but it's not necessary to include it here. The same goes for the 1983 music video for "Please Please Me", both of these are largely forgettable. And the BBC 1994 "Baby It's You" alongside the 2013 "Words Of Love" videos are also difficult to include on a "1" compilation. Same thing with the "Within You Without You"/"Tomorrow Never Knows" video, best used on a "Love" DVD.

However, 1999's "Hey Bulldog" is a great video with the Beatles recording the song in the studio. Much of the same footage was used for the "Lady Madonna" promo, so "Hey Bulldog" is another track best kept outside the play list but should be a (hidden) bonus. Another bonus track could be the "Help" promo that was used in the movie, but without the dart throwing.

Aspect Ratio

One important decision to make is whether or not to make it a 16:9 (widescreen) or a 4:3 (old TV) collection. Back when McCartney released his own music video collection, "McCartney Years", the director had chosen to make it 16:9 despite all the original music videos having been made in the 4:3 aspect ratio. So he chopped off tops and bottoms to make this happen, and there was an outcry among the fans about this. We don't want that to happen again. But if they decide to go for this, the general public will want widescreen, please do all the necessary restoration work in the original 4:3 aspect ratio format and save it for history. When everything is done and ready,  you can do the conversion to 16:9 and release that - perhaps with an option for the concerned core fans to purchase a limited edition 4:3 version of the DVD/Blu-ray or as a download.


As for sound, the ones that don't have a unique audio mix should be synched to the remastered stereo sound from the albums, "Hey Jude" and "Revolution" should use the original soundtrack that was partly performed live as it happened. And hire Giles Martin to produce a 5.1 surround sound optional audio track. And use me as a consultant for the project. Other inputs? Please use the commentaries section!


Pleasant Distraction said...

Nice work Roger. Love most of your ideas. My thoughts are: wouldnt it be great if Apple colourised another 1 or 2 clips, as was done for All You Need Is Love. The technology to do this is far more advanced than back in the 90s (Anthology era). Colour photos exists of most performances for reference. Cover artwork for BBC Vol 2 is a wonderful example of colourisation. If done this well... would be brilliant. Agree, prefer clips in 4:3. Also, I dont think Beatles cartoons should be used. It wasnt them. And George hated them, thats why he said in an interview they bought them to make sure they would NOT be released.

NP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jaedee said...

I would hope they just give us fans ALL versions of ALL the promo clips. All the intertel stuff and all the clips made for songs that weren't on 1 (strawberry fields, rain etc MUST be included in a film clips set) and just have all the different clip variations/edits included as bonus features. Get it all on there for historys sake, otherwise whats the point, are they going to hold off for the 75th anniversary? I just feel if they are going to release a dvd of the promo films to make it as comprehensive as possible.

S e as garotas que erraram said...

Let's not forget Free as a Bird and Real Love

Popper said...

I'm not keen on using the Yellow Sub movie footage for Yellow Sub or Eleanor Rigby. They are the wrong vintage. It irks me a bit that EMI used 1968 Yellow Sub promo images for the pic disc of the single, which was of course recorded two years before the cartoon was even made. I don't know what they could use instead, but it seems a bit of an easy way out to use the film animations.

Gabor Peterdi said...

Dear Roger, Your site has many visitors and has been a major news source for years now. You should set up a facebook site to make Apple know what we, the fans would like. You'd get a lot of likes, shares and ideas and could get into the news. Even the release will get a bit of hype and they won't be able to nix it. Apple probably only putting it together so now is the time. And I do hope they release it as a BLU-RAY too. Make it the best Beatles video release ever: best video source, in 4:3, remastered 2009 audio - except for live stuff and maybe 5.1 audio as an option. Bonus disc with colorized clips, versions, misc.

Mikko Suhonen said...

Don't forget that DVD (and Blu ray probably too) has an option of putting different Angles to a scene, which on can switch during the playback. That hasn't been used much, but this would be ideal way to present the different videos for one song.

Martin said...

Thanks for this, Roger...I hope that Apple (if they decide to do this!) push the boat out and include tracks like 'I'll Get You', 'She's A Woman', 'Roll Over Beethoven' 'I'm A Loser' etc... There is not a lot left in the UK TV archives (crappy BBC!), but there is loads in the US (Shindig, Sullivan etc)...

There was another film for Eleanor Rigby: It was OK and quite atmospheric with the lyrics as part of the film. I don't know who did it (or what it was for), but a restored version would be ideal for a DVD best of.

link for the video below:

Martin said...

Thanks for this, Roger...I hope that Apple (if they decide to do this!) push the boat out and include tracks like 'I'll Get You', 'She's A Woman', 'Roll Over Beethoven' 'I'm A Loser' etc... There is not a lot left in the UK TV archives (crappy BBC!), but there is loads in the US (Shindig, Sullivan etc)...

There was another film for Eleanor Rigby: It was OK and quite atmospheric with the lyrics as part of the film. I don't know who did it (or what it was for), but a restored version would be ideal for a DVD best of.

link for the video below:

Thomas said...


Michael lB. said...

October 2014 is passed,do You mean October 2015?

wogew said...

This post is from December 2013, so I meant 2014 when I wrote it. The Beatles 1 video collection was scheduled for Oct 14, but was postponed.