Pulled from theaters almost as quickly as it was released in 1976, this bizarre experimental documentary pairs an all-star selection of Beatles covers with images of WWII.
That *ahem* ARCHIVAL site also came through for me recently in locating the long-lost workprint of another, more direct piece of Beatles arcana - the never released 'official documentary' The Long And Winding Road, which was initiated by road manager Neil Aspinall in 1968, was worked on periodically through the 70s, and was still a going concern at least up until Lennon's murder (in his deposition against the Beatlemania stage show only days before, he said that it infringed on the Beatles' own plan for a filmed reunion to conclude the documentary). I've only seen part of it, but it's basically a narrationless recap of the group's career in Michael Wadleigh-Woodstock split-screen juxtaposition style. NOt going to link to it directly for obvious reasons, but here's an overview from the Lost Media Wiki: https://lostmediawiki.com/The_Long_and_Winding_Road_(found_workprint_of_unfinished_Beatles_documentary;_1970s)
Me astonished me have never heard of this (and from snippets of soundtrack, it shame those cover versions got buried because some of them sound pretty good — certainly better than second time Bee Gees participated in ill-advised movie that involved Beatles covers).
But me also astonished that on two separate occasions, someone with no connection to Beatles said "what if me turned this hallucinatory idea me had into movie and got most popular band in history to contribute music" and that movie actually got made, and in case of Yellow Submarine was actually pretty good. Late 60s were different time, maaaan.
Amazing find; Beatles fans are notoriously comprehensive so seeing what they leave out is always fascinating.
Even though this site’s commentariat is almost entirely gray-haired, middle-aged men, are any of us old enough to remember the Beatles’ reputation in 1976? Were they a nostalgia act or did people think of them as a band on hiatus that would reunite any day now? When Shampoo used Beatles songs in 1975 to represent 1968, it seemed to say that the Beatles were definitively the past. But I have no idea if that was the overall sentiment.
My brother has a copy of the elaborately-packaged 2 LP soundtrack. He bought it out of sheer curiosity--it was a fixture in the music sections of small town department stores (like Pamida or Alco) in the seventies. 20th Century Records must have spent a fortune on this thing, and presumably they had to sell it somewhere, and if nothing else it stood out among all the Barry Manilow and C.W. McCall 8-tracks.
Weirdly, I know of this movie! I’ve never seen it, but I collect Beatles covers and stumbled across the soundtrack a few years ago. It somehow manages to take all these interesting musicians and make them mostly boring and same-y, probably because of the bombastic orchestrations, courtesy of the London Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic, slathered under everything so we don’t miss the drama of it all. You’ve called out the best tracks, to which I would add Tina Turner’s “Come Together,” but overall this is syrupy gruel.
What?! I have never heard of this and it sounds like such an obviously horrible idea. I can’t believe it got make.
I could swear that I saw this as a kid on our extremely localized pay TV service in the late '70s, but that can't be right, can it? Anyone know how quickly Fox locked this away?
I imagine that “Myra Breckinridge” has a cult following, but I can’t fathom why. I’ve watched it twice and was shocked how little appeal it would have for those who love weird movies. Another candidate for the No Cult Canon?
I remember stumbling on this album in a midwestern record store back room in the 00s. I sure hope I had sense to grab it.