LENNON AND McCARTNEY 1967-72; COMPOSING OUTSIDE THE BEATLES (Triton DVD)

 |   |  1 min read

Paul McCartney: Mumbo (from Wild Life, 1971)
LENNON AND McCARTNEY 1967-72; COMPOSING OUTSIDE THE BEATLES (Triton DVD)

While you might think there is little left to be said about the Beatles after the break-up and their subsequent solo careers, the narrow and deep focus of this two hour doco is surprisingly interesting.

By just taking that period when Lennon and McCartney were starting to go their own ways, and pulling on the handbrake before Wings really took off, you get a real insight into just how different they became in such a short period.

What elevates this too is the intelligent talking heads -- notably Klaus Voorman who had known the Beatles since Hamburg days and played on early Lennon solo albums. He brings an almost clinical but bemused tone, and although writer Johnny Rogan insists on wearing dark glasses in a dark room (he looks like that Bee Gee), he along with Wings drummer Denny Seiwell, writers Robert Christgau, Anthony DeCurtis and others, and Lennon drummer Alan White all have intelligent and clear-headed things to say.

And the video footage of Lennon and McCartney at work and play is superb, much of it previously unseen even by hardcore Beatle fans is my guess. The fiery politics of Lennon at this time makes for gripping viewing, and there is terrific live footage too.

No one makes excuses for Lennon's solo indulgences (the Imagine album with its peace'n'love but bitter swipe at McCartney) or McCartney's wimp-pop (which rather undercut the message of his rare foray into politics on Give Ireland Back to the Irish). The musicians who were on hand have no reason to hold back, least of all Voorman (who also did the Revolver album cover).

yokonakedBut from Lennon's experimental work (from Revolution 9 through the albums Two Virgins, right, and so on) and McCartney's tentative return with McCartney then Wild Life, the story is told with attention to detail, given fair interpretation and pulls in the historical context just enough to make it interesting for those who know nothing of thios period of strained relationships and sometimes even more strained music.

Is there much left to be said about this period when the Beatles broke up?


Indeed, the most successful solo Beatle for a while there -- chart toppers and movies -- was actually Ringo. So when does he get his equally analytical DVD? 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Film articles index

MAN ON WIRE by JAMES MARSH (Madman DVD)

MAN ON WIRE by JAMES MARSH (Madman DVD)

Anyone who ever stepped out onto the roof of one of the Twin Towers would have been struck by three things: the view from that height; that height when you looked directly down; and the power of... > Read more

MAVIS! A doco by JESSICA EDWARDS

MAVIS! A doco by JESSICA EDWARDS

In an interview with Elsewhere a couple of years ago the Memphis-based writer Robert Gordon noted, “I see my kids in school -- they are now in 9th and 11th grades -- and man, they don't... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Howlin' Wolf: The Howlin' Wolf Album (Set on Down)

Howlin' Wolf: The Howlin' Wolf Album (Set on Down)

One of the assertions on the cover of this album – released in 69, reissued after a long absence – isn't true. Bluesman Howlin' Wolf had been an “early adopter” of... > Read more

BEN WEBSTER AND ART TATUM: Genius loves company

BEN WEBSTER AND ART TATUM: Genius loves company

 In my experience, jazz people tend to live in the past. Radio programmes are more often about the greats of yesteryear than the living, jazz mags essay Ellington over ECM, and in any given... > Read more