The Beatles Anthology

The Beatles Anthology

"The Beatles Anthology" is the name of a documentary series, a series of three albums and a book, all of which focus on the history of The Beatles.

Documentary series

Approximately coinciding with the release of the "Free as a Bird" single and "Anthology 1" album (the first of three double-CD albums), "The Beatles Anthology" series of documentaries was broadcast on ITV in the United Kingdom and ABC television in the United States in 1995.The Anthology series was assembled in the same way that the book was, as a series of first-person accounts by the Beatles themselves. Footage in the Anthology series features voice-over recordings of all four Beatles to push the narrative of the story. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison are also shown in interview segments filmed for the series itself, while John Lennon appears in archival interview footage.

The series, which was made over five years of planning and production, is composed of numerous film clips and interviews that present a complete history of the band from the Beatles' own personal perspectives. The series was later released on VHS, laser disc and as a boxed set of five DVDs (Full-Screen only).

*DVD 1 Episodes 1 & 2 (July '40 to February '64)
*DVD 2 Episodes 3 & 4 (February '64 to August '65)
*DVD 3 Episodes 5 & 6 (August '65 to June '67)
*DVD 4 Episodes 7 & 8 (June '67 to The End)
*DVD 5 Special Features

Air dates on ABC:

* Sunday, November 19, 1995: 9-11 p.m.
* Wednesday, November 22, 1995: 9-11 p.m.
* Thursday, November 23, 1995: 9-11 p.m.


To accompany the "Anthology" series, three double music albums were released, each containing two CDs or three vinyl discs of never-before-released Beatles material (although many of the tracks had appeared on bootleg vinyl and CD for many years prior).

Two days after the first television special in the series had aired, "Anthology 1" was released to stores, and included music recorded by The Quarrymen, the famous Decca Records audition tapes, and various out-takes and demos from the band's first four albums. It also included the song "Lend Me Your Comb", omitted from the collection 'Live at the BBC', released the previous year (1994). The song "Free as a Bird" was included at the very start. 450,000 copies of "Anthology 1" were sold in its first day of release, the most sales for an album in a single day ever. The Beatles' original drummer Pete Best, fired by the band in 1962 before they hit it big, received his first substantial Beatles royalties from this album, for the inclusion of early tracks on which he played.

On March 17, 1996, "Anthology 2" was released. The second collection presented out-takes and demos from the Beatles' sessions for "Help!", "Rubber Soul", "Revolver", "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", and "Magical Mystery Tour". These included selected early demos and takes for Lennon's "Strawberry Fields Forever", previously available only to bootleg collectors. The new song "Real Love" — which, like "Free as a Bird", was based on an unfinished Lennon recording — was also included in the two-CD collection.

On October 28, 1996, "Anthology 3" was released. The third collection featured out-takes and demos from "The White Album", "Abbey Road", and "Let It Be".

The three album covers, when laid side-by-side, become one long painted collage of various peeling posters and album covers representing the different stages of The Beatles' career. This was the work of Klaus Voormann, who also created the album cover for "Revolver" in 1966. The "Anthology" covers required Voormann to recreate elements of his cover for "Revolver" within the collage. During the music video for "Free as a Bird", the "Anthology" collage appears as posters on a shop window as the camera pans quickly across the street. The design also adorned the VHS, laserdisc and DVD releases, again to be properly encountered by laying the cases side-by-side. Upon the release of "Anthology 3", HMV stores made available a cardboard sleeve designed to hold all three CD volumes of which each side of the sleeve make up half of the collage.


In October 2000, "The Beatles Anthology" book was released, which included interviews with all four band members and others involved, plus rare photos. Many of the interviews quoted are from those featured in the documentary films. The book is designed as a large-format hardback, with imaginative artwork throughout, and several visually impressive and colorful spreads featuring graphics relevant to the proceeding chronology, photographic arrays and a variety of text styles and layouts. The book went straight to the top of the "New York Times" bestsellers list. [ [ The "New York Times" Best Seller List - October 22, 2000] . From [] ]

Hiroshima Sky

During the filming of "The Beatles Anthology", Yoko Ono and McCartney recorded "an extreme avant-garde piece called 'Hiroshima Sky' consisting of an endless E-minor chord played by Linda on keyboards, Paul churning away on his double bass, Sean Lennon plus junior members of the McCartney family on whatever was to hand and the usual yelps and hollers from Ono." [ "The Unknown Paul McCartney" review] Retrieved: 16 November, 2006 ] The tape has never been officially released but bootleg copies have been reported to circulate on the Internet. On 1 September, 2007, a recording appeared on YouTube [ here] .

Promotional items

Each of the three Anthology albums was accompanied by a promotional CD sampler sent to radio stations shortly before the official release dates. These CDs have since become highly sought collector's items. Even rarer is a vinyl version of the sampler for Volume 2, which was only sent to College radio stations and featured a different cover (though the contents were the same).

Promotional displays used in stores for each of the three album releases are also now fetching high prices amongst collectors.


The success of the "Anthology" albums was parodied by the release of the Rutles' "Archaeology" some months later. This album even included a spoof of "Free as a Bird", entitled "Don't Know Why." In "Anthology" style, the album included both outtakes from the original Rutles album and new material. Perhaps fittingly, delays in the release of the third volume of the Beatles' series ultimately meant that the Rutles' parody arrived in shops on the same day as its inspiration.

"Weird Al" Yankovic parodied The Beatles Anthologies in an AL-TV special. He said he had a copy of a fictional #17 (which he claimed wouldn't be available to the public for a while). He played for the audience a track of Paul McCartney brushing his teeth.


External links



* [ The Beatles Anthology Complete 9 Episodes and Reviews]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Beatles Anthology — es el título de un proyecto enfocado en la historia musical del grupo de rock británico The Beatles, consistente en un documental de ocho episodios, tres álbumes y un libro monográfico. Contenido 1 Documental 2 Álbumes 3 Libro …   Wikipedia Español

  • The Beatles Anthology — est un projet mené durant les années 1990 par les anciens Beatles, Paul McCartney, George Harrison (décédé en 2001) et Ringo Starr, en compagnie de leur producteur historique George Martin et de quelques autres acteurs principaux de l aventure de …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The Beatles Anthology (documental) — The Beatles Anthology Título The Beatles Anthology Ficha técnica Dirección Geoff Wonfor Bob Smeaton Producción Neil Aspinall Chips Chipperfield …   Wikipedia Español

  • The Beatles Anthology (film) — Infobox Film name = The Beatles Anthology (film) imdb id = 0111893 director = Geoff Wonfor Bob Smeaton writer = Bob Smeaton starring = John Lennon Paul McCartney George Harrison Ringo Starr producer = Neil Aspinall Chips Chipperfield music = John …   Wikipedia

  • The Beatles bootleg recordings — are performances by The Beatles that have attained some level of public circulation without being available as a legal release. The term most often refers to audio recordings, but also includes video performances. From the earliest Beatles… …   Wikipedia

  • The Beatles outtakes — The Beatles takes and early versions of songs that have been released are still collectables. Some are very common releases such as The Beatles Anthology . The studio sessions which have been taped when The Beatles were rehearsing are found at… …   Wikipedia

  • The Beatles' influence on popular culture — The Beatles influence on rock music and popular culture was and remains immense. Their commercial success started an almost immediate wave of changes including a shift from US global dominance of rock and roll to UK acts, from soloists to groups …   Wikipedia

  • The Beatles' Christmas records — were spoken and musical messages from English rock group The Beatles that were posted out on flexi disc at Christmas time to members of their official fan clubs in the United Kingdom and the United States. One such record was issued each year… …   Wikipedia

  • The Beatles (Album) —  Cet article traite de l album des Beatles. Pour le groupe, voir l article The Beatles. Pour la série, voir The Beatles (série). The Beatles Album par The Beatles …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The beatles Rock band — The Beatles: Rock Band The Beatles Rock Band Éditeur MTV Games Développeur Harmonix Music Systems Distributeur Electronic Arts Date de sortie 9& …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.