The Beatles Anthology
Initially broadcast as a TV miniseries to go with the series of three Anthology double-CD albums, this set of eight documentary tapes has the heft and scope of one of Ken Burns's expansive projects. Still, unless you are either a historian or a truly committed fan, you'll find yourself with way more material - particularly about the Beatles' early lives as lads in Liverpool - than you'll want to watch.

The documentary material is copious, including early performance films and tapes, at the point before they found their true voices. The actual Beatlemania years - beginning in 1963 and concluding in 1970 - feature extensive performance films, as well as home movies and archival material. The best parts, of course, are the interviews with the Beatles themselves, who produced the entire thing. Along with reworking two previously unreleased John Lennon tracks as "new Beatles songs," the Anthology includes some unseen Lennon interview tapes so that his acerbic voice can be heard as well. This stands as a comprehensive document of that heady period, the second coming of rock & roll, as the Beatles took what Elvis had started and expanded upon it exponentially.

The tapes give a solid sense of the historical context and the way these four musicians changed the world around them in the 1960s.

Newly mixed in 5.1 surround sound with picture restoration
Contains all 8 original video programs on 4 DVDs

Bonus disc of rare and never-before-seen footage, including:
Recollections (June 1994): Paul, George, and Ringo spend a summer's day together singing, playing and warmly remembering the early days
Back at Abbey Road (May 1995): Paul, George, and Ringo at Abbey Road Studios with George Martin, play back the multi-tracks of some of their classic recordings and reveal the inventive techniques used during the original sessions
Recording "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love": Paul, George, and Ringo, along with Jeff Lynne, discuss the story behind these recordings - includes intimate footage of them at work in the studio
Real Love Video: The video not screened as part of the original Anthology series, now in glorious 5.1 surround sound
Compiling the Anthology Albums: Paul, George, Ringo, and George Martin talk about how the three Anthology double albums were compiled
Making the "Free as a Bird" video: An intriguing insight from director Joe Pytka into how the Grammy Award winning video was created
Production Team: The team behind the Anthology series discuss how the programmes were made
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The Beatles Stereo Box Set - Remastered

All 13 Studio remasters plus Past Masters (digi packaging with digital mini documentaries)

Please Please Me - With The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night - Beatles For Sale - Help! - Rubber Soul -
Revolver - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Magical Mystery Tour - The Beatles - Yellow Submarine
Abbey Road - Let It Be - Past Masters

DVD of all 13 mini-documentaries (Running time: 40 minutes)
Who could have ever thought it would have been possible? 09/09/09 has become a red-letter date in the history of Beatle-dom. It could be the repetitive nature of the phrase "Number Nine, Number Nine" featured in the track "Revolution 9" from "The White Album". Or, even the bit of dialogue "dial 9-9-9" from the 1965 motion picture "Help!" However, 09/09/09 has become important for a far better reason.

After more than 22 years of having The Beatles' albums on CD, we are finally treated to the definitive box set of Beatles music. This time, the folks at EMI and Apple finally got things right for a change. While having Beatles CDs is a thrill, it is now even more-so with this brilliant audio collection. For the very first time, their entire recorded output has been remastered for the 21st century, complete with unique liner notes and special digipak-packaging to boot. With the exception of the "Past Masters" set, each disc also contains a brief mini-documentary about that album. These short bits can only be utilised with the assistance of a computer's disc drive. However, the box set does include a bonus DVD disc featuring all of these short sequences together so you can enjoy it on your very own DVD player. What you have here are the original British Beatles albums just like what had been released before; only now, the listener can enjoy the first 4 albums - "Please Please Me". "With The Beatles", "A Hard Day's Night", "Beatles For Sale" - available in true stereo for the very first time. Combined with the remaining 9 albums recorded by the group between 1965 and 1970, this is a masterpiece set, and a special treasure trove of timeless, classic songs that changed the entire structure of popular music as we know it today.


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Each CD is carefully and painstakingly put together in a very special 3-border fold-out, which allows the CD to be housed in a slot on the far right-hand side (except for the double discs, which have their CDs fitted inside the packaging). Each title also comes with a special CD booklet containg many unreleased photographs that represent the time when each album was originally released, plus well-written liner notes (including the original notes from the first 4 albums). The "Yellow Submarine" booklet contains both the original UK and US back cover notes together for the very first time. And, what a thrill it is to finally be able to have the photo/comic-strip booklet from "Magical Mystery Tour", that was initially issued in the American LP in 1967, in an official CD release for the very first time. The "White Album" packaging includes the original poster, in a CD sized reproduction, that features the photo collage on one side, and the album's song-lyrics on the other side. This marks the second time that this poster was made available in a "White Album" CD release, following the 30th anniversary reissue from 1998.

The sound quality of the songs are, without a doubt, the very best that I have ever heard before. For the first time, the audio quality of each track is sharp, crisp, crystal clear and truly an audiophile's dream come true. It should also be noted that the songs "Love Me Do" (both versions), "P.S. I Love You", "Only A Northern Song", "She Loves You", "I'll Get You" and "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" are all presented in their original monaural mixes, whereas the remaining songs are all in true stereo. Even "I Am The Walrus" still has its orignal mix of half-stereo/half-duophonic, just like the first time around. All in all, this box set far surpasses all other box sets that have come before.

And, the bonus DVD of the mini documentaries is also well-produced. Each segment features audio comments from The Beatles themselves along with George Martin. This DVD gives a fascinating insight into why these classic albums have stood the test of time so well, and continue to be so popular, even into the 21st century.

Many current and legendary artists have called The Beatles a major influence. One listen to this music and you too will see why. Beatlemania will live on forever!