Combining footage from interviews with the late great David Bowie and contributions from those who knew him personally, this documentary celebrates the illustrious life of one of the greatest artists to ever grace the stage.
On 1st June, 1967 The Beatles released what would become the world's first concept album, SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND. Described by Rolling Stone magazine as "The most important rock & roll album ever made..." the album not only changed the course of music but went on to become one of the biggest selling records of all time. Featuring interviews with former employees, fellow musicians, family members and journalists, and supported by a vast array of original and exclusive never-seen-before footage, the film offers a fascinating insight into the swinging sixties and the 12 months surrounding the album's release. Examining the band's disillusionment with touring, their changing relationship with manager, Brian Epstein, and the advent of the Summer Of Love, this star-studded rockumentary offers a fascinating insight into the creation and recording of one of the most ground-breaking and influential albums in pop history.
You can split this documentary into 3 parts (not necessarily of equal length):
1) "Why we don't want to tour anymore"
2) Sgt Pepper's
3) Brian Epstein and the Indian meditation guy
Don't expect to hear a single Beatles song in this film. Don't expect to hear a song of any kind in this film - this is a somewhat strange element to a music documentary and it suffers as a result. In saying that, I'm such a Beatles fan that I instantly hear each song in my head without having it actually played to me.
There are a lot of obscure people featured with interviews and anecdotes here - even poor Pete Best is briefly dragged out. At one point, some guy says unironically that "The Beatles had a lot of hangers-on" . That is probably an apt description of this documentary.
A lot of the people are so obscure that I did hear some things for the first time. Highlights included:
John changing the lyrics of 'Twist and Shout' when performing live to "I'm pissed with gout" (no one could hear him above the crowd screaming anyway).
And; Ringo frantically wanting someone to pack his entire suitcase full of baked beans and anti-diarrhea medication for their trip to India.
Overall, it was overlong, yet didn't delve into the making of the album (its actual subject) nearly enough. Far too much on Brian Epstein and random anecdote filler. The whole thing had the vibe of a 1 hour TV special. Just go listen to the album instead.
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