I was stuck for something to do today, and was considering re-running a post I did way back at the beginning of my participation here of movie themes. What stopped me was something I said in that post about not being able to include any of the themes from The Beatles’ movies. Fortunately, both they and YouTube now see fit to put the actual music out there, free to share. Since there were only five movies starring The Fab Four, I had to add a couple at the end. I’m sure you won’t mind…
- "A Hard Day’s Night" Video of a live performance in Great Britain of the theme song from their first movie (1964), which is, to this day, still my favorite movie of all time.
- "Help!" A promotional film of The Fab Four doing the title song from their second movie (1965), which also starred Leo McKern. The day Mary and I rented this movie, we also rented Shoes of the Fisherman and a Rumpole of the Bailey collection and had a Leo McKern Film Festival. (By the way, all three are excellent.)
- "Magical Mystery Tour" One of the first Apple Corps productions was this somewhat bizarre 1967 film, which pretty much was universally panned, but the music is excellent. And, in the right frame of mind (i.e. stoned out of it), the movie isn’t bad, either.
- "Yellow Submarine" The animated 1968 feature that featured the band’s music, extra music by George Martin, and a couple of cameos of the boys. The film is full of puns and other silliness that’s quite entertaining.
- "Let It Be" Their 1970 swan song featured a rooftop performance and some recording footage. This is film of them recording the title song, including an extra verse improvised by Paul, the original guitar solo by George, and none of the Phil Spector Wall O’ Sound.
- Thunderclap Newman, "Something In The Air" Ringo starred in the 1969 film The Magic Christian with Peter Sellers. This is played during the climactic end, which is more than a little gross, so I’ve substituted a different video of hippies decorating the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco. Mary and I visited that neighborhood on a trip to see my brother and his family late last century, and the day we were there we were entertained by a young couple having a loud and rather profane argument under the street signs. It was interesting, to say the least…
- The Bee Gees and Peter Frampton, "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band" The 1978 film that was more or less universally panned nevertheless featured some pretty good covers of Beatles songs by Barry, Maurice, Robin, and Peter.
- The Rutles, "Hold My Hand" A very funny "mockumentary" from 1978 that starred Eric Idle, Neil Innes, Ricky Fataar, and John Halsey as the Prefab Four, and cameos by members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the cast of Saturday Night Live (from when it was funny and worth watching). One of the better scenes featured George Harrison as an interviewer. The show included some dead-on parodies of The Beatles’ songs. The TV movie was called The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash, the 2004 follow-up was The Rutles: Can’t Buy Me Lunch.
- "Free As A Bird" I was running short of songs from Beatles movies (there were two more that I thought of, Caveman that featured Ringo and How I Won The War that featured John, but the music from those was actually pretty standard film fare), so I decided to include this and the next one. Evidently Yoko Ono found a cassette of a couple of songs by John Lennon and gave the tape to Paul McCartney. The three surviving members decided to take the recordings and turn them into full-blown Beatles songs, and with the help of Jeff Lynne they did just that. The songs were released as part of the first two Anthology collections. Beatles fans will have fun watching and seeing how many visual images of Fab Four songs they can find in this.
- "Real Love" The second of the two "new" songs that resulted from the cassette Yoko gave Paul. For Beatles fans, it was a glimpse at what might have been.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 24, 2020.