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Get Back review: Hardcore and casual fans alike will be delighted: NPR


The Beatles: Come Back ends with the band’s legendary rooftop concert in 1969.

Courtesy of Apple Corps Ltd. / Disney +


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Courtesy of Apple Corps Ltd. / Disney +

Get Back review: Hardcore and casual fans alike will be delighted: NPR

The Beatles: Come Back ends with the band’s legendary rooftop concert in 1969.

Courtesy of Apple Corps Ltd. / Disney +

In my opinion, there are two very different audiences for To recover, Peter Jackson’s new Beatles documentary So be it sessions. There are the most rabid fans, who will watch it and instantly recognize what they have never heard or seen before. And for them – well, for us, because I’m part of this group – this Disney + docusery is a real treasure. For everyone else, the first part of The Beatles: Come Back can be slow.

Basically, you watch John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr rehearse, revise, and procrastinate. They debate a lot about where to hold their planned concert and even which songs to include. At some point, they decide to revisit a lot of compositions they wrote and abandoned much earlier in their careers, in case they could use any to complete the set list. One of those songs, “One After 909”, made the cut and ended up being one of the highlights of the album. Another number with a blatant country flavor, “Because I Know You Love Me So” first surfaced here, with Paul rejecting it as soon as they finished performing it.

There are joys even in this first stretch, because you can see the original So be it documentary, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, take shape. At first the Beatles and the film crew gather on a cavernous movie stage to rehearse, and on Day 1 Lindsay-Hogg walks up to the Beatles and asks them to play more quietly so he can record their conversations. .

As tensions rise during the first few rehearsals, cameras capture everything, including the moment George answers an occasional call for a lunch break by telling his fellow Beatles, with the same casually, that he’s taking a break with the group – with immediate effect. It ends up disappearing for days.

The tension behind this temporary break is the drama that dominated the original So be it movie, but that’s just one of the three major elements of Jackson’s extended three-part docuseries. The first part, the first day of the television series, deals with the breakup. Part two is about the reconciliation – and the infusion of energy that occurs when the band moves into a smaller, more friendly rehearsal space, and when keyboardist Billy Preston comes by and is instantly invited to attend the sessions. And the focal point of Part Three is the full concert, which The Beatles ultimately decided to put on as an impromptu event on the roof of their own building.

The rooftop concert here, with a lot more music and material than in the original So be it movie, is the part that should excite and delight even the most casual Beatles fans. The concert is amazing – as is the group’s cheerful reaction to listening to the reading immediately after. It’s a nice ending for this particular story, but not for the Beatles story. Earlier this documentary shows them rehearsing not only songs for the So be it album, but for three of their respective upcoming solo albums. They also rehearse a lot of songs that would end on Abbey Route, that they would start recording immediately after that rooftop gig. And for me, watching and hearing songs like Harrison’s “Something” take shape, with Lennon’s input, is priceless.

So my final verdict on The Beatles: Come Back the documentary is this: even if you don’t know much about the Beatles, or care much about them, you should watch the last third of this new TV show – then, after being convinced to their shine and hung, then go back. But if you know and love the band enough to get excited by learning about their creative process and seeing it in real time, this new documentary is for you. And for me.

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