Peter Jackson's documentary on The Beatles, pieced together from 1969 behind-the-scenes footage, was due to be released this year before the coronavirus pushed it back to 2021. But judging by the sneak peak shared on YouTube on Sunday night, production is now in full flow once again. "We've got 56 hours of never-before-seen Beatles footage, and it's really...it's great stuff," says Jackson in the introduction to the clip. "I would say we're about halfway through the edit now, but because you've been so patient and the film's been delayed until 2021, we thought it was a good time to give you a little sneaky preview." What follows is a montage of clips pulled from the 56 hours, featuring all four Beatles rehearsing, chatting, and joking around during "Let it Be" recording sessions while the their song "Get Back" plays in the background.
The Beatles included three Motown covers on their second album, and plenty of Motown artists returned the favor. What do these covers tell us about the relationship between black pop and the British invasion? What really happened between Elvis joining the Army and the Beatles arriving in the U.S.? And do we live in the Beatles' world, or Motown's?
Sir Paul McCartney has filed legal papers in the US, as part of an attempt to reclaim the publishing rights to The Beatles' back catalogue. Although he co-wrote most of the band's hits, the star has never controlled the publishing. However, the US copyright act of 1976 gives writers the opportunity to reclaim the rights after 56 years. The Lennon-McCartney catalogue becomes available in 2018, and Sir Paul has recently moved to recapture it. According to Billboard, the star filed a termination notice for 32 songs with the US Copyright Office in December.
It is difficult to talk about music as a balm for certain calamitous moments--periods of deep agitation, anxiety--without sounding like an unforgivable cornball. I do not wish to stand on a mountaintop and bellow gassy truths about the power of art to ease a flustered mind. But this week, as we await the results of an especially disquieting election, it seems as good a time as any to remind one another about one of the most soothing songs in the entire American songbook: the Five Stairsteps' "O-o-h Child." That song on repeat, plus some mindful, measured breathing: I wonder if this is not in fact the best salve we've got available to us. When "O-o-h Child" was released, in the spring of 1970, Americans were, much as they are now, trying to make sense of the desperate affairs of the day.