History Channel Documentary: The Beatles On Record

The Beatles in the studioHeaven knows we don’t talk about The Beatles enough around here. Sure, we dedicated way too many posts to the dopey conversations Jake and I had around the remastered box set and we post any previously unseen photos we can find on the Internet, but that’s not enough, is it?

What I really want to talk about most of the time is HOW they got some of their sounds. There are moments in some of their music that blow me away after hundreds of listens and I want to understand that magic if I can. Why is it Ringo’s drums sound so good on Abbey Road? How did they get that killer bass tone? What pedals did George use to get that signature tone? As someone who has spent way too many hours in studios trying to get the right sound, I can tell you that it is indeed magic and mysterious.

Luckily, we’re been hit over the head with new Beatles material and now the History Channel is chiming in with a new program that looks at The Beatles and their recording techniques and experimentation. According to the press release, “The Beatles On Record, a new documentary premiering on HISTORY on Wednesday, November 25 at 10pm, charts The Beatles’ extraordinary recording journey from Please Please Me to the epic Abbey Road LP and reveals how they developed as musicians, matured as songwriters and created an enduring body of work that pushed the boundaries of studio recording, changing the course of musical history and popular culture.”

Sounds right up my alley.

The Beatles On Record Pt. 1

Full press release after the jump…

The Beatles: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki


Press Release:

THE BEATLES ON RECORD

Premieres Wednesday, November 25 at 10pm ET/PT on HISTORY(TM)

NEW YORK, NOV. 10, 2009 – In 1962, an unknown group from Liverpool walked into Abbey Road Studios in London to record their debut single. Over the next eight years, they would create what many consider to be the greatest collection of studio recordings of the 20th century.

THE BEATLES ON RECORD, a new documentary premiering on HISTORY on Wednesday, November 25 at 10pm, charts The Beatles’ extraordinary recording journey from Please Please Me to the epic Abbey Road LP and reveals how they developed as musicians, matured as songwriters and created an enduring body of work that pushed the boundaries of studio recording, changing the course of musical history and popular culture. There will be additional airings of the special at later dates across A&E Television Networks (AETN).

Narrated entirely by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Sir George Martin, THE BEATLES ON RECORD features over 60 songs, rarely seen footage and images from The Beatles’ archives along with never-before-heard outtakes of conversation from the original recording sessions. The result is an intimate look at the creative process behind each of the band’s Abbey Road Studios masterpieces. The documentary is directed by Bob Smeaton, who directed the landmark Beatles Anthology series and created mini-documentaries for The Beatles’ recently released re-mastered albums on CD.

THE BEATLES ON RECORD: Producer is Jonathan Clyde. Executive Producer is Jeff Jones. Director is Bob Smeaton. © Apple Corps Ltd. 2009.

  

9 thoughts on “History Channel Documentary: The Beatles On Record”

  1. SWEET. Me likey. Have you ever seen that book that came out last year, Recording the Beatles? I thought I showed it to you before you up and moved, but I can’t remember. That book is the closest thing I’ve seen to what you’re talking about, where they meticulously detail gear, amp placement, takes, all that jazz. It’s a really beautiful layout, it’s got stories in it too, not just techie stuff. In short I love this book, and if my divorce goes through I will marry it. Currently unavailable on Amazon, but here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Recording-Beatles-Kevin-Brian-Kehew/dp/0978520009/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1257957339&sr=1-1

  2. Frankengoogle,

    I believe we talked about that book but I haven’t actually seen it. From the images on the Amazon page it looks like it even gets into what mixing boards were used and maybe even the settings and levels? Fer real? THAT is what I’m talkin’ about.

  3. Sid Bernstein/the rock & roll hall of fame…a shameless snub!

    Calling all music lovers…

    Sid Bernstein has spent a lifetime discovering and, bringing to the world, the very best, music has to offer.

    Sid’s achievements include promoting early Latin Stars and bringing Ray Charles and James Brown into mainstream venues. His desire to cross racial lines led him to promote shows at the Apollo Theater. He was the first promoter to bring Rock & Roll to Carnegie Hall, (The Beatles and, The Rolling Stones)and, to Madison Square Garden, (James Brown). He was the first promoter to do an outdoor stadium concert in America, with the Beatles at Shea.

    Sid brought the first bands of the British invasion to America which included the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Moody Blues, The Animals, The Kinks, Herman’s Hermits, Dave Clark Five, Manfred Mann and Gerry and the Pacemakers. Among the artists he managed were The Rascals, Melba Moore, Laura Branigan and Phoebe Snow. He introduced ABBA to America.

    On January 12, 1965, Hullabaloo, premiered on NBC. It starred Woody Allen; Gerry & The Pacemakers and The Zombies. Its run ended on April 11, 1966, hosted by Paul Anka, it starred Lesley Gore; The Cyrkle and, Peter & Gordon. In between, Hullabaloo presented The Lovin’ Spoonful; The Righteous Brothers; Smokey Robinson & The Miracles; The Everly Brothers; Diana Ross & The Supremes; Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels; The Animals and, Marvin Gaye…to name but a few, Sid was the booking agent for this ground-breaking series.

    That the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has yet to show its appreciation for the effort Mr. Bernstein has made and, continues to make, to enrich the lives of lovers of music worldwide…is an oversight that should be remedied. Please email the hall at: president@rockhall.org Ask them to nominate Sid Bernstein for induction…Finally, Rightfully!!!

    I thank you for your time and consideration,

    Herb Malsman

  4. At 91, Sid Bernstein is still active and loving it. Here are a couple of links to keep you up-to-date, on his schedule…and up-

    to-date, on our “GrassRoots” effort on his behalf:

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=113290523505.Then go to: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=113290523505#/search/?o=69&sfxp=1&c1=5&c2=89.

    I hope you’ll join us.

    This link will take you to a preview of: “Sid Bernstein Presents.”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RePuJdBAzl8

    Thanks again,

    Herb

  5. There are no plans to release it on DVD. That question was asked of the director, Bob Smeaton, last night at the Miami Film Festival where it was shown. He said the 58 minute running time was the major factor in that decision.

  6. I hope they reconsider releasing the Beatles On Record documentary as a DVD. I would buy several to give as gifts. Great program!

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