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As Seen On TV: “Real Love”

Posted by purplemary54 on January 1, 2013

Today’s song was chosen simply because it came up on the computer while I was playing solitaire, and it made me smile.

“Real Love” is taken from demos that John Lennon recorded before his death.  The song remained unfinished until 1995, when the three surviving Beatles reunited to record and complete two of John’s unfinished demos for a documentary.  (The other song was “Free as a Bird,” and while it’s pretty good, I don’t think it was as successful as “Real Love.”)  It’s a beautiful tribute to their friend, and it’s obvious from the studio footage how much they enjoyed working together again.

To me, the documentary is the real story.  Anthology was the story of the Beatles as told by the Beatles themselves.  It featured no narrator or outsider commentary.  The archival footage was supplemented by old and new interviews.  Everything was done with complete cooperation and participation from the Beatles and Yoko Ono.  I don’t know that it revealed anything new about the Beatle phenomenon, but it was the most complete and personal telling of their story.  This wasn’t some critical overview of how the four boys from Liverpool changed the world; it was just their story.  I loved it.  It aired over three nights, two hours each night (the video release is expanded by a couple of hours, I think).  I’m not so sure that could happen in today’s television climate; I think networks are nervous of having “special event” programming.

The best thing about it for me was the release of three double-disc sets of (mostly) previously unreleased recordings and demos, including the two new songs.  (I was especially excited about having a version of “The Long and Winding Road” that was not marred by Phil Spector’s hideous overproduction.)  Suddenly, there was new Beatles music to listen to; it was great fun for all us Beatlemaniacs out there.

Sadly, I think Anthology has kind of been forgotten.  Granted, there’s a lot of Beatle stuff out there, and it can be hard to sort through.  But seeing and hearing the boys again was so wonderful.  Much of the footage used was new to the public, or unseen for many years, so everything seemed fresh and new.  It was a little bit like a time machine transported us all back to the 1960s.

4 Responses to “As Seen On TV: “Real Love””

  1. alundeberg said

    That sounds like a treat! I will have to look up Anthology.

  2. Val said

    Great, nice to read – nice to watch. 🙂 Have a happy new year.

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