Rare And Unseen
(Wienerworld / MVD)


Fascination with The Beatles moves into the second decade of the 21st century with the DVD release of Rare And Unseen. Over in England, Wienerworld is doing some amazing work on behalf of the DVD as a musical documentary art form and here in the U.S. the good folks at MVD and their See Of Sound series continue on as Wienerworld’s stalwart Stateside partner. Packed with rarely seen color and B&W footage from the heyday of ‘60s Beatlemania, the 2009 DVD release of Rare And Unseen is a real boon for Beatles fans. Although there’s no Beatles music or soundtrack music here, there’s plenty of archival Fab Four film footage and recently shot illuminating interview footage with venerable rockers and sadly deceased personalities who helped frame the greatness behind the Beatles. High on the list here of early Beatles lore is an interview clip featuring the late, great Beatles engineer Norman “Hurricane” Smith, the genius Abbey Road engineer who was right there in the studio with George Martin from day one. Norman must have been at least 84 here as the documentary film has a 2007 production date and Norman died on March 3, 2008. So thankfully you have that on film, although Norman looks so old compared to the great singer-songwriter he became in his own right by the early ‘70s. Also appearing between the vintage video Beatles footage with their own Fab Four tales are early Beatles / Quarrymen drummer Colin Hanton, Beatles press man Tony Barrow, Liverpool pop hero Gerry Marsden, French singer Sylvie Varten, drummer Mickey Jones and many more celebrities all too eager to relive the greatness of the Beatles era of the ‘60s. Most tellingly here though are new and revealing interviews with younger post-war musicians like Genesis drummer Phil Collins and Steve Harley (of U.K. rockers Cockney Rebel) who—although they were young kids back in ‘64—were greatly influenced by the magical music of The Beatles. In addition to 90 minute documentary with the film footage and accompanying interviews, the DVD also features a colorful DVD booklet filled with rarely seen photos and 2009 liner notes from Tony Barrow, author of John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me.


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