Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Beatles Anthology
The television specials and video collection
Literally thousands of hours of footage were viewed in consideration for inclusion in the documentary, which originally aired in Britain on ITV, beginning November 19, for an hour a week until Christmas Eve.
It appeared in America on ABC as a five-hour miniseries over three nights (November 19-21, 1995). ITV's version of Anthology runs 25-30 minutes longer than the one screened on US television, with most of that time spent on more complete song sequences.
All of the surviving Beatles members filmed new interviews to add to older interviews with John Lennon, who died in 1980. The first episode ended with a promotional video of the brand new Beatles track, "Free as a Bird," created from a recording supplied by Lennon's widow Yoko Ono.
The entire documentary was released sometime after on video as an eight-tape set with additional material not seen in the television specials, clocking in at 10 hours total. The entire set was released worldwide on DVD on April 1, 2003.
The Beatles Anthology video release won a Grammy for best long-form music video. "Free as a Bird" won two: one for best short-form music video, and one for best pop performances by a duo or group.
Three Anthology collections were released, each containing 2 CDs of never before released Beatles material.
Two days after the first Beatles Anthology television special had aired, The Beatles Anthology 1 was released to stores. The first collection included music recorded by the Quarry Men, the famous Decca Records audition tapes, and various out-takes and demos from the band's first four albums. The song "Free as a Bird" was included in the two-CD collection. 450,000 copies of Anthology 1 were sold in its first day of release, the most single day sales ever for an album.
On March 18, 1996, The Beatles Anthology 2 was released. The second collection included out-takes and demos from the Beatles sessions for Help!, Rubber Soul, Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Especially interesting is the early demos and takes for Lennon's "Strawberry Fields Forever", previously available only to bootleg collectors. The new song "Real Love," like "Free as a Bird" based on a John Lennon recording, was also included in the two-CD collection.
The success of the Anthology albums was parodied by the release of The Rutles' Archaeology some months later. This album even included a spoof of "Free as a Bird", entitled "Unfinished Words".
In October 2000, The Beatles Anthology book was released, which included interviews with all four band members and others involved, plus rare photos. The book went straight to the top of the New York Times bestsellers list.
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