All You Need Is Love
June 26, 2012 12:36 PM   Subscribe

Forty-five years ago yesterday, various countries and networks (coordinated by the BBC) presented the first live, international satellite broadcast - "Our World", which was seen by an estimated 400 million people. The world's most popular band came up with a new song just for the occasion, which they debuted with a live performance. If you missed it at the time, here's exactly how that song was presented.

Almost. The original live broadcast was in black-and-white only, this clip was colorized (starting about three minutes in) for the Beatles' "Anthology" project in 1995. More information can be found here, including a list of some of the special guests in the studio that evening.
posted by Curious Artificer (32 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Such a sweet song to give to the world. You only need fives words of English to understand it. Or indeed, only one.
posted by Jehan at 12:52 PM on June 26, 2012


In a major PR gaffe, the video overlay only displays their first names but if you're interested, you can look up them up on their band website: thebeatles.com (sic)
posted by hal9k at 12:53 PM on June 26, 2012 [10 favorites]


I always wondered where this came from. Thanks.
posted by NoMich at 12:54 PM on June 26, 2012


Wondered about this:
The "COME BACK MILLY!" sign--This was written by one of Paul's relatives. Paul's Auntie Milly (the very one that little Beatrice Milly is named after) was visiting her son and grandchildren in Australia. Her family in England thought she might stay in Australia indefinitely, so this message went out to let her know she was definitely missed. Auntie Milly saw the sign and returned home!
posted by TheophileEscargot at 12:54 PM on June 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


As the Beatles would later discover, it turns out you also need lots and lots of lawyers.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 12:59 PM on June 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


The Beatles also got into a minor bit of hot water over their performance. If you watch closely, late into the performance, Paul quite obviously flubs his lip-syncing. According to strict BBC policy at the time, music performances must be live, and not lip-synced.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:59 PM on June 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is John Lennon chewing gum? Did he bring enough for everyone? Even for Mick Jagger?
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:01 PM on June 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


That was stunning. The "symphony men" in tuxedos! John chewing gum (?) as he sang! A cameo of Mick Jagger singing along! Pitiful confetti! Suspicious lip-syncing! The teeny-tiny soundboard! Ringo's "drumming!"

Awesome.
posted by argonauta at 1:04 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


John was chewing gum, the story goes, because he was so nervous. The only "live" performances besides the orchestra were Paul's bass, some (but not all) of Ringo's drumming, George's guitar solo and John's lead vocal.
posted by Curious Artificer at 1:05 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ringo's "drumming!"

It was ever thus.
posted by mykescipark at 1:05 PM on June 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Beatles also got into a minor bit of hot water over their performance. If you watch closely, late into the performance, Paul quite obviously flubs his lip-syncing. According to strict BBC policy at the time, music performances must be live, and not lip-synced.

Which is amusing, considering that the performance itself was described, by the announcer, as being the final stage in a multi-track recording. They were already performing to playback.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:06 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Awesome. So many cool details. Mick! Paul's FireGlo Rickenbacher 4001 (that he eventually refinished to bare wood)! Geoge Martin and (I assume) Geoff Emerik in shirts and ties, SMOKING on the control board.

I've seen bits of this before, but never the whole thing. Thanks!
posted by dirtdirt at 1:10 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whatever happened to them? It was like they did that one song and then dropped off the map.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:11 PM on June 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


dances_with_sneetches, they were overshadowed because they were so derivative.
posted by kimota at 1:13 PM on June 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


Great link. Thanks.
posted by lampshade at 1:14 PM on June 26, 2012


The whole "Our World" broadcast sounds pretty neat (though probably also pretty boring); it sounds like it'd be an interesting artifact. I'd be interested in the full two and a half hours.

Of interest to anyone who may be interested: Before the broadcast starts, Marshall McLuhan at the CBC "on hand to remark on its significance." It's a pretty great way to spend 18 minutes if you're the type who is interested in such things.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:21 PM on June 26, 2012


What a find. Thanks. I was confused at first because the sound quality seemed so high compared to the video. Is that because it was remastered?
posted by mondo dentro at 1:23 PM on June 26, 2012


I remember reading about this in some big paperback history of the Beatles, and the author described the session/telecast as "a real beanfest" and I had never heard the expression before ( or since, really).

Never figured it out -- I guess I am doomed to overthink that ... No, no, I can't! I won't!

(and who are the jackwagons marching around with the placards? Honestly. Not enough weed in the world, man....)

Thanks for posting -- glad I finally saw the whole thing, and not just a brief clip!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 1:23 PM on June 26, 2012


P.S. Okay I'll admit it - I gave up listening to Marshall McLuhan after 9 minutes or so. I'm sure he'd have something to say about that.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:27 PM on June 26, 2012


And is that Mal Evans serving the tea?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 1:30 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


John and Paul are both chewing gum. John chews throughout the Budokan concert 1966 as well. I can just about handle it with this kind of paced number, but when he sings stuff like 'Rock n Roll Music' while chewing, I get worried for his safety. Perhaps they were all strung out on drugs.

Also, I'm British, and for 1968, I can tell you they colourised those Beatle teeth far too white.

Great clip though. Just saw my 10 year old daughter do the track with choir at school last night.

They rushed it.
posted by colie at 1:40 PM on June 26, 2012


All You Need Is Love: The Story of Popular Music is a fascinating documentary series by Tony Palmer. Part One.
posted by ovvl at 2:20 PM on June 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Watching that, I realized for the first time the verbal joke in the line: "all you need is love, love." Not simple repetition -- the first "love" being what you expect but the second being a British form of address as in "how are you today, love?"
posted by binturong at 5:28 PM on June 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


All You Need Is Love: The Story of Popular Music is a fascinating documentary series by Tony Palmer.

Fascinating doesn't even begin to describe it. Brilliant, awe-inspiring, deeply informative... At 17 episodes and running over 1000 minutes, it's very Ken Burns in scope and effect. Bits of things you learn about in early episodes end up having repercussions in later episodes.

I've nearly done an FPP about it three times now. It's good enough to be widely known, and puzzlingly, I haven't met many who have heard of it.
posted by hippybear at 5:54 PM on June 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


It amazes me that John decided to write a song in such a bizarre meter to perform live on worldwide tv with such a large ensemble. Most of the verses are in seven beat phrases, switching to eight for choruses. It works fine with the lyrics but it is tough to groove on.
posted by jetsetsc at 7:05 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


What a terribly inefficient way to make records.
posted by swift at 7:20 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seems like a good time to bump my AskMe.
posted by quarterframer at 10:22 PM on June 26, 2012


I realized for the first time the verbal joke in the line: "all you need is love, love."

I hadn't heard that either - thanks - sounds like a bit of John wordplay like Please Please Me and 'it won't be long till I belong to you', etc.
posted by colie at 11:47 PM on June 26, 2012


> Ringo's "drumming"

I was once young and foolish and made a comment like that to my drummer. He said, "Well, I think that Ringo is one of the greatest drummers in the world. First, he's a great drummer just for being the drummer for The Beatles." (I had to nod at that.) "But listen to how he's always in the pocket. He doesn't play too much, but he's right there, he's extremely tasteful and never busy. He's the perfect drummer for The Beatles, who were the greatest band in the world."

I would add that if you dispute this, imagine what The Beatles would be like if say John Bonham or Keith Moon or even Carl Palmer were their drummer!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:25 AM on June 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ringo haters should listen to his drumming on "She Said She Said," and then tell us how lacking in energy and spontaneity his playing was.

I should add that from what you could hear through the shitty recording on the Live at the Star Club 1962 set, Ringo was absolutely on fire. It was George who douched up literally every solo at their return engagement to the Hamburg dance hall.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 5:25 AM on June 27, 2012


> Ringo's "drumming"

Ringo fans might like to check out this dude's drum covers on YouTube. He is 100 percent accurate as far as I can tell, the best on YouTube, and here he is with a great example of Ringo's later style:

Strawberry Fields Forever

(Check the stick twirl at 1.01)
posted by colie at 5:32 AM on June 27, 2012


quarterframer: 1:38 of the show is available on Youtube. The long accompanying text explains that the footage was provided by the Alexandra Palace Television Society.
posted by Twang at 2:59 PM on June 27, 2012


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