All You Need Is Love on DVD



Postby bailbath » Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:02 am

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jh ... ove119.xml



'All You Need is Love': pop's answer to The World at War

Last Updated: 12:01am BST 19/04/2008

On DVD at last - the music documentary that outgunned even 'Match of the Day'. By Andrew Perry

Television documentaries about pop music are 10 a penny nowadays.



Unfortunately, many are barely worth even that, consistently failing to convey the magic of the music they feature, or to present challenging ideas. Next month, a vintage series is released for the first time on DVD that will provide a mighty yardstick against which to measure the vacuousness of today's coverage. Called All You Need is Love, it was made in the mid-Seventies, when there was little or no pop on TV. Its vast and ambitious task was encapsulated in its subtitle: "The Story of Popular Music".

In the series, every area of Anglo-American music is scrutinized - from the arrival of African rhythms on slave ships through to the commercially driven "glitter rock" that prevailed when the series was made. Whether it be about jazz or blues, or vaudeville or country and Western, each 54-minute episode contains fabulous performance footage. Some was shot specially, some dug up from the archives - or, in the case of the previously unseen film of the bebop saxophonist Charlie Parker, from under someone's bed. After devouring all 14-plus hours in one bleary-eyed weekend, I felt that pop's story had been told to me in all its colour and complexity, and with deep and often piercing insight.

When I meet the series's director, Tony Palmer, at his home in West London, he tells me how the original idea came from British pop's loftiest icon. John Lennon was, in his words, an "ongoing acquaintance". At Lennon's instigation, Palmer - a classical buff - had made an explosive and controversial one-hour documentary for the BBC, called All My Loving, which illuminated the violence and radicalism of the Sixties pop scene. Palmer soon left the Beeb, and went on to become a prolific maker of films about pop, classical, and other cultural subjects. Then one day in 1974, he bumped into Lennon on the street in New York.

"He said, 'Are you doing anything useful?'" Palmer remembers. "Over lunch, he said, 'What you really ought to do now is the whole thing - try to figure out where it all came from.' We talked about it, and just as he got up to leave, he said, 'And I've got the perfect title for you…'" Palmer took the idea of All You Need is Love to ITV, who funded him for a 17-part series - and scheduled it for 10.30 on Saturday evenings through the winter of 1976-77. This was the slot occupied by Match of the Day; so high were the ratings for Palmer's series that the BBC had to move their football stalwart to an earlier start time.


As a logistical undertaking, the series was hugely ambitious. Palmer shows me his appointments diary from that period. He met several interviewees a day, for months on end, mostly in America. In one day: Bing Crosby, Dizzy Gillespie and Herbie Hancock!

The exclusive performances Palmer filmed are astonishing. His footage of now-deceased rhythm-and-blues men such as Professor Longhair and Jimmy Reed is priceless. Others just take your breath away, such as a gaunt but hyperactive Jerry Lee Lewis blazing through Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On, with the camera set at the level of his piano keys. "He was playing in a Holiday Inn foyer," says Palmer. "People were checking in while he was gyrating away. Muddy Waters was another one. We had terrible trouble finding him till I happened to see that he was playing in this seedy club in Chicago."

As Palmer assembled his material, clear themes emerged - the taking of black culture by white musicians; the corruption by commercial interests of musical traditions dating back to the pre-radio age - and the series tackled these thorny issues head-on. Palmer chose not to deploy a narrator, but to allow the music, its makers and associated industry experts to explain their ideas, often at considerable length. Through masterful editing, they effectively slug it out between themselves on screen.

In this manner, the Beatles episode (their first officially sanctioned documentary) leads on to a bitter portrait of Seventies rock, laying bare its moral decline into money-grabbing self-indulgence, oblivious to the principles which fired pop in the Sixties.

A million miles from today's "Top 100 Greatest Musicians Ever", with their meaningless video clips, soundbites and celebrity voiceovers, All You Need is Love is a time capsule from a bygone age. This is a work that is unrepeatable, given that many of its stars have long since died. Palmer went on to make celebrated film portraits of Wagner, Callas, Menuhin and Vaughan Williams.

For many years, the DVD rights to All You Need is Love were locked in legal dispute, but it may now finally come to be seen as pop's equivalent of The World at War - old-school British TV at its definitive, unflinching best.
# 'All You Need is Love' (£46.50) is released on May 5 on Voiceprint, and will be shown in full at BFI Southbank on May 2 and 3.
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Postby Roland Boy » Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:09 pm

Perk wrote:
Roland Boy wrote:I have an audio tape of the original UK broadcast (this was before the days of video recorders being in most homes) and 'You Can Have Her' is included.


Are you sure this is the UK broadcast? I got this, but on a German broadcast. Which was a big surprise to me a few years ago.

Lots more were shot, i know i talked to the producer. But it´s perhaps all lost.

An awfully good performance though, Jerry at the wildest!

Perk


My apologies, Perk. I dug out my audio cassette and 'You Can Have Her' wasn't included on the original UK broadcast. I have it from the German broadcast on a compilation DVD. I've got the new 'All You Need Is Love' and there's some additional JLL footage on the first disc, a kind of introduction to the series.

Does anybody know where this wild footage of The Killer was filmed? I love the bit when he climbs on the piano and sticks his head through the 'open plan' ceiling!
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Postby Perk » Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:17 pm

Roland Boy wrote:
Perk wrote:
Roland Boy wrote:I have an audio tape of the original UK broadcast (this was before the days of video recorders being in most homes) and 'You Can Have Her' is included.


Are you sure this is the UK broadcast? I got this, but on a German broadcast. Which was a big surprise to me a few years ago.

Lots more were shot, i know i talked to the producer. But it´s perhaps all lost.

An awfully good performance though, Jerry at the wildest!

Perk


My apologies, Perk. I dug out my audio cassette and 'You Can Have Her' wasn't included on the original UK broadcast. I have it from the German broadcast on a compilation DVD. I've got the new 'All You Need Is Love' and there's some additional JLL footage on the first disc, a kind of introduction to the series.

Does anybody know where this wild footage of The Killer was filmed? I love the bit when he climbs on the piano and sticks his head through the 'open plan' ceiling!


The producer Tony Palmer gave me the details, I have them written down somewhere, i will look for it, unless Peter is faster, he usually knows those quickier than me : ) But it was filmed in Indiana at a club, they filmed more than one show.

Perk :)
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Postby peterchecksfield » Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:18 pm

Roland Boy wrote:Does anybody know where this wild footage of The Killer was filmed?


Perk does! :wink:
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Postby peterchecksfield » Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:21 pm

The Executive Inn, Evansville, Indiana, July 1975 (he played there from 14th to 19th of July, so we don't know the exact date).
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Postby Perk » Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:24 pm

peterchecksfield wrote:The Executive Inn, Evansville, Indiana, July 1975 (he played there from 14th to 19th of July, so we don't know the exact date).


Thanks Peter, saved me a lot of digging through files : ))))

Perk : )
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Postby Roland Boy » Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:39 pm

Thanks guys! Wonder if they filmed a whole show or just bits and pieces. Jerry certainly plays to the camera.
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Postby Perk » Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:42 pm

Roland Boy wrote:
Perk wrote:
Roland Boy wrote:I have an audio tape of the original UK broadcast (this was before the days of video recorders being in most homes) and 'You Can Have Her' is included.


Are you sure this is the UK broadcast? I got this, but on a German broadcast. Which was a big surprise to me a few years ago.

Lots more were shot, i know i talked to the producer. But it´s perhaps all lost.

An awfully good performance though, Jerry at the wildest!

Perk


I've got the new 'All You Need Is Love' and there's some additional JLL footage on the first disc, a kind of introduction to the series.


Can you give a review of this new release? What´s that additional JLL footage etc?

Perk
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Postby peterchecksfield » Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:00 pm

Perk wrote:
Roland Boy wrote:
Perk wrote:
Roland Boy wrote:I have an audio tape of the original UK broadcast (this was before the days of video recorders being in most homes) and 'You Can Have Her' is included.


Are you sure this is the UK broadcast? I got this, but on a German broadcast. Which was a big surprise to me a few years ago.

Lots more were shot, i know i talked to the producer. But it´s perhaps all lost.

An awfully good performance though, Jerry at the wildest!

Perk


I've got the new 'All You Need Is Love' and there's some additional JLL footage on the first disc, a kind of introduction to the series.


Can you give a review of this new release? What´s that additional JLL footage etc?

Perk


And how does it end? One version I've seen ends with that DJ smashing records, & another ends with Elvis' funeral.
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Postby Roland Boy » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:19 am

The additional JLL stuff on the first disc is a much longer version of "Shakin'" - longer than what we see in the main programme. It's introduced with a voiceover saying "And here's Jerry Lee Lewis - the King of rock 'n' roll". Jerry punches the piano and there are lots of ad-libs. "Give it to me mama, Jerry Lee needs it" is about the only one I could make out.

The rock 'n' roll episode finishes with Jerry talking about "Bobbies" and then that arsehole in glasses breaking records. This is how the original UK broadcast ended.

I've never seen the version that ends with Elvis' funeral. That must have been a later edit as the series was shown before Elvis died. There is a scene showing fans outside Graceland trying to get a look over the walls - is that what you're referrig to, Peter?
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Postby peterchecksfield » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:36 am

Roland Boy wrote: There is a scene showing fans outside Graceland trying to get a look over the walls - is that what you're referrig to, Peter?


No, it was definatly Elvis' funeral, obviously a later (1977/1978) edit.
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Postby peterchecksfield » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:54 am

Roland Boy wrote:My apologies, Perk. I dug out my audio cassette and 'You Can Have Her' wasn't included on the original UK broadcast. I have it from the German broadcast on a compilation DVD. I've got the new 'All You Need Is Love' and there's some additional JLL footage on the first disc, a kind of introduction to the series.


Is 'You Can Have Her' included on the DVD?
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Postby Roland Boy » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:57 am

No it isn't. I guess Tony Palmer's crew shot hours and hours of stuff they didn't use. Shame they couldn't find room for it on this five disc set.
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Postby Perk » Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:37 pm

Roland Boy wrote:No it isn't. I guess Tony Palmer's crew shot hours and hours of stuff they didn't use. Shame they couldn't find room for it on this five disc set.


They did shot more things with Jerry. I "heard" if it still exists it´s buried in the vaults somewhere with one of the distributors of these series.

Roland, perhaps when you have time could make a little video sample of that new thing in the beginning of Jerry and upload it somewhere? It doesn´t have to be in good quality, i´m just curious to see it Image. But if difficult then no problems, i will have to get this dvd anyway.

Perk
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Postby Roland Boy » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:46 am

Roland, perhaps when you have time could make a little video sample of that new thing in the beginning of Jerry and upload it somewhere?


I wouldn't have a clue how to do that. Sorry.
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