The Beatles are arguably the most important band of all time. Everyone and their grandma has a favorite song they associate with their first love, their first heartbreak, their wild youth — their mammoth influence has reached across borders, generations and genres. The band's quick rise to fame and acclaim has been well documented by scholars and film makers alike but The Beatles: 8 Days A Week — the trailer for which you can watch below — treats Beatles fans to a fresh dose of Beatlemania.
The new documentary by Ron Howard looks at the meteoric ascent of the fab four and how they changed music forever. Take a peek:
The Beatles: 8 Days A Week premiered in cinemas on the 15th of September but is already available to stream on Hulu. Having succumbed to a fresh case of Beatles-fever, we've compiled 8 reasons to check out this sensational new documentary.
Check out some of our other Beatles articles:
- Celebrating 'The Beatles: Eight Days a Week' With Eight Days Of Facebook Live Videos
- 8 Facts To Celebrate The Release Of The Beatles Documentary 'Eight Days A Week — The Touring Years'
- 'The Beatles: Eight Days A Week': Exploring The Psychology Behind Fandom And Social Media
1. New Footage Of The Beatles Behind The Scenes
Ron Howard and his team of editors looked high and low for fresh footage of the fab four and delivered the goods, with the help of Apple corp. (the record label started by the group). 8 Days A Week uses never-before-seen fan films, TV footage, as well as tour films of the band writing songs and having fun during the times the pressure of the spotlight was off. During a segment on their early days, Ringo shares the pep talk John created to boost morale after some abysmal concerts:
"He'd say 'Where are we goin', fellas?' And we'd go, 'To the top, Johnny!' And he'd say, 'Where's that, fellas?!' And we'd say, 'To the toppermost of the poppermost, Johnny!' And he'd say, 'Riiiiight!' And we'd all sort of cheer up."
2. Fresh Insight From Macca And Ringo Themselves
Howard & co. enlisted the help of some of the world's biggest Beatles experts to deliver keen insights on the group's early days. However, no one can give you a window into life as a Beatle better than Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr themselves. The two legends offer heart-warming anecdotes about the beauty and the madness of peak Beatlemania and how it began to tear their "brotherhood" apart. Nothing hits a Beatle fan right in the feels more than watching Macca getting misty-eyed about the first time Ringo played for the group.
3. The Beatles Fought Segregation
In one eye-opening sequence, Howard exposes a lesser-known chapter of Beatlemania that reveals the group's power to provoke political change. During their first enormous U.S tour in 1964, the group became involved in the Civil Rights movement that was gripping the country at the time. While playing in the southern states, The Beatles made it clear they supported the movement by taking a stand against the common practice of seating-segregation in concert halls. Their stance on this racist practice led to many venues changing their policies to be more inclusive. Beatle power!
4. Witness The Famous Beatle Wit
To demonstrate their famous Liverpudlian wit, Howard has included lots of footage of the group dealing with the swarms of journalists. When the group were exhausted by the millionth comparison to Elvis, instead of turning nasty, they did their best impression of the King himself. Ringo leaves the silly journalists all shook up.
6. A Glimpse Into Their Amazing Songwriting Process
The four musical geniuses changed the history of music thanks to the help of George Martin, the innovative producer who sadly passed away earlier this year. Their collaboration with the technical wizard pushed them to take greater risks and totally reinvent their songwriting process. 8 Days A Week documents the group's transition from wholesome rock'n'roll of "She Loves You" to the mind-bending, politically charged "Revolver."
5. Beatlemania in Fully-Restored Glory
8 Days A Week features a lot of material that was in such a bad state that it required a restoration team to bring the faded footage back to life. Thankfully they were able to salvage never-before seen footage and colorize reels that were once in opaque black and white.
7. The Group Made Their U.S Radio Debut All Thanks To One Teenager
Beatle-fever swept America like nothing ever before but it all started with one 15-year-old, Marsha Albert from Silver Springs, Maryland. The high-schooler first heard the fab four on a CBS evening new segment and managed to snag a copy of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" from a British Airways stewardess, since the single wasn't available in the U.S. She sent her single to her local radio station and later called up the DJ to ask "Why can't we have music like that here in America?" Little did she know this would help The Beatles blow up — everyone who heard the broadcast wanted a piece of them. Capitol Records were so inundated with requests, they were forced to release the single early.
8. Their First U.S Concert Was Messy
In the beginning, long before selling out Shea stadium three nights in a row, the four Liverpool boys had a hard time breaking into America. They kicked off their first U.S tour at the Coliseum in Washington D.C, an arena that was used to hosting big boxing matches. The venue was sold out and the audience were showering The Beatles in jellybeans and screams of praise. However, because the group were playing in an un-roped boxing ring, they could only face one fourth of the audience at a time. This led to them shifting sides every three songs so that everyone in the crowd got a chance to see the boys in action.
Hungry for more John, Paul, Ringo and George? Check out the full documentary over at Hulu now!
What's your favorite Beatles song?