The quiet Beatle got his due in Martin Scorsese’s award-winning documentary, Living in the Material World, which was seen on HBO last year and released in box-set form back in May. In the box, you get the film on both Blu-ray and DVD with many marvelous extras, and a CD of George’s demos called Early Takes, Volume 1. Fellow Beatles aficionado Mark Smotroff agreed with me that the overall audio and video quality is a mixed bag, but the extras make the grade. “The bonus features are very cool, especially the clip of George’s son Dhani in the studio with George Martin discovering the ‘lost’ guitar solo that never got used on ‘Here Comes The Sun,’” he notes. “Another standout is the remarkably good quality color video from Harrison’s 1974 tour, and equally stunning is the first glimpse of The Concert for Bangladesh
Paul McCartney has the right idea for his Archive Collection series, which has seen four deluxe box releases to date. The Archive Collection version of his definitely amazing 1971 album, Ram, is especially tasty, with five discs of material: the remastered original, a bonus 8-track CD, the remastered, rare Mono album, the Thrillington CD, and a bonus film DVD, plus a 112-page book and other goodies. Especially noteworthy is the Mono disc, as Jeff Slate explains: “Some songs, like ‘Too Many People,’ feature the vocals so prominently that it’s shocking. Others, like ‘Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,’ drench them in reverb, making something hyper-familiar sound new. ‘Dear Boy,’ on the other hand, pushes that song’s lush instrumentation and remarkable bass upfront, while the mixes of ‘Smile Away’ and ‘Monkberry Moon Delight’ — which also features far more reverb on the vocals — are grittier and dirtier in their mono form.”
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