Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

The Beatles

Biographies: The Beatles Unauthorized DVD

Review by Gary Hill

This video was released under the Wiki.Film banner. Now, I wasn't sure exactly what that meant until I started watching this. It seems that their videos are created using all Wiki Commons materials. This is an intriguing idea that, to my mind, both works on some levels and fails on others.

The first thing I noticed is that you can just about read along with this biography if you bring up the Wikipedia page on the Beatles. Much of it is word for word, but a few things are changed slightly in terms of verbiage. My guess is that that Wikipedia page has been through a few edits since the video was created.

While that might seem to be a negative, I'm not sure it is. I don't know how anyone else uses Wikipedia, but I seldom read an entire entry. I'll scan through for the specific information for which I'm searching and look through the sources. Maybe that's my experience of sourcing articles. I find Wikipedia valuable as a compilation of actual source information that can point me to the real source.

The thing is, reading a full Wikipedia article is very dull to me. Having it read to me like in this video seems more interesting. That said, the voice on this appears to be a computer reader - or whatever that's called. When I saw a trailer for this, I didn't pick up on that, probably because this is one of the better ones. It is noticeable quite a few times here, though.

Next comes the question of the video content. Again, it's all public domain type stuff. As such, some of it works well, but other parts, not so much. For instance, there is a lot of what I guess would be described as "stock footage." When the narration is talking about the Beatles and footage of a band on stage is clearly not the Beatles (no faces shown, but I don't think the Beatles ever had a lead singer who didn't play an instrument, let alone a female one), it doesn't work as well.

Personally, I'd give this a mixed rating, but say that it definitely has its charms and value. Perhaps it works best if you just put it on and listen to it. Then again, if you just treat the video as eye-candy that sometimes fits and other times doesn't, that part works well, too.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2023  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at:

More DVD/Video Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Progressive Rock

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./