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Category:    Home > Reviews > Music > Concert > Rock > Pop > TV Variety Show > The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles (2010/Universal Music/Hip-O Records DVD Set)

The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles (2010/Universal Music/Hip-O Records DVD Set)


Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Episodes: B+



The event that remains The Beatles historic appearances on the smash hit variety TV Ed Sullivan Show has been referenced, discussed and shown in bits and pieces for many years, yet seeing all four shows in their entirety has not been so easy, even with the many Sullivan DVD releases to date. Now, Hip-O Records and Universal Music have finally issued the complete episodes in the highly self-explanatory The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles DVD set and they are very entertaining to watch al the way through.


The four shows are as follows:


February 9, 1964 The band sings All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There and I Wanna Hold Your Hand, plus we get two performances from the stage musical Oliver! and several comedy bits including a great performance by Frank Gorshin impersonating every Hollywood star he can think of only a year away from playing The Riddler on the hit TV series Batman.


February 16, 1964 The band sings She Loves You, This Boy, All My Loving, I Saw Her Standing There, From Me To You and I Wanna Hold Your Hand, plus Sonny Liston and Joe Louis show up in the audience, Mitzi Gaynor has two singing segments and the comedy team of Allen & Rossi do a skit that includes a reference to the band.


February 23, 1964 The band sings Twist & Shout, Please Please Me and I Wanna Hold Your Hand, plus Cab Calloway sings two songs, Morecambe & Wise do a skit and we get stand up from Morty Gunty and Dave Barry.


September 12, 1965 The band sings I Feel Fine, Im Down, Act Naturally, Ticket To Ride, Yesterday and Help!, Cilla Black (Lennon & McCartney wrote her first hit) sings a few songs and Soupy Sales shows up funny as always. This was the last black and white show Sullivan taped, so the band missed color (for whatever reasons) by one show.



The full credits for each show are include the DigiPak case, listing everything but the commercials, which range from effective to hilarious, but they are all well done and make this set all the more fun to watch. The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles set is a long overdue release and is highly recommended.



The 1.33 X 1 image black and white image on the four episodes looks good and clean for NTSC reel-to-reel taped programs of their age, but a little more restoration to correct streaking and minor errors would be nice. Otherwise, this is as good as these shows and their famous music performances ever looked to date. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is a little compressed and the Dolby 2.0 Mono is actually more naturalistic to the point that receivers with the capacity to boost mono sound should take those tracks and upgrade them that way for better results.


Extras include every promo announcing each upcoming appearance of the band, plus a final color clip of a telegram the group sent Sullivan when the theater was about to be named after him.


For more on The Beatles, start at this link:





- Nicholas Sheffo


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