In terms of collaborative songwriting, several contributors to this DVD suggest John and Paul split up three years before The Beatles called it a day. Most of us would reach that conclusion after listening to anything from Sgt Pepper onwards, but may not have picked up on how much of the later Fabs material informed their subsequent solo work.
This is a cut above most “talking heads” documentaries, as it’s punctuated with original recordings and canvasses people who actually worked with Lennon or McCartney (Klaus Voormann, Alan White, Denny Siewell) and, therefore, have a closer-to-theflame perspective. Lennon’s path is particularly intriguing; Yoko Ono’s insistence that art should only concentrate on the artist who creates it led to a slew of autobiographical songs: Julia, Cold Turkey, Mother and God.
McCartney is portrayed as the instigator of the band’s split, paradoxically the member who least wanted it, and who probably suffered the most. King of the catchy melody, he was expected to reap the highest commercial rewards, but journalist Chris Ingham argues that Paul’s solo and early Wings output struggled to escape the shadow of the “suite” he masterminded for Side Two of Abbey Road. No one will agree with all the opinions, but amid the glut of Beatles studies available, this continually gives the viewer something to think about.