REVIEW: “THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS” – Beatles – Misterclaudel 1 DVD (MCDVD20)
BY BEATLE BOB
There was still is a plethora of Beatles discs being issued during the later part of 2010; whether on CD or DVD – that comes from either a traditional bootleg label (issuing factory pressed discs)- or coming from collectors who remaster previously released audio and video; offering it for free via downloads(ie; folks like helter skelter80 and Hobnail) - that is done with care and respect for the material. With all the discs I’ve had backlogged for review, the smartest thing is for me to start with the oldest disc and work my way forward.
The Beatles appeared on Thank Your Lucky Stars TV program multiple times between 1963 and 1966. What this disc offers are two performances from ’63, one from 64 and one from ’66. All performances are lip-synced (mimed performances)before a live audience (except for The Lucky Stars Special ’64 and ’66) and nicely done at that. In the early years they took (miming) more seriously: Less chances of John mocking their attempts at synchronization; though by the ’64 performance, they seem to be going through the motions (see how in comparison, the ’63 lip sync performances are full of energy and excitement). These shows look to be in the best available quality that has been floating around for years (that doesn’t mean they are pristine) with one notable exception: The 11/64 show opens with “I Feel Fine” nicely segueing between two different video sources for nearly half the performance: The usual blurry version and a new (to me)much clearer source, that has improved contrast and clarity. It would be nice to see the full improved video if it’s available. My favorite is the complete 12/15/63 program Thank Your Lucky Stars On Merseyside which includes many other Mersey artists. Compared to what I have in my collection, this is an improvement in video quality. Quite possibly a 2nd generation source. It’s not perfect either, but it’s much easier on the eyes than the rest of the shows contained on this disc. The ’66 show is the typical lousy quality that strains the eyes. They’ve superimposed the title of the show over the time code (on top of the Beatles’ promo videos of “Rain” and “Paperback writer.”) Personally I’d rather read that than watch time-code numbers fly by.
The disc offers two audio choices: Original and remastered. Stick with the original as the audience is miked live masking its lip synced qualities somewhat. Switching to the remastered audio , its feel becomes one of a music video.
Overall it’s a nice compilation putting all available shows in one place. If these were truly live (and not mimed performances) I’d call it essential
(Next up: Misterclaudel’s Beatles’ - “LLP” 16mm Film Print (Shea), Beatles -Come To Town and Hobnail’s The Empire Strikes Back)