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'All My Loving' gets DVD release Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Monday, 20 August 2007

all my loving dvd On September 10th, almost forty years after its first appearance, is the DVD release of Tony Palmer's legendary 1968 BBC documentary, 'All My Loving'. Famed in the Floyd world for the footage of the band that was specially shot for it, the film is a powerful and, at times, disturbing vision.

Billing itself from outset as "a film about pop music", it features footage of the various key bands of the time, fast cut with interview segments and newsreel footage of the era - at times, to devastating effect.

With the focus from the musicians on how their work can help influence opinion, and force change, a particular thrust of the documentary revolves around the Vietnam war protests - seeing the Tibetan monk firmly ablaze calmly staggering through vegetation, or the sudden execution of the Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon, blood spewing from his head as the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" plays in the background, prove difficult things to watch, and more importantly, to forget.

Nevertheless, the optimism of the times, with real change in opinion starting to gel, comes across in the comments from the various parties - with the end of the "Summer Of Love" and the rise of real "people power". And certainly some of the footage is light-hearted and fun.

One of the joys of the documentary is the footage of the various bands and performers involved. The film was created when Lennon and McCartney set a challenge to Palmer to take an hour-long look at pop music - Palmer being a classical music expert. The Beatles therefore figure heavily, with interesting segments of the band hard at work in the studio, providing soundbites to Palmer.

Most charmingly, there's even a sequence of George Harrison at home with his mother, tucking into a plateful of beans on toast!

roger waters - all my loving Other musical segments include the aforementioned Pink Floyd, with a unique performance of a shortened 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun'. All but the opening moments of the band see some heavy image processing - with the band drenched in red, the visuals often turn quite abstract.

Fans of The Who, Cream, and The Animals also get some nice footage. There's a particularly mesmerizing sequence of Ginger Baker storming through a drum solo like a thing possessed, and Jimi Hendrix's absolutely blistering 'Wild Thing' proves a tough act to beat.

Whilst at times the footage makes the documentary unsuitable for youngsters, it is an important look at the attitudes and hopes of the time. Rich in atmosphere, it shows just what a turning point 1968 was proving to be, with the shift to "Power to the People" clear to see. And the music within is as compelling as the contemporary news footage.

Elsewhere on the DVD is a 40 minute interview with Tony Palmer, conducted this year and talking of how the film came about. There is also a collection of fifteen Ralph Steadman cartoons set to the music of Cream's 'Born Under a Bad Sign'.

It can be ordered through the following special Amazon links, at time of writing with a discount, too: Amazon US/International, Canada, UK/Europe, or Germany, or direct through the company releasing it, www.voiceprint.co.uk.

 
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