This is definitely one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen! Let’s set something straight right from the start: I was never a huge fan of The Beatles but naturally I always admired the compositional dynamics of Lennon/McCartney and I reckoned, of course, that this is the most important band of all times, in all considerable levels! And since we got that out of our system, let’s see what’s exactly “Eight Days A Week”…
As the title suggests, what we are mainly dealing with here are the live/concert side of The Beatles or if you prefer the magic years of 1963-1966 where the whole Beatlemania exploded all over the world! Apart from the priceless archival footage, we are treated with various interviews of all the band members (some of which are hilarious), Brian Epstein, Elvis Costello, Sigourney Weaver, Whoopi Goldberg etc. Parallel to all this stuff, we see audiovisual excerpts of The Beatles in the studio recording all their masterpieces but again the lion’s share is taken by the live footage and the TV appearances. The Beatles was the first band to embark on a stadium tour selling out well in advance thousands of tickets and at the same time causing mass hysteria wherever they played! The image of a policeman covering his ears because he can’t stand the yelling of the crowd when The Beatles enters Shea Stadium in New York is unbelievable! Needless to elaborate on The Ed Sullivan Show where The Beatles were first introduced to the American audience and at that same instant influenced permanently the American society!
What I really enjoyed of this documentary is the fact that it shows a more human side of The Beatles. It paints a picture of a bunch of youngsters who found themselves amidst a whirlwind that unavoidably forced them grow up a little bit earlier and in a more harsh way! At the end, they couldn’t handle all this pandemonium and they decided to call it a day. The last scene of them playing for the very last time (1969) on the roof of the EMI building in London is absolutely touching and it really can’t be described in words. If only Yoko Ono wasn’t there, things would be different and far better!
Highlight: The soundtrack of this documentary was supervised by Giles Martin, son of the legendary Beatles producer, George Martin.