Beatles Week

The Beatles in the studio in 1967 (© Apple Corps)

Beatles Week

A new documentary featuring never before heard fragments of conversation, along with interviews and rare footage of The Beatles in the studio, formed the centrepiece of a season of programming as BBC Two and BBC Four joined forces for Beatles Week.

The joint season, celebrating the Fab Four's enduring legacy and their continuing influence on today's music, started on BBC Two on Saturday 5 September 2009.

In 1962, an unknown group from Liverpool entered Abbey Road Studios in London to record their debut single, Love Me Do. During the next eight years, they created what is arguably regarded as the greatest collection of studio recordings of the 20th century.

Programmes in the season

The Beatles On Record charted the band's extraordinary journey from their Please Please Me album debut to the swansong Abbey Road LP, and reflected on how they developed as musicians, matured as songwriters and created a body of work that sounds as fresh in 2009 as it did when it was first recorded.

Narrated entirely by John, Paul, George, Ringo and their producer Sir George Martin, the documentary featured more than 60 classic songs, plus rare footage and photos from The Beatles' archives. There were also some never before heard out-takes of studio chat from the Abbey Road recording sessions.

The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit took us back to 1964, as the pioneering Maysles brothers shadowed the Fab Four while they made their Stateside debut. From airport to hotel to TV studio, it told the inside story of the two remarkable weeks when Beatlemania ignited the entire country from East Coast to West Coast.

Timewatch: Beatlemania traced the rise and fall of Beatlemania. By 1966, the group had played more than 1,400 gigs, toured the world four times and sold the equivalent of 200 million records. At the height of their popularity, and without warning, they pulled the plug and never toured again.

Help! offered another chance to see the 1965 action adventure spoof starring John, Paul, George and Ringo, and directed by Richard Lester.

Storyville: How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin told the extraordinary unknown story of how The Beatles' music may have contributed to the collapse of the USSR. The film met the Soviet era Beatles generation, and heard about how the band changed their lives.

Russian Beatles dolls from Storyville: How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin

...Sings the Beatles was a new compilation of archive footage featuring a diverse range of artists – from Sandie Shaw to Siouxsie and The Banshees, from The Carpenters to Candy Flip – all of whom have covered Beatles songs over the years.

Filming The Beatles' First U.S. Visit: Albert Maysles took viewers behind the scenes with the legendary documentary director of The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit, which screened on BBC Two as part of the season.

About the season


The Fab Four's enduring legacy and continuing influence was celebrated in Beatles Week - a season of programmes across BBC Two and BBC Four.


Originally broadcast between Saturday 5 - Friday 11 September, 2009.


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