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4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Universal Music Canada
  • Release Date: May 1 2007
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • ASIN: B000A8AWVE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,878 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

People with far more tenuous connections to the Beatles than drummer Pete Best, the subject of Best of the Beatles, have written books, made films, and otherwise tried to cash in on their moment in the Fab Four's sun. Best, after all, was a member of the band, a claim that only two other fellows (the late Stu Sutcliffe and Jimmy Nicol, who very briefly replaced Ringo Starr when the latter fell ill) besides the Fabs themselves could make; he was with them during their heady early days in Germany, and when their popularity in Liverpool began to explode. But that was before the Beatles, with Starr in the drummer's seat, started writing songs in earnest and making records, and history, with producer George Martin and the EMI label. Released more than 40 years after his tenure ended, this DVD begs the question: other than Beatle obsessives and completists, who really wants to sit through a two-hour (plus an hour of extras) documentary about Best and the group's early days? That's not to say that Best isn't a decent fellow. Though still perplexed by his dismissal, he shows no rancor, and he genuinely enjoys reliving his glory days. What's more, the filmmakers have assembled an impressive bunch of talking heads (including Cynthia Lennon, close pals Klaus Voorman and Astrid Kirchherr, and right-hand man Neil Aspinall) to weigh in on the topic. But it seems a bit futile, not to say desperate, to still be claiming that Best was a great drummer ("If you didn't see the Beatles at Cavern Club with Pete Best, you haven’t seen the Beatles" is one refrain), not to mention the most handsome and popular of the group. It's one thing to be in the Beatles; to be a Beatle is something else. If nothing else, Pete Best lacked the charm and wit that helped make them the phenomenon they became. Good guy? Sure. But he wasn't a Beatle. --Sam Graham

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Best of the Beatles is a well put together DVD for all Beatle Collectors. An essential piece of music history is compiled in one complete package. Included are some very rare photos, video clips, very thorough interviews with many who knew the Beatles back then, etc.
Some of the key chapters: Casbah, Hamburg, Liverpool, Decca Sessions, EMI/Abbey Road, and of course the dismissal of Pete with some of the many theories as to why he was replaced. Impressive graphics, professionally made, great sound, and well organized. This is a complete chapter of Beatle history. I would have preferred a little more of Pete actually playing (old or new video, or audio with pics as per the Anthology DVD)Excellent price for this much material.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa4c2f294) out of 5 stars 36 reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa489e72c) out of 5 stars Great documentary on the Beatles' early years Sept. 2 2005
By Kevin R. Oppendike - Published on
Format: DVD
I wondered what to expect from this DVD. I wasn't overly confident that it would be worthwhile but was pleasantly surprised with what I found. The production quality is on par with that of the Beatles Anthology discs. Pete Best and others who were there (including Astrid Kircherr, Klaus Voorman, Cynthia Lennon, & Neil Aspinal) reminisce about the early days of the Beatles in Liverpool and Hamburg. Pete tells about his experiences during the early years of the band from it's formation up until the time of his firing. Best seems to have a very good memory and appears to enjoy telling stories about those early days. Best is probably the only person left to give an accurate first hand account of those formative years of the group (George and John are gone, Ringo wasn't there, and Sir Paul is known to fudge Beatles history to better suit his desired image). Best does not seem bitter at all, especially after all the years that have passed. One of the major points he (and others) apparently want to get across in this film is that he was not fired because he wasn't a good enough drummer. It seems that even now Pete doesn't really know why he was fired. He tells how it happened but apparently wasn't really ever given a reason and that does still bother him. All in all a very interesting documentary and a must have for any serious Beatles fan's DVD library. I never really gave much thought to Pete Best before watching this. Most Beatle histories tend to marginalize Best, but this DVD gives him a chance to set the record straight that he was there and he did play a definite role in the early Beatles rise to fame.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4b76438) out of 5 stars The Missing Link Oct. 7 2005
By Elfinstone - Published on
Format: DVD
I had seen Pete Best on tv several times over the years and he always seemed to be shy and nervous, without much spark. I didn't know whether to attribute this to his natural personality or to his sense of being beaten down by life, to have been so close and lost one of the greatest prizes of our generation - membership in The Beatles. So I didn't expect much from this documentary. Boy was I surprised. Instead of being a self-serving piece of drivel, it filled in some missing details in the early career of The Beatles, their skiffle days (represented by a poignant rendering of an old song by Ken Brown) and Hamburg. I loved the interviews with Klaus, Astrid, Cynthia, Neil and the other Liverpool regulars. They added color to what has been rehashed over and over again in books. There was a piece of footage of Pete from the old days and I was surprised to see he was not only good looking but had a sparkle in his eye. He certainly would have attracted my attention if I had been a Liverpool teenager. Yet he didn't really fit with the other three. Ringo shared the wit and the cheekiness of the other three that made the Beatles so endearing to their audiences, especially in America. Pete seems to have let go of the bitterness of what happened. This DVD is certainly worthwhile for those interested in Beatles history.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4842e40) out of 5 stars DVD Is As Great as Pete's Drumming! Sept. 20 2005
By Joe Vance - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD is an amazing review, by those in the know, of the 1960-1962 early Beatles era which McCartney, Lennon & Harrison always seemed to rush through and bow out of when asked to recount those days. Mention the name Pete Best in an interview with Richard Starkey and he gets wound up. There must have been some reason for never disclosing the true reasons for the dismissal of Pete Best as drummer of The Beatles, otherwise there might not have been offered, over the years, a host of phony stories, lies and lame excuses, which among other things, unfairly painted Pete Best as a poor drummer. This DVD also, finally, explodes the myth that Stuart Sutcliffe was useless as a bass player. Stuart, whom all hardcore Beatles fans love just for being there, was indeed holding his own in the band as told by Klaus Voorman who was inspired by Stuart to pick up a bass and learn to play himself.

It's odd that, of those who ever gave an opinion on Pete's musicianship, that virtually all of the musicians from the bands who actually heard The Beatles play, (and some of those are represented in this DVD), have given Pete an excellent rating, all except the members of Pete's own band, although today, as in his comment in "WingsSpan", McCartney admits that Pete was a great drummer... finally. And Sir Paul, if you're reading this, or if perhaps you're having one of your servants read this to you, I would say the following: When you come off your tour (which the average Macca fan, including myself, could not afford to attend), consider giving Pete a call, make an appointment to visit The Casbah, and bring your guitar.

My favorite personality, aside from Pete, on this DVD, is Horst Fascher, who, among other things, had been a bouncer at Bruno Koshmider's Kaiserkeller club in Hamburg, a man who became a good friend of Pete's and The Beatles. He tells it like it was,
relating, for example, that in 1962 he immediately suspected Brian Epstien of masterminding Pete's dismissal from the group. One can tell from his account, and from his expression, that Horst never saw Brian in a positive light, and personally, I believe Horst's recollections, all in all, shed the most light about those early years. Thank You Horst. Other interview highlights include Astrid, Klaus, Ken Brown, Rory & ROag Best,
and one of Merseybeat's foremost boosters, Mona Best filmed with her son, Pete, early 60's. And there are many others. Fantastic!

This DVD, aside from its main program being a work of art in how it is presented, and as to its wonderful quality, is PACKED with extras which will leave any viewer more than satisfied.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4842f24) out of 5 stars The extra bonus DVD to the Beatles Anthology DVD set Nov. 7 2005
By P. Gabor - Published on
Format: DVD
Great care was put into creating this DVD and it is not a low budget hack some might fear. This is a top quality documentary made by some who made the Anthology DVDs with the help of people who were actually there. With this DVD you get a better understanding of the early years all presented in the entertaining style of the Beatles Anthology. A perfect bonus DVD to be put right next to the Anthology box set.

Many 'only read about before' people, great stories, interesting facts, some never seen footage and pictures. Top release! Get it and have a wonderful 2+ hours. NOW the story is told. Thanks Pete, Roag etc...
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa48f8204) out of 5 stars The Bestles Jan. 18 2008
By Vincent L. Zegarelli - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After reading what other folk have written I decided to buy my own copy and see for myself. Pete Best is an engaging guy who was on the brink of fame and lost it and although this happened he is not sour grapes about his experience. This is almost like a home video of someones life with tales thrown in. He doesn't share alot of new things but I never thought the Beatles would try to rob a sailor after drinking with the fellow, interesting.The extras are great as well.When you look at this in context of the times then and now this is a little jewel of a documentary.I suppose I was hoping Pete wouldn't whine about lost fame and he doesn't which makes this as interesting a doc as there is. I found it difficult to believe that none of the other "mates" have contacted him over the years and was pleassently surprised to learn that on the first anthology set its Petes drumming on love me do. I highly recommend this product.