Those legendary appearances of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show beginning with their February 9, 1964 appearance were released on DVD today with newly remastered audio and carefully restored video.
With a running time of more than 250 minutes, The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles presents those shows uncut, including not only all of the other performances but also all of the original commercials. The audio is available in both mono and a 5.1 remix. Also included on the two-DVD set will be material from other “Sullivan” shows, notably a short interview with The Beatles which has not been seen since its original television airing in 1964.
While a similar DVD package was released in 2003, the distribution was through a small independent company. Now through Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles will be widely available at traditional retail as well as non-traditional retail such as book stores, major department stores, specialty and high-end stores.
The new DVD set includes approximately 13 minutes of additional footage, according to a press release. The added material, rare Beatles-related gems from other “Sullivan” shows, is placed at the end of each disc. Among them is a brief London interview with The Beatles by Sullivan which has not been seen since the day it aired (May 24, 1964); a 1966 black-and-white commercial for Beatles dolls introduced by Sullivan in color; and the host reading a 1967 telegram from The Beatles congratulating him on the renaming of the studio to “The Ed Sullivan Theater.”
“We used the full extent of today’s technology,” says Andrew Solt, Executive Producer and CEO of SOFA Entertainment, which purchased all 1,050 hours of “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1990. “The quality is better than it ever was, in fact, better than when the shows aired, especially visually. For example, the February 16 performance was from Miami’s Deauville Hotel, not from a studio. The quality of the tape image was very fragile. We went back and improved it frame by frame.”
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