Rock Docs: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years (2016) - Reviewed

Serving as a historical primer for casual Beatles fans, Eight Days A Week is a just above average introduction to the story of the legendary band. Despite their epic status as the group that drove crowds wild, Howard's final product is a flawed one that might take some patience on the part of his audience. Struggling to get through his first act, Eight Days A Week takes a little bit to get going, ultimately ending with their final live performance together. Through newly edited archival footage, Ron Howard delivers a film that chronicles the live phenomenon along with some of  the studio antics of the biggest rock band ever. 

Through interviews with the surviving members of the band, archived talks with George Harrison, and discussions with people that experienced their melodic revolution, The Beatles artistic integrity and social relevance is presented in an endearing light. Capturing the segregation of the '60s and the band's adoration for their followers, Eight Days A Week is a passive love note that doesn't dig too deep and may not fully appeal to die-hard Beatles cultists. Yet, Howard abundantly succeeds in showing us the differing personalities of the four members of the band as we get an inside look at their frustrations with the press, the overwhelming demands of their fans, and the pressure to continue making pop hits. 

Being an avid documentary viewer, some of the most interesting bits are when we're taken to the studio to see newly revealed black and white stills, their recording process and their productive relationship with George Martin. Musicians will fall in love with the scenes of their work during the Sgt. Peppers era and Howard's attentiveness to showing us the beautiful vintage gear they had at their beck and call. From their humble beginnings to the Shea Stadium concert to their final days working together, Eight Days A Week manages to give us a little taste of every era and how the band became a revolutionary force in the music industry that still cannot be matched in writing, studio layering, or musical diversity. 

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It's not until the final act that the film finally starts to paint a picture of the four unique personalities that made up The Beatles. As their creative partnership toils on the fringes of its final moments, Howard's vision finally comes to light, showing his viewers exactly what he was going for. Again, if you're a person that knows the ins and outs of their history, you'll already be in the know. For myself, this gave me some backstory and a biographical lesson on four of the biggest musical geniuses to ever grace the industry.  Despite the sluggish first chapter and some , Eight Days A Week will appeal to a large array of music lovers.

Their story is one of friendship, loss, and The Beatles' dedication to one another. While their story is not all sunshine and roses, Eight Days A Week is a peek inside their years together and the woes that crippled them at times. I suggest seeing it but don't expect miracles.