Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hello, Goodbye

Hello, Goodbye paulmccartney.filminspector.com
Paul McCartney and George Harrison in the "Hello, Goodbye" music video.

"Hello, Goodbye" was a non-album single released by the Beatles on 24 November 1967. The flip side was John Lennon's "I Am the Walrus." The singles was a big success, hitting No. 1 around the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, West Germany, and most other European countries. The RIAA certified it a gold record for sales exceeding 1 million.

Hello, Goodbye paulmccartney.filminspector.com

While a huge success on the charts, today "Hello Goodbye" is probably best known for its accompanying music video, or rather, the three separate promotional clips that were filmed. The Beatles assembled at the Saville Theater in London and filmed three separate clips:
  • Performing the song dressed in their Sgt. Pepper uniforms (aside from a brief segment at the end in their 1963 collarless outfits;
  • Miming the song dressed (somewhat) normally and with parts set in a rural location; and
  • a third version with elements of both of the other two versions.
The first version of the "Hello, Goodbye" music video is the one that has become iconic.

Hello, Goodbye paulmccartney.filminspector.com
The second version of the "Hello, Goodbye" music video is not as well known as the iconic first version.

The Beatles apparently thought that the first version of the "Hello, Goodbye" music video was the best. However, due to a Musicians Union ban on miming on television, none of the versions could be shown on British television (the song did air, but accompanied by scenes from "A Hard Day's Night" instead). The first version (which included hula dancers) aired in the United States on the Ed Sullivan Show on 26 November 1967 to a somewhat mixed reception.

Hello, Goodbye paulmccartney.filminspector.com

Unfortunately for the Beatles, color television sets at the time were still somewhat rare, so the fantastic color in the video appeared as muted shades of gray. While not a disaster by any means, it was a poor omen for the "Magical Mystery Tour" film to be shown exactly a month later. That film's broadcast, which is considered one of the few disasters of the Beatles years, suffered even more than "Hello, Goodbye" in critics' evaluations due in large part to the lack of color (but also for other reasons such as a muddled script and disconnected vignettes).

Hello, Goodbye paulmccartney.filminspector.com

Fortunately, color television sets soon became more popular, and, in any event, reactions to the video did not hurt record sales. Today, the "Hello, Goodbye" video now is considered by many to be a classic. It has tens of millions of views on youtube and is one of the most popular videos from the Beatles era. Paul McCartney regularly performs the song at his concerts, and even opens some with the song, so obviously he is quite proud of "Hello, Goodbye."

Hello, Goodbye paulmccartney.filminspector.com


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