Novice, die-hard Beatles fans will love new History documentary 'On Record'

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History's new documentary on the recording career of rock 'n' roll's most important band feels a bit like "Beatles for Dummies."

That's a good thing, by the way - because no matter how much we 1960s refugees assume the Fab Four are a permanent centerpiece of popular culture, the truth is that many fine, upstanding young music fans today still need to meet the Beatles.

"On Record" tracks the group's music from the Cavern Club in 1962 to the rooftop show in 1969. It's an in-house production, directed by Bob Smeaton for Apple Corps, and accordingly, it pays zero attention to the personal drama that finally broke up the band.

So for deep Beatles fans and scholars who find the internal tension fascinating or critical, "On Record" provides no new insight.

On the other hand, those who really only care about the music should be delighted.

The show follows the group from its basic R&B-influenced tunes of the early days through the growing sophistication of "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver" into "Sgt. Pepper," the White Album and "Yellow Submarine" and "Abbey Road."

By then, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr themselves sensed the end was near, which we know because we see interviews in which they say so...

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