The Beatles’ four original in-person appearances on CBS’ legendary variety series The Ed Sullivan Show return to DVD on September 7 from Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) and SOFA Entertainment. As its title suggests, The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles contains all four episodes in their entirety— including the corny commercials of the day that appeared during the original broadcasts. Those shows were originally issued by SOFA through a smaller label in 2003, but the new set includes additional bonus materials, as well as a newly created 5.1 surround audio track.
Engineer Greg Miller of Sunset Digital, a company that is no longer in existence, created the audio restoration for the original 2003 DVD reissue. “Greg had done a beautiful restoration for us at that time,” notes SOFA producer Greg Vines. “For the surround, we simply filled out the rear channels, in-house, with some audience sounds from the broadcasts, augmented by some additional audience sound material,” giving viewers a greater sense of the in-person experience at the Ed Sullivan Theater.
The set includes the three appearances The Beatles made for Sullivan in February 1964—including their historic February 9 show, which essentially introduced the group to American audiences. Besides their appearance the following year, on September 12, the set now also includes additional rarely seen Sullivan snippets, such as a brief interview Sullivan conducted in the spring of 1964, while they were filming their first movie, A Hard Day’s Night.