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The Day the Beatles’ ‘Lady Madonna’ Video Premiered


On March 14, 1968, BBC1’s Top of the Pops TV program premiered a new video clip by the Beatles for their new single “Lady Madonna.” Long before MTV-style music videos were the norm, the concept had already gained some ground with the Beatles, who started making them in 1965.

“Out of convenience, we decided we we’re just not going to go into the TV studios to promote our records so much, it was too much of a hassle,” George Harrison explained in the Anthology documentary. “What we’ll do is just go and make our own little films, and we’ll put them out.”

The “Lady Madonna” clip was filmed in the studio, and cut to show off the band hard at work, but still having some fun. The thing is, the footage actually came from the band recording the song “Hey Bulldog,” which was still unreleased at the time. Though the video doesn’t exactly sync up to the audio, it is a fascinating and entertaining view of the group in the studio. The single was released the following day, and within two weeks, it was sitting on top of the U.K. charts.

It would be almost 30 years, during the release Anthology in 1995, before the footage found its way to back to its original source of “Hey Bulldog.”

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