May 30, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT
We gave it an A

All You Need Is Love is subtitled ”The Story of Popular Music,” and it really is, in nearly 15 hours, on five discs. For this made-for-British-TV series, documentarian Tony Palmer compiled remarkable, rarely seen performances and interviews with everyone from Hoagy Carmichael to John Lennon. There are entire episodes on the blues, jazz, and Broadway musicals (the scriptwriter for the latter? Stephen Sondheim). Palmer makes the point too often that white pop frequently stole from black rhythms — he’s right, but it gets repetitious — yet if that’s my biggest quibble, how great must this be? See for yourself. A

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