Remastered Beatles ushers band into digital age

The Beatles take a step closer to selling their music online on Wednesday with the simultaneous release of the band's re-mastered catalog and the MTV video game The Beatles: Rock Band.

The Beatles collection, available from 09/09/09, is expected to dominate the charts in key markets like the United States and Britain, bringing a windfall to the group's label EMI Music and the Fab Four's company Apple Corps Ltd.



Retailers who have seen physical music sales eroded over recent years are also gearing up for queues around the block for both the CDs and the video game, an added bonus after Michael Jackson's death in June saw a spike in sales.



While the re-mastered catalog, its first overhaul since 1987, is seen appealing mainly to Beatles' fans who would appreciate subtle variations and improvements that technology has brought, most excitement surrounds MTV's video game.



"I think this (the game) is significant because it will enable the music to be heard by a new generation of fans," said Gennaro Castaldo of music and gaming retailer HMV in London.



"It just keeps the Beatles mythology growing and growing, so that's why it is so significant."



The fact that, according to Billboard, the Beatles will soon allow fans to buy at least some of their music in digital form as extra downloadable content for the game, underlines how close the digital age may be.



"I think the Beatles music soon will be available everywhere," Giles Martin, son of Beatles producer George and who produced the music for the game, told Reuters at London's Abbey Road Studios where the band recorded.



Fans of arguably the world's most successful pop band, with album sales of more than 600 million worldwide, have waited for years to be able to download the Beatles' coveted body of work, but have been frustrated partly by a trademark dispute.



The new music collection comprises 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in Britain, and "Magical Mystery Tour," which became part of the Beatles' core catalog when the CDs were released in 1987.



In addition, the collections "Past Masters Vol. I and II" are combined as one title, making 14 titles overall.

Allan Rouse, who oversaw the re-mastering, said improved computer software had allowed his team to improve the quality and sound of the Beatles' catalog, including through removing bad edits, electrical clicks and sibilance.



"Obviously the only people who are going to notice those little things are the fans, because they will know that they've gone," Rouse told Reuters.



"But on the other hand, for the future generation, they probably don't want to hear things like sibilance and pop and a bad edit. It's very close to listening to a master tape."



Another obstacle to appreciating the changes is the dominance of iPods, he added.



"The sad fact of it is that so many people ... are going to rip them into their computer and put them onto their iPods, so yes, listening on an iPod you probably will find it very difficult to tell the difference."



The game offers 45 songs from the band's catalog, each member is animated in detail and real crowd noise from Beatles' performances is used.



With video game sales falling sharply in the United States, the makers of The Beatles: Rock Band are aiming to appeal to older consumers who have not yet experimented with the format but may be attracted by their love of the music.



"It's becoming a family event because it's moved from the bedroom to the front room where the whole family can play," HMV's Castaldo said.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Infrastructure Architect

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Infrastructure Architect is ...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Support - Helpdesk Analyst

    £18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a customer focu...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Development Executiv...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn