12 Days of Beatles Christmas begins tomorrow.

Ladies and gentlemen it’s a good time to be a fan of the Fab Four.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I enjoy the treasure trove of Beatles-related products.  Yes, it’s a bit money grubbing, and capitalistic of the Beatle-clan to be hawking goods that most of us do not need at all, but that’s always been part of the fun of being a Beatle fan.

Admit it to yourself, you collect the goods.  Yes, some of this stuff may cost an arm and a leg sometimes. Yes, you have bought the same albums over and over, but there’s something alluring about having to collect it all.

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Over the course of the next few days leading up to Christmas we will post our own reviews of the latest Beatle products to fill your xmas stockings.  I wish we were able to report on new remastered releases, but that will have to wait for next year.  We are a few days short of 12, so we will have more than one item on a few different days, so stay tuned.

For now though, these latest Beatle goods will have to suffice for our next Beatle fixes.  Stay tuned tomorrow for the first in our series of the 12 Days of Beatle Christmas.

Here’s what we’ve read.

You’re not putting the porno in the paper are you?”

The comment, by the collector’s wife, pipes into the basement from upstairs. She’s joking, kind of.

Her husband has amassed one of the most comprehensive privately owned collections of Beatles paraphernalia. He keeps it in the basement of their Kansas City-area home. The ever-expanding bounty is an ongoing source of jovial consternation.

“The porno” is a reference to a prized item among his thousands — a framed line drawing by John Lennon.

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The Beatles and iTunes: A question of money?

It’s so amazing to me that all of this is taking so long.  I mean, it would be one thing if The Beatles were holding out on releasing the back catalog in a digital format due to remastering issues.  Or, they were working out a scheme to really knock our socks off with a new lead-off single (ala Carnival of Light, or Now and Then) to kick-off the campaign which would usher in the Fab Four onto the digital marketplace.

That, folks, does not seem to be the case.  Perhaps, the Apple record people, and our beloved Fab Four are singing that old tune… “Now give me money….that’s what I want…”

It would all really be a shame if that’s what all the foot dragging is all about.  How much money is too much at this point?  When is it all really enough?  Just put the songs out please.  I don’t care if it’s iTunes, or CD’s, or even freakin’ eight-tracks.  I just want to hear the back catalog in a remastered format that does it some justice.  It’s way too long overdue.

For now…it’s all about the money.

Here’s what we’ve read.

Last we checked, the full catalog of Beatles songs was supposed to be available for sale on the iTunes Store before the end of 2008.

Well, it’s not happening this year, according to one of the band’s two surviving members, and for all we know it may never happen.

“The last word I got back was it’s stalled at the whole moment, the whole process,” Paul McCartney told reporters gathered Monday for the media launch of his latest album, Electric Arguments. (link)

Where’s Fake Steve Jobs when we need him?

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40 Years later: The White Album

I was not a first generation Beatles fan, as most of you know.  My mother ingrained the Fab Four in my brain from an early age.  My first recollection of The White album was a strange one.  It was well into my late teens (mid-1990’s) that I had even seen the album itself.  I hadn’t seen the poster or photos that accompanied it, until I sought it out in my mom’s collection specifically, but I digress.  I remember first hearing it on my mom’s dubbed cassette when I was about 10 years old.

Those first few listens really weirded me out actually.  I remember Honey Pie really not settling well with me.  I was fascinated though, that a rock group would make up an album full of songs about animals.  I would as my mom to play the “Beetles” album about the animals for me all the time.  There were racoons, mother nature, blackbirds, a weird guy named Bill running through the jungle hunting tigers, airplane sounds, raccoons, piggies…anyway you get the idea.

That phase passed quickly as I became consumed with The Beatles, but that album with it’s kaleidoscope of sounds, tape loops, rock and roll, and animals will always hold a fond memory. 

On the 40th anniversary of its release, CRANK it up loud, and enjoy the sounds of the White Album again.  I have my mono-Purple Chick Deluxe edition set queued up to play.

What are you recollections of The White album?  We’d love to hear your thoughts and stories about the Beatles’ masterpiece in the comments below.

Here’s what we’ve read.

The culmination of the year that was 1968 was the release of the Beatles album familiarly known as the White Album. A collection of songs with roots in a myriad of musical styles, this two-disc collection would be the soundtrack to the individual and collective lives of millions of people for the next several months. From the hippie ghettos of western civilization to the suburban bedrooms of America’s youth and even to the arid hills east of Los Angeles where a megomaniacal manchild named Chares Manson raised in the California prison system was creating a family bent on murder and mayhem, the White Album would become a totem of the cultural changes that shattered the known western world. It’s not that the White Album was the best rock album to come out that year. Indeed, other works could just as easily claim that title: Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland; Cream’s Wheels of Fire; Big Brother’s Cheap Thrills; or event the first Creedence Clearwater disc. No, it was because the White Album was from the top of the rock pantheon–the Beatles.

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Olivia Harrison is torn over decision to release Carnival of Light.

Well folks as more and more momentum, and new about the long-talked about Beatles’ the long lost Beatles track, Carnival of Light, comes out.  It seems that not everyone is as excited to release it.  We all know quite well that George Harrison had reservations about putting this track on the Anthology project, and his dissent it what nixed us from hearing it all those years ago.

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As more and more news comes out, Olivia Harrison is voicing concerns of her own about the track itself.  We all know that all Beatle projects need to be voted on unanimously amongst all of the powers that be.  We could be waiting even longer to hear this track, unless Olivia changes her mind.  Hopefully, we will all get a chance to hear the lost legendary track.  For now the rumor mill continues, and we wait even longer.

Here’s what we’ve read.

SIR PAUL McCARTNEY’s plan to put out an unheard BEATLES’ track has been dealt a setback – his former bandmate GEORGE HARRISON’s widow OLIVIA is reportedly undecided about agreeing to its release.

McCartney announced earlier this week (17Nov08) he wanted fans to finally hear the Fab Four’s 1967 experimental tune Carnival of Light.

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It’s official: The Beatles inspire new music video game.

For years I have been waiting for this.  Remember this folks, I am a second generation Beatle fan.  I was raised on a steady diet of computer and video games.  To me, this is very exciting. 

This brings a silly little story to mind. I remember back in 1987 an article in the video game magazine, Nintendo Power,  a blurb about the New Kids on the Block.  It was a little teaser ad for an upcoming video game when they were all the rage. 

The article went something like this, “Hey there kiddies.  The New Kids on The Block, you know that up and coming group?  The ones that are as big as The Beatles?  They have something coming out soon that The Beatles never had.  Their own video game…”

No I don’t remember that particular game, as I didn’t buy into all the hype of The NKOTB.  But I just don’t think it was nearly as cool as today’s announcement.

I’m just trying to picture Paul and Ringo rocking out in their living rooms to “I Want to Hold Your Hand” with those instrument controllers.  Too cool!

 Here’s what we’ve read.

THE BEATLES INSPIRE NEW MUSIC VIDEO GAME; APPLE CORPS LTD., MTV AND HARMONIX COME TOGETHER FOR UNPRECEDENTED DEALExclusive Agreement Set to Bring The Beatles Music to Fans for the First Time in Interactive Form Here, There and Everywhere in 2009

New York, NY – October 30, 2008 – The Beatles’ extraordinary music and phenomenal legacy is set to rock across the universe in the form of a video game through an exclusive partnership between Apple Corps Ltd., Harmonix and MTV Games, a part of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).

This partnership marks the first time that Apple Corps, along with EMI Music, Harrisongs Ltd, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, has agreed to present The Beatles music in an interactive video game format. Published by MTV Games and developed by Harmonix, the world’s premier music video game company and creators of the best-selling Rock Band®, the game will be an unprecedented, experiential progression through and celebration of the music and artistry of The Beatles. The game was creatively conceived with input from Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, and enjoys their full blessing. In addition, Giles Martin, co-producer of The Beatles innovative LOVE project, will provide his expertise and serve as Music Producer for this groundbreaking Beatles project.

“The project is a fun idea which broadens the appeal of The Beatles and their music. I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out,” Sir Paul McCartney said.

“It gives me great pleasure to be part of The Beatles / Apple and Harmonix / Rock Band partnership,” said Ringo Starr. “The Beatles continue to evolve with the passing of time and how wonderful that The Beatles’ legacy will find its natural progression into the 21st century through the computerized world we live in. Let the games commence.”

“It’s cool. I love it and hope it will keep inspiring and encouraging the young generation for many decades,” said Yoko Ono Lennon.

“People are having so much fun playing Rock Band. Combined with The Beatles tracks, it is a great way to either listen or participate,” said Olivia Harrison. “If you like the music, it doesn’t take much persuasion to get you to play.”

“Introducing the genius of The Beatles to a whole new generation of music lovers through original and inspired ways is extremely exciting to us at Apple Corps,” stated Jeff Jones, CEO, Apple Corps. “We are truly pleased to be working with the innovative forces at MTV and Harmonix as they embody our mutual passions for music and creativity.”

“Many of us have been part of a generation that has long enjoyed an enduring love affair with The Beatles and now we’re looking to extend that love affair for future generations to enjoy,” said Van Toffler.” “Our inspiration for this project comes from a keen sense of history and a place of utmost reverence and respect for the band, their music and their heritage.”

“The impact of The Beatles is forever ingrained in the hearts, minds and souls of millions the world over,” said Judy McGrath, Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks. “The Beatles are the reason many of us are WHERE we are, and some of us are WHO we are.”

“We are honored to be part of this new way for people to discover the timeless music and art of The Beatles – the most creatively and commercially successful, critically acclaimed, and influential band in the history of popular music,” stated Paul DeGooyer, MTV’s Senior Vice President of Electronic Games & Music.

“By presenting their music and artistry through the creative filter of a groundbreaking video game, we are giving legions of fans and music lovers all over the world a profound, new way to experience The Beatles,” said Alex Rigopulos, CEO and Co-Founder, Harmonix. “This game will be a celebration of the Beatles undeniable legacy.”

About Apple Corps. Ltd.
Apple Corps Ltd. was founded by The Beatles in 1968 to look after the group’s own affairs. The London-based company has administered the catalogue of The Beatles releases of the 1960s that have sold to date more than 600 million records, tapes and CDs. Since the 1990s Apple has piloted new Beatles projects that have become benchmarks for pioneering accomplishment and which have included The Beatles Anthology projects, the 28 million-selling album The Beatles 1 and the The Beatles LOVE show and CD. Further information on The Beatles’ projects can be found at http://www.thebeatles.com.

About MTV Networks
MTV Networks, a division of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company’s portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 350 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Harmonix, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Noggin, The N, AddictingGames, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, Spike TV, TV Land, Atom, GameTrailers and Xfire.

About MTV Games
MTV Games is dedicated to creating, marketing and publishing high-quality, innovative interactive products that are relevant to the MTV audience and complement the core values of the MTV Networks brands.

About Harmonix Music Systems, Inc
Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., based in Cambridge, MA, and established in 1995, is the leading developer of groundbreaking music-oriented videogames. Harmonix was founded by Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, who formed the company to invent new ways for non-musicians to experience the unique joy that comes from making music and have pioneered music and rhythm gaming in the US. For more information please visit: http://www.harmonixmusic.com.

Source: The Beatles.com

All Together Now: With a little help from dad’s friends

I love the fact that George Martin is sharing his musical legacy with his son.  It is the best thing that he could pass along to his boy.  Imagine not only working along side your father with his legacy laid out in front of you, but actually being given an opportunity to tweak it and play around. 

The LOVE project was an audio sandbox, and I couldn’t think of anyone other than George and Giles to make sandcastles with.  Lots of people were a bit upset that Giles was “given” the project.  I think it was a nice way to keep it in the family, literally. 

Here’s what we’ve read.

When Giles Martin was asked to work alongside his father and remix the Beatles for Love, a Cirque du Soleil show based on the band’s back catalogue, he wasn’t sure he should take it on. “If anyone told me they were going to get George Martin’s son to mix the Beatles and put on a show in Las Vegas, I’d probably have punched them,” he says in his well educated voice, as he puts down his mint tea. “Because it’s a repulsive idea.”

He resisted not only because of the inevitable accusations of nepotism but also because he wasn’t sure it would be successful. But he was wrong. Since Love opened in a $100 million theatre in Vegas in 2006 — with a staggering 7,000 speakers and enough dancers, mime artists, trampolinists and bungee jumpers to keep any Cirque fan content — it has virtually sold out every night.

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Could we get a Beatle remasters announcement sooner than later?

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With all of the specualtion, and recent stories surrounding the rumors regarding the remastered Beatles back catalog, we may get an announcement sooner than later.

Mojo magazine gave us some speculative rumors hinting, a few days ago, that something is in the works regarding the remastered Beatles catalog. It was just enough to whet your appetite and really churn up those rumors, and get us all hoping that the remasters are finally released correctly.

Well folks, the folks at Apple, the computer people, have an event scheduled next Tuesday.  The presentation probably revolves around new iPod and iTunes annoncements, but there is some speculation that we may hear something about the status and release of the remastered Betales’ catalog.

We will keep you posted on the status, but for now, let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Here’s what we’ve read.

The Apple invitation is being analyzed and deciphered — a fuchsia-colored man jumping with white iPod headphones. One point to anyone who guessed it would be music-related.

Most likely, the Cupertino, Calif., company will unveil a refreshed line of iPods at the Sept. 9 gathering. Maybe a few bands or musicians will perform, since the event will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts theater in San Francisco. Some speculate Apple could announce that the Beatles catalog will join iTunes.

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