Once again, I hear about a pre-order update not from the club itself, but from the plain old internet.
Today’s update featured yet another screenshot (from The Cavern doing I Saw Her Standing There) and the conclusion of the interview with Giles and Alex. Highlights commence after this colon and carriage return:
Giles: It was easy because it was in 4 track and 8 track, but the material we have for the Cavern Club in the game is 2 track. So by removing vocals from a track, people can hear instruments. If you make a mistake playing the bass on “Twist and Shout”, you’ll hear the fact that you’re making a mistake on “Twist and Shout”. The Beatles stuff is about 67 percent the band playing guitar, bass, and drums all on one track. If you’re playing the drums on the game and I stop that channel, the bass and guitar would stop as well.
Giles: The funny thing about this is that this probably couldn’t have been done two years ago or a year ago. There are fantastic engineers that are developing systems which enables us to do this as we go along.
Alex: There are aspects of the music that, when you listen to the entire mix, will escape detection normally. I had a very personal experience with this with one of the first songs when we got into the game, which was “Taxman”. “Taxman” is a song I heard at least a hundred times in my life and I thought I knew intimately. But the first time I was playing a bass part in that song, I was playing along with the bass line and just having a really great time with it, and then a moment came in the song’s bridge, leading into the guitar solo, where the bass just started going crazy and started running all over the place. It was amazing.
Alex: Most people are not musicians or trained singers and they can’t sing harmony. They really don’t know how to do it, so when they start singing a particular Beatles tune for the first time and two or three people are trying to do the extra harmony parts, it’s just horrendous. They’re out of tune and they’re just missing the parts completely, and it’s a mess. But it’s a video game and they keep trying and trying, and after about 45 minutes of working on a particular song, these people who couldn’t sing harmony to save their lives, are suddenly nailing the harmony parts of these Beatles songs. It’s really gratifying watching that come together, and it’s really gratifying to imagine that 6 to 9 months from now there’s going to be millions of people out in the world who couldn’t sing harmony, who are all of a sudden coming together around this music.
PC World and others managed to find the venues for the newly revealed songs even though they’re not on the new trailer.
Twist And Shout / Cavern Club
Do You Want To Know A Secret / Cavern Club
Can’t Buy Me Love / Ed Sullivan Theater
I Wanna Be Your Man / Ed Sullivan Theater
Eight Days A Week / Shea Stadium
Paperback Writer / Budokan
And Your Bird Can Sing / Budokan
Yellow Submarine / Abbey Road Dreamscape
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / Abbey Road Dreamscape
With a Little Help from My Friends* / Abbey Road Dreamscape
Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows / Abbey Road Dreamscape
Revolution / Abbey Road Dreamscape
Birthday / Abbey Road Dreamscape
Dig A Pony / Rooftop Concert
I’ve Got A Feeling / Rooftop Concert
So, even though no songs from Revolver were played on their 1966 world tour, here we see another one played at Budokan (the other is Taxman). The cut off from live venues to Dreamscapes seems to be by year, not song/album.
So, 15 more songs were revealed today. Way to email the preorder club, Beatles. But thanks, Joystiq.
"Twist And Shout" *
"Do You Want To Know A Secret"
"Can’t Buy me Love" *
"I Wanna Be Your Man" (Can’t believe I missed this one in my last picks)
"Eight Days A Week" (I had this in at one point but removed it cuz the guitar will be boring)
"Paperback Writer" *
"And Your Bird Can Sing"
"Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band" *
"With a Little Help from My Friends"
"Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows" * (I picked Tomorrow anyway)
"Dig A Pony" *
"I’ve Got A Feeling" *
I picked 9 of 15.
I’m not doing too hot with my picks so far. I would never have picked Yellow Submarine. Fun to sing, sure, but stupid to play. Do You Want to Know a Secret was obviously picked just because it’s George singing. And it’s a tough one to sing too.
The most interesting inclusion here is Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows. Obviously this is actually taken from the Love soundtrack, which is slightly annoying to this Beatles purist.
Some lucky UK journalists got to hear the remasters and play some Rock Band at Abbey Road Studio 2 recently.
"The tracks are clearer and cleaner. In the case of Can’t Buy Me Love, in particular, a very distracting fuzziness to the intro has disappeared," he says. He compared the remastering process to "a little like removing the lint and allowing the performances to shine more clearly."
Dowling agreed. “While you couldn’t quite shake off the nagging feeling the volume for the remixed tracks had simply been notched up a bit, the mixes seemed to have been treated to a lot of vocal retouching in particular. The voices were clearer and louder, and those trademark Beatles harmonies boomed out,” he wrote.
An interview with Alex Rigopulos and Giles Martin provides insight into the song selection. Highlights:
Giles: So we chose songs, really, based around the fact that it’s all four of them playing.
Alex: [We chose] some songs that were incredible songs that weren’t number one hits, that maybe some people wouldn’t know as well, but that we would have an opportunity to introduce to the audience in a new way.
Giles: So we’d think about how the songs would play, and really, we would reject songs that were maybe very well known and loved by people just because we didn’t feel as though it would be a great experience to interact with that particular song. As we work together on doing more material, we’re going to have to battle to make [gameplay] as good as possible. And so we tried to start by making things as easy as possible for us. More difficult later.
Giles: I’m very happy with what we’ve ended up with. I think it’s a good representation of what [The Beatles] have done. But, you know more to come I suppose…
Alex, regarding Dreamscapes: Later on there is some fresh creative terrain that we have the opportunity to explore while the narrative setting is that they’re in the studio recording this music, and that’s where all of this archival footage is coming from and what not.
Alex, regarding the cut scenes: Now in between all of these moments, this sequence of particular performance venues or abstract scenes that we just talked about, we wanted there to be some kind of connective tissue to help advance the narrative — to help educate, maybe help inform the player about the connection between these various moments in what was happening in their lives, and the various moments around them in the moments between these scenes that we’re giving you a window into, and so we produced these connective movies to help stitch the entire thing together into one cohesive experience.
This just keeps getting better and better. And, btw, Getting Better better be on the song list.
Media player is in upper right, under the banner logo.
Revolver is my favorite Beatles album. With that said, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to it with headphones or streaming online, so this mini-review isn’t worth much.
I feel like I hear more left/right separation in the first couple songs. Bass strings in Eleanor Rigby stick out more. Background vocals are stronger on Here There and Everywhere. Piano is punchier on Good Day Sunshine.
Guitars are louder on Dr Robert, almost to the dismay of the vocals. Meanwhile, Paul’s vocals are almost harsh on Got to Get You Into My Life.
Rest of the songs doesn’t seem very different from this internet listening session.
That fake 3-D photo thing is used to the extreme. The only interesting part was zooming out from a cut-out of Paul’s head from the Revolver cover to show the original whole picture. Why not do a Classic Albums-like thing that talks to people who favor that particular album. It’s not hard to find Beatles fans in the music business.
The moral of the story is, any time I set away for watching the documentaries has now been replaced with more Rock Band time.
Amazon has done a great job with promoting all the Beatles stuff coming out this year. The site includes questions from Beatles Trivial Pursuit, one-stop shopping for all Beatles stuff, plus a video from Sgt Pepper’s remastered mini documentary.
The mini documentary appears to be completely taken from Anthology, maybe even some from the Anthology Director’s Cut. Anyway, I doubt any of them will feature new interviews, but perhaps new photos.
I’m finally pre-ordering Beatles Rock Band bundle for Wii from GameStop since Best Buy still doesn’t offer in-store pickup for that game.
I am still concerned that I will not get the game on the morning of 09/09/09. It says that the product ships on 09/09/09. Pre-order is explained as such on the GameStop site:
Pre-order This product has not yet been released. Pre-ordering a product is the best way to ensure that you’ll receive it promptly when released. The date listed is usually the date we pick up the product from the vendor and ship to you.
First of all, how is pre-ordering ensuring that you’ll get the product promptly when the very next sentence says that the release date is the date they ship it from the vendor?
But how is in-store pickup different? They better have one waiting for me when they open the store on 09/09/09, and these pre-order goodies better be fucking awesome (even though I know they haven’t been so far).