I finally received my copy of Beatles Trivial Pursuit today. Last night I was imaging what the player pieces would look like — the Pop Culture version had a cell phone and Atari joystick, and I thought it’d be nice to have the Beatles main instruments be the pieces.
Alas, Beatles Trivial Pursuit was not that clever. The player pieces are the normal pie thing, but the twist of the game is a second piece you control, a pawn. Your pawn goes around an outer track, which features different areas like Come Together, Get Back, All You Need is Love and Ticket to Ride. While your pawn is in one of those areas, you challenge people or send them back spaces. It’s interesting, but unnecessary.
It comes with a special die featuring different iconic Beatles logos (Yellow Submarine, pic of them jumping in AHDN for example). Which logo lands decides what level question you get. There’s 2 of each level: easy medium and difficult on each card. I quickly figured out that each card is about the same thing. Like the Hollywood Bowl concerts. Or Band on the Run.
The categories are: Movies, Songs, Singles & Albums, On their Own, History, and Movies. The hard ones are quite hard, and even some of the easy ones are difficult.
But everything about this game screams cheap. The pieces are very cheaply made. I feel like the special die’s markings will rub off quickly. The cards are not glossy and look sloppy.
Overall, I give it a 3 out of 5. I’m glad it exists, but it could have been much classier.
"With all due respect to Wii Sports, no video game has ever brought more parents together with their teenage and adult children than The Beatles: Rock Band likely will in the months and years to come."
With all due respect to the author, I wouldn’t even go that far.
Beatles iTunes announcement rumor gets one step closer to the truth
As Steve says, these rumors have happened so often, it’s easy to become jaded. But this one is different for a lot of reasons.
One, today Apple sent out invites today to a press event on 09-09-09. When this latest rumor first started, I thought yes, this is it. Then I thought that since Beatles Rock Band debuted via Microsoft at E3, maybe Apple Inc is just being a bitch trying to steal the Beatles’s thunder. But now I’m back on board with the rumor. Things are getting interesting.
Two, as I’ve already explained, there are financial reasons why Apple Corp/EMI needed to put the Beatles catalog on iTunes.
Three, the catalog is now remastered, and that’s what Paul has said they were waiting for years ago.
And now there’s this:
"We called Apple’s press office today to check on the rumor.
The music we heard while on hold? The Beatles’ “Hello, Goodbye.”
Now, of course, it could mean nothing. We’re on the phone. “Hello, Goodbye.” Get it?
As read here, the remastered CDs will be available all over the place, including:
It’s not like this is a new idea (especially for Starbucks). I’d rather see Beatles albums than “Songs for Your Mood Swings” lame-ass cds near the check out lines of these places.
Anticipated as one of the largest music marketing and merchandising events ever, [on] 9/9/09…
Restoration Hardware will showcase the full range of remastered discs along with the limited edition $89.99 Box of Visiontabletop CD display unit and book, The Beatles: Rock Band, USAopoly’s Beatles-themed Trivial Pursuit game, and other Beatles booty in a Fab Four-furnished living room. The Beatles will meet the cover of Restoration Hardware’s holiday catalog, too, said Steve Glasenk, vp-licensing, Live Nation Merchandise.
Starbucks will offer four of the remastered EMI Beatles titles throughout September—Abbey Road, Help, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Rubber Soul—which will be the sole music offerings at the coffee chain during the month.
Target and Best Buy will build Beatles boutiques within stores to showcase the music, the licensed lifestyle product and the MTV Games-produced/Electronic Arts-distributed game.
Bloomingdale’s will sell a high-end edition of Rock Band featuring replicas of John’s and George’s guitars and Paul’s bass in their very own travel cases.
Best Buy will run a midnight sales promotion and sell a crate that contains a T-shirt and a CD.
What the hell is the “licensed lifestyle product”??
This is the first I’ve heard of a midnight release. I’ll be there, if it’s true. So far bestbuy.com only mentions that some stores will open at 8:00 am on 09/09/09 for a day-long celebration.
As I was saying in a previous post, if the Beatles music doesn’t appear on iTunes when Beatles Rock Band is released, they stand to actually lose revenue.
“I’ve seen music come a long way — from records and cassette tapes to CDs and downloads — and it’s as cool as it ever was,” McCartney said from England. “I don’t mind how the music gets to them, as long as it’s good quality.”
The potential impact of “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” extends beyond the games. More than 800 songs by various artists are available for downloading through the “Rock Band” library, which has had more than 50 million paid downloads — at $1.99 per song — since debuting in late 2007.
Mötley Crüe has sold an average of five times more songs through “Rock Band” downloads than on iTunes, while the 2007 release of “Guitar Hero III” saw DragonForce’s album sales rise 126 percent.
…you’ll also be able to fill even more of your entertainment time with music videos, documentaries and movies inspired by the Fab Four on Xbox LIVE. From classic tunes from band members to the best of the Mersey’s music from today and the critically acclaimed documentary, “Imagine: John Lennon,” it’s all there for you at the touch of a button.
Need more ways to prove your love for The Beatles? Then challenge the depths of your knowledge of The Beatles in a unique “1 vs 100 LIVE” episode. Coming on August 29, as an Xbox LIVE Gold member, you’ll get the chance to not only chat live with some of the creative minds behind ”The Beatles: Rock Band,” but also call in to test your knowledge of the band and their music and even win some Microsoft Points for your efforts. Immediately following, fans who can’t get enough can continue the fun with two back-to-back “1 vs 100 Extended Play” episodes full of Beatles trivia.
You will also be able to share your Beatles pride on Xbox LIVE with an exclusive Beatles t-shirt for your Avatar, made available with the purchase of the game.
For the only time in my life, I wish I had an Xbox. But then there’s this:
Coming soon, music fans and gamers will also get the chance join the “Fab Four Mystery Tour” – an interactive look at the Beatles and the many twists and turns of their career. The website was created using artwork and animations from the eye-popping intro cinematic for “The Beatles: Rock Band” created by Passion Pictures, that debuted at E3 this year.
This is the first I’ve heard of this site. I wonder who is sponsoring it.
I met Yoko many times over the course of the project. In the end, she came to see our progress and it was such a huge help because at the time our version of John was not really there. She’s an artist and she’s really with it, so she was able to figure it out really quickly. She told us, “He doesn’t move the right way. His eyes aren’t right. He needs to be more confident.” She gave us a ton of awesome feedback and it was delivered in a way that she really wanted to make sure she got her point across. At the same time, every artist of mine that she sat with, she sort of patted them on the back afterward or gave them a hug and said, “You’re doing an amazing job.” So she’s a strong-willed individual who has strong opinions, but thank God she had them because otherwise I really think the game would have suffered.
The first thing we did was watch ‘The Beatles Anthology’ [documentary] and then we were constantly gathering footage from everywhere. We would sketch out an idea of outfits or scenes and then we’d go to Apple Corps and say, “Do you have better reference material in your archives to send us?” and they’d be like, “Yeah, we’ve got a great picture of John’s jacket from ‘All You Need Is Love.’”
We played for Ringo once and then Paul came in and Ringo was still in the room. We started doing the same demo for Paul and as we were launching into it, Ringo said, “You played that already. Why don’t you kick it up a notch?” So we all put it up on a harder difficulty and then at that point I got jet lagged and I kind of stink at these games anyway, so I made a ton of bum notes. Paul afterward was like, “You did well, and you did well” and then he looks at me and says, “You? Not so well.”
Can you reveal anything about when we’ll hear about the last song?
This is near and dear to me because althought I was a fan before it was originally released in 1995, I didn’t become obsessed with the Beatles until after the Anthology aired. I hope the same thing happens to some 17-year old girl this time around.
The “more” includes:
The Beatles Retrospective with Mark Goodman
The Beatles Anthology 2
and some solo Beatles stuff like the Red Square concert and Ringo Storytellers
"When the Beatles appeared on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,’ it was the last time a live performance changed the course of American music, and when they became purely a recording group, they pointed the way toward a future in which there need be no unifying styles, as bands can play what they like in the privacy of the studio, and we can chose which to listen to in the privacy of our clubs, our homes, or, finally, our heads." Wald reserves judgment about "whether that was liberating or limiting," but he does point out that some splits — including the one between rock and pop — were directly related to the Beatles’ journey.
She’s trying so hard to make “poptimist” a trend word.
So, maybe I’m wrong to worry, even a little bit, that the Beatles: Rock Band will somehow stop the happy march of poptimism toward a broader definition of great music.
"It’s important to remember that this is pretty much the only music distribution system around these days that is safe from free on-line trading, which is why bands and record companies are so hot for it. But the jury is still very much out on how broad its effects will be, or what those effects will be, or even whether such games have much of a future or are just a passing fad."
Celebrate the release day of The Beatles remastered CDs and The Beatles Rock Band game.
The ten Best Buy stores below will open at 8 a.m. September 9, so you can meet local radio DJs, play The Beatles Rock Band game, compete in trivia contests, enter sweepstakes and more.
Here are the locations. I’m not sure if I’ll go to this. The MN store is nowhere near the GameStop where I’m picking up BRB, and I’d be subtracting from the time I could be playing Rock Band.
If you search for “beatles remastered” on bestbuy.com, a video loads. At the end of the video, you can choose whether to look more closely at Rock Band or the remasters.
Best Buy is also offering these weird album “crate kits” for three albums, with Rubber Soul “coming soon”. Here's Revolver. They include some kind of box, the CD, and a t-shirt. These sound kind of like the boxes someone at GameStop described to a friend of mine, as promo material. But why would GameStop get promo material for the remasters?
Retailers have been taking advance orders for the individual CDs, box sets and Rock Band for months, and it’s a good bet that the Beatles will appear near the top of sales charts one more time.
Pride, and mild indignation, emerged when Rouse was asked what tapes were used as source material. “We would never consider using anything other than first-generation masters… . ,” he said. “These were done one track at a time, not album by album.”
I’m assuming he’s listening to the remastered stereo…
The old “Twist and Shout” sounded almost tinny next to the opened-up sound on the remastered version. The sound of McCartney’s fingers plucking the strings of his acoustic guitar as he sang “Yesterday” become more tangibly percussive, the tone of his voice and the guitar more open. George Harrison’s “Taxman” benefits from more visceral punch from Ringo’s drums.
"Mastering is very limited; you can only do so much," Rouse acknowledged. "It’s a much more subtle approach, as opposed to remixing."
The limits of remastering keep coming up. Why bother doing it at all? Why not go all the way?
I didn’t know this about CDs vs. Blu-Ray:
CDs can hold only 15% to 20% of the digital information in masters that use the current state-of-the-art 192kHz, 24-bit sampling rate, the same used for the Beatles’ new masters, according to Rouse. A Blu-ray disc offers 100% of that sampling rate for playback.
I assume a 5.1 DVD can hold close to 100%.
Since I apparently missed the boat on the mono CDs (pre-orders are gone from most big chains), I can just wait for the vinyl pressings, which will be so sweet.
An EMI U.K. marketing executive said there are no plans to issue the Beatles remasters on Blu-ray, adding, however, that “it’s just a matter of when, not if” they’ll be released in audiophile vinyl pressings.
"We worked out a way for filtering the different parts — the bass and drum tracks, leaving out the guitar," Martin said. "I was completely surprised about what we managed to achieve. When my dad came to see me and check out our work, he said, ‘What you’ve done is alchemy.’ It’s like you handing me a cake, and me handing you back the ingredients.
I didn’t know that the Box of Vision dude actually has the OK of Apple Corps.
Jon Polk, a former chief operating officer at Capitol Records who left the label in 2007, this week started shipping “The Beatles Box of Vision,” a lavish container he designed for the remastered CDs and aimed at the most ardent collectors. Polk said Aspinall turned the idea down flat when he first pitched it nearly a decade ago. But he got the OK to move ahead recently after “just one breakfast with Jeff Jones.” Polk said he’s taken about 10,000 advance orders for the $90 item.
Update: People are trying to tell me that these are the actual Beatles. I would totally believe that Paul is real, but the rest aren’t quite right. Anyone is welcom to send me proof to @factory_worker.
The Beatles Rock Band TV commercial has hit the pre-order club. It’s not what I would have expected, but it’s really great. And short.
They got 4 Beatles lookalikes to step across Abbey Road dressed as the Beatles did for the album cover, then hundreds of people with instruments of all kinds follow them, handing off fake instruments to the fake Beatles. The catch phrase is: Be the Beatles, Rock the World. Nice.
Those 4 guys look so much like the real thing that I seriously thought they did some Photoshop/video editing mastery to make the images walk so gracefully. But then when you get up close you see the facial hair on George and John is wrong. But Paul and Ringo look EXACTLY like the real ones. It’s uncanny.
New iPods and iTunes 9 are expected…perhaps the gateway to downloadable Beatles tracks.
I really think this is it. Apple Corps has said that one reason why the Beatles music has not been available for download has been the current state of the digital music (1987 cds). They were waiting for remastering, and for EMI to stop being dumbasses. Clearly that time is now.
EMI and Apple Corps have more to lose by NOT making the remastered tracks available on 09-09-09. iTunes sales of songs from Rock Band and Guitar Hero games go way up after a game’s release. The remastered tracks will make their way onto torrent and other illegal download sites. It’s in everyone’s best interest to make the downloads available ASAP.
Today, Best Buy stores set up a demo of the Beatles Rock Band game. The demo I played did not include the bundled instruments, or even the Rickenbacker or Gretsch. In fact, the demo was so unassuming that I walked up to the TV and two guitar controllers, waiting for the video to move from the logo splash screen then walked away because it looked dumb.
When I got back to the station, a guy was putzing with it and a the video for Ticket to Ride was playing. He was having trouble with the guitar, so another guy jumped in putzing with the Xbox controller. That wasn’t working either, so I jumped in with the green button on the other guitar.
And there it began. I led me and random lanyard-wearing dude to Yellow Submarine, listed as an easy song. I played bass. And it was easy. Too easy, even though I was on Medium level - I got 100%.
After that song, Random Lanyard Dude left after commenting that he hopes his buddy buys the game, and I was alone. I went back through the menus and selected the next hardest song, Day Tripper, although I swear it said Taxman or something else when I selected Yellow Submarine.
I played Day Tripper, Here Comes the Sun and I Feel Fine by myself on Medium guitar, in order of difficulty easiest to hardest (as they are listed and grouped in the menu).
Day Tripper was entirely too easy for Medium. It felt very strange “playing” only half the notes. I wanted to do more. I hope the next level up doesn’t incorporate too much of that nasty 5th button, though. I got 100% on Day Tripper, too.
I barely noticed any of the avatars or what the background was like because I was so focused on playing. I thought Here Comes the Sun was the hardest - not I Feel Fine. I got in the upper 90s on both.
I noticed that when you join the game as guitar or bass, the opening note of Getting Better is played. Nice touch.
I’m totally jonesing for more gameplay. I will definitely have to make another Best Buy trip this week. I did not expect to play so early, much less in a store on a Sunday in August. I’m honestly kind of in shock.
You can get a list of participating Best Buy stores here.
We wanted to play it [their music] to someone, in that case on a mono record player, and then through the ages on CDs, downloads.
Question: Were there songs in The Beatles’ catalog that you felt needed to be there?
PM: Yeah mine… mine. Basically, mine. [laughs]
If they thought they could make it happen, I’d let them try it. I’m not like that, “You mustn’t touch “Let it Be.”” It’s like, why not?
Paul thinks he made it to Match Game.
This is the thing, it wasn’t like I woke up one morning and I want these songs for a game show. It was they came to us and said, “Can we have these songs for our game show?”
I was letting them flash by one demo, and I, “Woah, wait a minute, if this is going out then it’s like the new Bible.” This is like if these go out and we’ve endorsed it, these better be right. So I said, “Just slow that down, read this out to me… Paul said to John… oh, now that’s not right. No, no what I said was we should…”
I’ve had a chance [to play], but I haven’t dared because the people demonstrating are so damned good that I’d need to get it in a room for a day.
Now it’s a game, I’ll get one. I might even get a free one. I will now learn it.
There’s The Beatles themselves, Apple, and we kind of hold a lot of the rights so we can a bunch of decisions, but then you’ve got EMI who’s our label, they hold a lot of cards too.
These kind of issues still exist with labels particularly, they’re dinosaurs, so you can’t always do exactly what you want.
About the remasters:
It’s nearer to the actual sound in the room when we made the record. It actually sounds like John is there singing, and I can see the mic, and I can relive the experience. So can fans, is the main thing. When people say, “It was originally made in mono, you should have kept it like that,” I say, “well go buy the mono, it’s still available, you can buy it if that’s what you want.”
In addition, purchasers of the full album download of Abbey Road will have the option to play the famous 16-minute B-side medley as a single continuous track. The medley includes “You Never Give Me Your Money,” “Sun King,” “Mean Mr. Mustard,” “Polythene Pam,” “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window,” “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight” and “The End.”
Since when is Her Majesty not part of the medley?
It says that the three albums (Sgt Pepper, Rubber Sould, and Abbey Road) will be available “by the end of this year”. I predict November.
How much stuff you unlock is based on whether you got 4 or 5 stars. You can then take a chapter challenge (like the Cavern is a chapter), which accumulates note streaks from all the songs from that chapter.
"Beatles Beats is in addition to the game’s drum trainer mode, which will include 45 exercises designed to help you get your act together behind the set. If you complete the drum trainer and make your way through the many Beatles Beats exercises, you’ll be ready for practically anything Ringo (or many other drummers) throws at you."
"There are multiple photographs to unlock per chapter, and some will only be available to you if you five-star a song."
"Once you’ve completed a chapter in the game, you can try a chapter challenge, which is essentially a setlist made up of all the songs from that particular chapter that will unlock further goodies for you. One special note about chapter challenges is this: Overdrive and note streaks will continue from song to song in this mode, making it easier to keep the energy up in your mini-concert."
George Martin tweaked both “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” when the albums were issued on CD back in 1987. Although “Rubber Soul” was recorded on a four-track machine, most of its songs have severe stereo separation with vocals on one side and instruments on the other. George Martin completely remixed the album to bring the vocals down the center. The stereo remasters use the 1987 George Martin stereo mixes rather than the original 1965 mixes. But for those who want to hear the original 1965 stereo mixes, they will be available in the mono collection.
So there’s additional stereo mixes on the mono collection. Ok, now I really want the mono collection. But considering that I have only the second volume of the Capitol discs and have listened to it twice, I probably shouldn’t bother.
"Magical Mystery Tour" is different from the 1967 Capitol stereo release. On the 1967 LP, some songs appeared in fake stereo. For the remastered CD, stereo mixes were used for all of the songs.
The liner notes have two components, historical and recording. These notes [historical ones] place the album in context with what was going on in the music industry and in the Beatles lives at the time the album was recorded and released.
The CD labels mimic the original label designs of the sixties. “Please Please Me” has the classic black and gold Parlophone label found only on the early pressing of the album. “With The Beatles” through “Sgt. Pepper” have the black and yellow Parlophone label. “The White Album” through “Let It Be” have the classic U.K. version of the green Apple label. “Magical Mystery Tour” has the Capitol rainbow label as that album was first issued on Capitol. The people involved with the project paid careful attention to both major and minor details to ensure the remasters are entertaining and historically accurate.
In addition to all of the new materials, all of the original liner notes and original extras are included in the CD booklets.
The mono box collection was made with collectors in mind. Each album is packaged in a mini-cardboard jacket mimicking the original album sleeves from the sixties. The mono albums faithfully duplicate the original packaging.
The mono discs for “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” have the original mono mixes, plus, as a bonus, the original 1965 stereo mixes, which are making their CD debut with these remasters. Remember, the stereo 09-09-09 remastered CDs use the 1987 George Martin remixes for “Help!” and “Rubber Soul.” It is on the mono “Rubber Soul” remaster where you can hear the original 1965 stereo mix with vocals on one side and instruments on the other.
[Re: Revolver mono] Some of the mono mixes sound different than the stereo mixes. The backwards guitar part on “I’m Only Sleeping.” [Re: Pepper mono] Some of the songs have extra effects not present on the stereo mix, such as applause at the beginning of the “Sgt. Pepper” reprise. “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!” sounds significantly better in mono.
"The White Album" was never issued in the U.S. in mono, and there are some songs that are significantly different in mono. For example, "Helter Skelter" and "Don’t Pass Me By" have different sound effects and the timing of the jet effects in "Back In The U.S.S.R." varies.
"Yellow Submarine" was issued in mono in the U.K., but it isn’t included in the mono box, because the mono "Yellow Submarine" album was merely a fold-down of the stereo LP.
So Mono Masters doesn’t have “The Ballad Of John & Yoko,” “Old Brown Shoe” or the single version of “Let It Be” because these songs were never mixed for mono, although “You Know My Name” is included because it was issued only in mono.
As has been previously reported in Beatles books, in January, 1969, The Beatles considered issuing an EP with the four new “Yellow Submarine” songs plus “Across The Universe.” Although that EP was never issued, a mono master for the five-song EP was put together. The five songs were given true mono mixes for the mono EP. These five songs will make their true mono debut on the Mono Masters set prepared exclusively for the Mono Box.
There are rumors that the mono box set will be limited to 10,000 units worldwide, but that is not true. The mono box set is only limited in that there are no future production runs planned.
Mr. Spizer, who has heard the actual remasters, added, “I was impressed with how great everything sounded. Of course I expected the remasters to sound better the releases from 22 years ago, but they exceeded my expectations.”
The challenges to unlock these rewards vary in difficulty. Some content is unlocked merely by completing a song at a certain difficulty level; other achievements, like getting a perfect score on the “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” guitar solo or playing Paul’s bass line left-handed, are a lot more difficult.
WTF play bass left-handed?! Do lefties need to do it right handed?
Not only must you play each song in a chapter to progress Story Mode, there are also Chapter Challenges. These task you with performing the songs amidst some special rules, simply to make things a tad more difficult. It’s a nice nod to gamers who still want to be tested as they play.
I’m glad there will be some hard stuff. If I can’t get past Paperback Writer, I can at least go to Quickplay for Good Morning Good Morning.
Finish a chapter in Story Mode and you’re treated to a custom cut-scene with pictures and audio showing the rapid evolution of The Beatles. …the production value in The Beatles is above and beyond anything I’ve seen in any music game to date. It doesn’t automatically make this a slam dunk brilliant game, but I’m not going to pretend that the hour-long demo didn’t have some breathtaking visuals.
It’s really hard to think of what was left out of the BRB tracklist, assuming today’s rumor is true. Since we now know three albums will be available later, it seems like the DLC will just keep on coming (something Giles Martin had alluded to as well).
But with what I know now, I will still miss:
It Won’t Be Long
She Said She Said
I’m Only Sleeping
Here There and Everywhere
This Boy or Yes It Is
Happiness is a Warm Gun
Yer Blues (though I understand why it can’t go on there)
Well this was unexpected. According to 411mania.com, Gigwise, Joystiq and several other blogs, we now know 44 of the 45 songs. The full list will appear in Game Informer magazine’s September issue (which I looked for today at Barnes & Noble but couldn’t find). thebeatlesrockband.com has not listed the final tracklist yet.
Ringo - drum roll please (new ones are bold, * means I picked it at some point, original 10 are italics):
Please Please Me (1963) I Saw Her Standing There Boys Do You Want To Know A Secret Twist and Shout *
With the Beatles (1963) I Wanna Be Your Man
A Hard Day’s Night (1964) A Hard Day’s Night * Can’t Buy Me Love *
Beatles For Sale (1964) Eight Days a Week *
Help! (1965) Ticket To Ride *
Rubber Soul (1965) Drive My Car * I’m Looking Through You If I Needed Someone *
Revolver (1966) Taxman Yellow Submarine And Your Bird Can Sing
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help From My Friends * Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds Getting Better * Good Morning Good Morning
Magical Mystery Tour (1967) I Am The Walrus Hello Goodbye *
The Beatles (White Album) (1968) Dear Prudence Back In the U.S.S.R. While My Guitar Gently Weeps * Birthday * Helter Skelter *
Yellow Submarine (1969) Hey Bulldog *
Abbey Road (1969) Come Together Something Octopus’s Garden I Want You (She’s So Heavy) Here Comes the Sun
Let It Be (1970) Dig a Pony I Me Mine I’ve Got a Feeling * Get Back
Love (2006) Within You Without You/ Tomorrow Never Knows *
Singles I Want To Hold Your Hand * I Feel Fine Day Tripper Paperback Writer * Revolution * Don’t Let Me Down *
So…what’s the missing song?! Is it All You Need Is Love, or something else?
I picked 20 out of 35 (minus the 10 given to us at E3) songs correctly…not too bad considering there are like 204 (again, minus the 10 given to us at E3) to choose from.
Maybe they’ve been given more access to the game recently, but the media sure has been hot on Beatles Rock Band this week.
Wired tells us that the drum trainer is called Beatle Beats. And more info on the bonuses:
For scoring well on songs, you’ll unlock all kinds of bonuses. Each song has two photographs pulled from the Beatles’ archive, some of which have never been seen before. Harmonix showed us one that depicts the group getting their very first “mop-top” haircuts. Paul McCartney, Harmonix said, sat down for eight hours with the game’s head writer to fact-check and add color to the lengthy descriptive captions that accompany each image.
The article continues to say that you can also unlock the Beatles first Christmas album (free 45s sent to fan club members). This audio will be nothing new to bootleg or YouTube fans, but will be super fun for others, especially if they bother with the 1968 Christmas record.
The Guardian's article doesn't say many new things.
Another from some gaming site called MCV. They indicate that BRB is the costliest video game of all time, mainly for the licensing. I suppose that makes sense. I’m guessing that the pre-orders were pushed so heavily because they could recognize that revenue up front.
A really big Wired article was published recently as well. More on that later because I’m now seeing that there’s bigger news…
“Hello, this is John speaking with his voice. We’re all very happy to be able to talk to you like this …” The voice is John Lennon’s, cheerfully greeting fans from a 1963 Beatles Christmas disc recorded for members of their fan club, and it’s just one of many gems hidden within the upcoming The Beatles: Rock Band game.
Beyond the 45 songs included in the game, fans will hear things never before released, from Paul McCartney tuning up in the moments before recording “Yellow Submarine” and “Twist and Shout” to studio chatter between the band and producer George Martin.
There is behind the scenes performance footage, animation and clips of the band in the studio, at home and more that fans can discover between performances. All of it is accessible to players of any difficulty level.
And one commenter says that All You Need Is Love is a “timed exclusive”, so Wii will have it some time later.
Giles held a slender finger to his lips, which turned up into a playful grin. He handed cups and saucers to three people nearby and mimed a sip. The others followed his lead, and a few feet away the microphones captured the small clattering sound of four people drinking tea. The odd recording session in March was one very small contribution to what Apple Corps…
Apparently some extra recordings were made for background sound. Couldn’t they have used something from The Rutles movie for tea sounds? ;)
Martin combed through hundreds of hours of tape to find these clips, but the chatter, recorded directly into microphones, lacked the subtle echo and ambient noise you would have heard if you were actually in the studio at the time. So after laying down a sound bed of background noise, Martin played the original clips through a set of speakers on the studio floor and rerecorded them through his mikes, this time with all the ringing acoustics of the room.
Insight into the chatter before Come Together:
Across the decades a guitar was tuned, a snare drum rattled and John Lennon warmed up his voice for a new song called “Come Together”: “He got teenage lyrics, he got hot rod baldy.’’
The canon thing is a really great point:
While over the years there has been no shortage of Beatles merchandise, some of it crass, the decision to release the game on the same date as the new CDs is, as well as an irresistible marketing tactic, a signal that the game is meant to be an authentic part of the band’s canon (as is McCartney’s decision to show footage from the game during his current American tour). The Beatles are positioning themselves to once again play a significant role in the evolution of popular music — this time by embracing interactivity.
McCartney sees the game as “a natural, modern extension” of what the Beatles did in the ’60s, only now people can feel as if “they possess or own the song, that they’ve been in it.”
At the time he was mildly alarmed that the Beatles’ original master tapes, while meticulously catalogued and preserved, had never been backed up. Apple Corps’ most precious resources are stored in a vault on the lower level of Abbey Road behind a massive steel door marked only with a sign that reads, dubiously, “Danger: High Voltage.”
Apple’s preoccupation with security meant that the high-quality audio “stems” he created never left Abbey Road. If the separated parts leaked out, every amateur D.J. would start lacing mixes with unauthorized Beatles samples. Instead, Martin created low-fidelity copies imprinted with static for the Harmonix team to take back to the States — in their carry-on luggage. They were just good enough to work with until the game coding could be brought back to Abbey Road and attached to the actual songs.
Um, I think the bigger worry for them would be bootleggers. But hell, I’d take the staticy ones.
Some info regarding Paperback Writer:
[Giles Martin] took the studio version, layered on the crowd noises at a less-intrusive volume and grafted on the final chord of the live performance to replace the studio fade-out.
Regarding the historically inacurracy of the live venue playlists:
But they also made changes that polish the Beatles’ mythology at the expense of realism. “Paperback Writer” live really was a mess. That’s not trivial, if you want to understand the Beatles’ legacy. Difficulty playing their material live is a reason that they stopped touring. But Martin is adamant that an accurate depiction of a mid-’60s Beatles concert would be a mistake. “This isn’t an archival project, it’s a game,” he said. “It’s entertainment. That’s what they were doing here in the first place. Later, people attached all sorts of significance to it, but they’d be the first to tell you that what they wanted most was to entertain people.”
In the hermetic, idealized world of The Beatles: Rock Band, the Apple rooftop performance isn’t an emotionally fraught grasp at a vanishing past; it’s just a gig — despite the unique opportunities a video game might present. (“Well, there is a death match,” Martin joked. “It’s the breakup. They push each other off the roof.”)
Regarding Ringo’s drumming earning more respect from the game:
“The big thing is how he leads with his left hand, and trying to figure out how he would have done a roll going down the kit,” said the designer. “We look for footage to see if we can figure out what he’s doing.” Earlier Alex Rigopulos told me, “Ringo is going to earn a lot more admirers when this gets out in the world and people see how sophisticated and challenging some of his drumbeats actually are.” I asked the sound designer if he had new appreciation for the Beatles’ drummer. “Yeah,” he said, somewhat tentatively. “I was always, like, more a Stones guy.”
I was wondering about this:
Because most Beatles songs have more than one guitar part, the audio team created a fantasy guitar line that incorporates all of them, following the part that is most fun to play…
His [audio designer] team tried to create patterns that mimic the way an actual guitarist would move up and down the fret board and keep the assignments of notes to buttons consistent throughout a song.
McCartney himself expressed hope that with the technology available, the characters could look hyperrealistic, like figures from the “Star Trek” holodeck. Harmonix came at it from the opposite direction, starting out with cartoony caricatures of the band and then scaling back the exaggerated features until they hit what felt like a proper balance between whimsical and realistic. To make sure the characters moved properly, Harmonix hired Beatles tribute bands and filmed them wearing motion-capture suits.
A week before my visit, Yoko Ono spent a day at Harmonix, tweaking. “Stop talking about the technology,” Rigopulos said she told them. “Let’s talk about the idea of what we are trying to accomplish here. John needs to own the performance, he needs to own the room. Where he’s looking and the look in his eye at every moment matters and affects people.”
I’m Looking Through You is one of the 45 songs? But maybe not if Rubber Soul is coming out as DLC soon after the game’s release.
hoosing to include “I’m Looking Through You,” a song the band never actually performed live, in the band’s Shea Stadium set meant having John play acoustic guitar on stage, even though the real concert was all electric.
(The designers took their cue from a film the Beatles shot for the song “Hey Bulldog,” in which the actual recording session was artfully edited into a single take.)
Hey Bulldog is referenced one more time, in passing.
The game is also relatively easy, which many gamers will see as a failing. But hard-core players who scoff at the lack of fiendish solos will miss the point. It “doesn’t look very complicated, and yet you’re hearing this perfect song,” Olivia Harrison told me. The cascading notes won’t always challenge an expert’s fingers, but they may help him or her see, literally, how the Beatles arranged simple musical components into gemlike melodies.
The Beatles, however, cannot be booed off the stage — how preposterous would that be? — soinstead the game cuts to a “Song Failed” screen.
According to this summary of the NYT article I mentioned in my last post, Sgt. Pepper and Rubber Soul will be offered as downloadable content after the games release.
I prediected Rubber Soul would make this cut. It’s a folk-rock album where every song would make great gameplay. But Sgt Pepper features tracks that have no guitar, or no drums. And does this mean that Within You Without You will be available in two formats after the Sgt Pepper release?
At least this means I can play Fixing a Hole and Lovely Rita eventually - two songs I was really hoping for.