Saturday, September 12, 2009

Remastered Beatles a hit once again

It's the second coming! Of The Beatles, that is. The entire Beatles music catalogue was released in a digitally remastered format on Wednesday, and Rock Band: The Beatles was released for the popular video gaming systems Xbox, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii.

Manager Ben Frith, of Vancouver's Neptoon Records & CDs, said his store sold out of the albums in a matter of hours. “Guys, girls... They're universally loved,” he said.

The new Beatles albums and the Beatles video game top the music and video gaming systems lists, respectively, in several categories, including the best-selling, most gifted and most wished-for lists.

Frith said his store had a hard time getting a hold of the discs. Distributors, he said, are sold out. “Places like HMV undercut everyone. They went below their own costs just to draw people in,” he said. Frith's store sold the stereo box sets for $230 while HMV sells them for under $200. “I can understand them selling it at cost, but that far below cost is just ridiculous to me... It's totally unfair for stores like us,” he said.

Beatles songs are not – and have never been – available on iTunes.

Prolific songwriter Bob Pollard was once quoted as saying “Not liking The Beatles? Man, that's like not liking air.”

The Beatles' last live performance with all original band members was in their native England in January, 1969.

The Beatles performed in Canada three times; Their last performance in Canada was at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens in 1966. Former Globe and Mail reporter John MacFarlane was there. The cost of his ticket? Five dollars and fifty cents.

Since the band's rise to fame in the early ‘60s, the Beatles have sold over a billion records worldwide.

Lead guitarist George Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001, and John Lennon was shot and killed in 1980. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr continue to rock.

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