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Beatlemania: Blah, Blah, Blah!


With last week's release of The Beatles: Rock Bandand newly remastered CDs, it was Beatlemania all over again.  While you still can't get The Beatles catalog on iTunes, I suspect even that will happen sometime in the next year. Or more likely, the week after I buy the last of the new CDs.

Reviews indicate both the Rock Band game and the new CDs are worth it for Beatles fans. In a "behind the scenes" story on the game the New York Times wrote:

The Beatles are positioning themselves to once again play a significant role in the evolution of popular music — this time by embracing interactivity...

In trying to create a new type of musical experience, Harmonix may also end up transforming the video-game experience. In describing The Beatles: Rock Band, Josh Randall, the creative director, uses words not often associated with games: “It is subtle, and it is sweet, and it is very embracing.” Alex Rigopulos said: “This game isn’t about winning. That’s generally not done in big mainstream games...”

In Rock Band and Guitar Hero, there are avatars that represent the player. If you’re playing guitar in the Beatles game, however, you’ll most likely be playing along with George one moment and John the next. This was a design necessity, but one Harmonix embraced because it kept the focus on the songs. “You’re not trying to be a Beatle,” Chris Foster, the lead designer, said. “You are experiencing this music a little bit from the inside but also still as a fan.”

It's a good article and certainly whet my appetite for the game, as did a follow up article in Wired. For boomers, old-time Beatles fans who have Rock Band, it's a no-brainer.  But it's not cheap.  The game starts at around $60 (software only) and can cost up to $240 for the full-deal plastic replica Beatle style instruments.  (And as has been pointed out, you can certainly buy a decent real guitar or bass for that price.)  Still, when you listen to some of the classic Beatles songs it's not hard to see why their music touches people.  I don't think there's been a song-writing team to compare that compares to the Beatles in 40 years.  So if more kids get exposed to the Beatles music, that's not a bad thing. If some of them then get inspired to pick up guitar, bass or drums, even better.

For those who've had just too much of all the recent Beatles hype, here's a spoof video on Guitar Hero Beatles edition.

And to be clear, yes, I've put in my order on Amazon.  I'm looking forward to it.


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