The Beatles are making a new assault on the charts with yet another re-master of all of the Fab-Four’s back-catalogue. At 200 euros, the collection of more than a dozen digitally tweaked albums are expected to dominate CD sales worldwide.
But even the men in charge of the mix admit that most people would be hard pressed to hear the improvements. Project coordinator Alan Rouse said: “The sad fact of it is that so many people today are listening — they’re going to rip them into their computer and put them onto their iPods — so yes, listening on an iPod you probably will find it very difficult to tell the difference.” The thing that is causing more of a stir in the entertainment world is the simultaneous release of a Beatles video game. Some experts believe that could lead to the group’s music being available on download – something that’s so far been blocked partly by a legal dispute. The game puts the player on stage with the virtual John, Paul, George and Ringo – and retailers hope it will open up a new market. Gennaro Castaldo from the HMV chain said: “Gaming is growing all the time and it’s becoming a family event as well because it’s moved from the bedroom to the front-room where the whole family can play. And products such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero have encouraged just that. So you;ve got a huge potential reach. Music such as the Beatles is iconic and for them I think this is significant because it will enable the music to be heard by a new generation of fans.” This time, for true Beatles aficionados, there’s also a limited collection of 13 albums in the original mono. At 230-euros the set of discs costs the same as roughly seven Dansette machines used to play the original LPs in the 1960s.