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Beatles reaching Guitar Hero before iTunes?

updated 10:00 am EDT, Mon June 23, 2008

Beatles Guitar Hero Rumor

The Beatles are close to securing a deal that would see their first digital music releases through music games rather than direct downloads from iTunes or or similar stores, says the Financial Times. The UK business paper claims sources who say that the pop rock group may have deals "in a matter of weeks" that bring songs to Guitar Hero maker Activision as well as to Rock Band co-creator MTV Games. While no specifics are mentioned, the deal suggests a Beatles-themed title and alludes to the possibility of making Beatles songs available as downloadable content.

While no involved parties will publicly confirm or deny the talks, the alleged deal would require the approval of the Beatles' own Apple Corps, their parent label EMI, and Sony/ATV, the owner of most Beatles copyrights. However, any agreement would be valued at "several million" US dollars.

The move would also be crucial to translating the Beatles' songs into a non-CD digital format, which has yet to take place. The group's Sir Paul McCartney has predicted a 2008 launch but has said that contracts and the final setup stages themselves have prevented a quick launch; the surviving band members and the estates of George Harrison and John Lennon are said to want an ideal release.

Apple Corps chief Jeff Jones has been more "active" than late founding member Neil Aspinall was in moving the digital conversion process, the paper says.

The Times article doesn't explain the motivation that would lead to a release of some songs as game-ready pieces rather than traditional music, though Sony/ATV head Martin Bandier notes that permission to play Beatles covers during American Idol has spurred a renewed interest in the music through alternate channels, including as soundtracks and through cellphone carriers.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Silky Voice of The Gorn

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That is just wrong.

  1. adrianm

    Joined: Dec 1969



    guitar hero is definitely the best place to enjoy music :-)

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    because when I think of guitar heroes, the beatles come to mind.

  1. wadepeeler

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Who even cares about the Beatles coming to iTunes anymore? It's like the Fred Thompson candidacy. They let the excitement build up to a fever pitch, waited too long, and then the excitement died down to a low murmur, so that when he finally declared, nobody was interested anymore. I used to excited by "Beatles to iTunes" rumors; now I just don't care.

  1. boulder1259

    Joined: Dec 1969


    There are no Beatles!

    This is just the work of some giant music holding company...

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That would be sad indeed if they priortized a video games and cell phone carriers over their fans who just want to buy and enjoy their music.

  1. howiethemacguy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I don't care.

    I just don't think that The Beatles were all that great. If whoever owns the digital media rights to their music doesn't want to make more money, that's their business. It would seem to me that die hard fans would already have all of their music anyway. I don't understand why this is such a big deal.

  1. ApeInTheShell

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Chip comparison

    I compare this to Apple working with IBM. IBM chose to release better processors for the game console makers rather than help Apple. The Beatles are doing the same thing by catering to the competition. I honestly don't care if the Beatles join the iTunes catalog. They had their shot and they missed it.

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Different Rights

    This really isn't surprising. The Beatles would be offering their actual music for sale through iTunes. With Guitar Hero, usually Bands only give the right to use reproductions. So, the Beatles most likely will be giving permission for some studio band to play their music.

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