Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Beatlemania II: The Digital Age

Beatlemania is back! The exciting new releases of the long awaited remastered catalog of recordings plus the sensational new Beatles version of Rock Band are creating lots of new interest in the classic rock foursome. Both are way cool items sure to reignite interest in perhaps the greatest rock act of all time.

For years, the only remastered Beatles recordings were some bootlegs issued by shadowy music distributors such as Mirror Spock. These weren't remastered from any original session tapes, but from high quality vinyl records. However, the 24 bit "remastering" quality was quite good. It was amazing that the officially licensed recordings took so long to be remastered. There are expected to be at least two different box sets of the official remastered recordings available and likely soon the single albums will be available as well. Each should come with restored artwork, etc. Reportedly a 14 disc stereo box set and 10 disc mono box set will be available. According to some experts on Beatles music such as Eric at Crossroads Records in Portland, Oregon, the mono recordings of The Beatles have a far more psychedelic feel compared to the stereo releases. Further, the stereo releases often had extreme channel separation compared to many more conventional stereo recordings by other artists.

The other big news is today's debut of the electronic game Rock Band. The son of George Harrison was the major force behind this great new item. It features electronic versions of the band that you can play along with. Rock Band will be available in sets starting at about $59 for the software only packages all the way up to really nice $249 packages that include electronic guitars and drums.

If anything, the digital age has put a new spin on the old Beatles music and made it cool and brand new once again. And today's huge new digital age releases should mean some major foot traffic at stores once again giving both record stores and electronic game retailers some new excitement.


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