Welcoming The Beatles to Rock Band (or…not)

It’s official: the greatest band of all time is coming to the greatest music video game of all time. Beatles, meet Rock Band. their own game? (See addition below)

The rumour mill first started flying in June when the Financial Times reported that Apple Corps, who oversees the Beatles catalogue, were in talks with both Activision (publisher of the Guitar Hero franchise) and MTV/Harmonix (who together produce Rock Band) to bring the Fab Four’s iconic songs into the video game world. Last night Apple Corps and MTV put out a joint media advisory for a press conference taking place this morning at 10 a.m. EST, where the pair of companies plan to announce “an exclusive agreement to develop a global music project.”

The Wall Street Journal broke the official word: the Beatles are coming to Rock Band.

Unfortunately, that’s about all we know at this point. I was hoping that maybe we’d be getting the tracks sooner than later, but Fox News is gossiping that they won’t be available until Christmas 2009. If true, that means that today’s announcement was timed mostly to take some wind out of the sails of Guitar Hero: World Tour, which was released earlier this week.

Another big unknown is what format the songs will come in, whether a stand-alone disc or as downloadable content. My guess is that we’ll see something like we just did with AC/DC: a retail game that can be played on its own or can be downloaded to play as tracks among your other Rock Band classics. But we’ll see.

Of course, the most important question is one that very likely won’t get fully answered this morning: the tracklist. So here’s my off-the-top-of-my-head list of 10 Beatles songs I want to play in Rock Band. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments:

1. Helter Skelter
2. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
3. Revolution
4. Paperback Writer
5. Come Together
6. And Your Bird Can Sing
7. Drive My Car
8. Get Back
9. A Hard Day’s Night
10. Back in the USSR

Any big ones I missed?

EDIT: So the big news from the announcement is that the Beatles game will be a SEPARATE entity from Rock Band. It will be a “custom title” with songs from all ends of their catalogue, to be released in Fall 2009. So…basically, the whole thing sounds confusing. I love the Beatles, but my first reaction is that I think it’s a mistake for this to not be linked up with the Rock Band platform. I’ll reserve judgment until we learn more in the months to come.

EDIT 2: Just to clarify now that I’ve read the liveblog summary of the media conference – essentially, most of the details are left vague, so it’s certainly possible that while a stand-alone game, these songs MAY (at some point) be able to be played within a traditional Rock Band game as well. Basically, the entire project is “wait and see” at this point. I’m, if nothing else, intrigued.

Also important to note: this is an exclusivity deal. That means no Beatles in Guitar Hero.

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13 responses to “Welcoming The Beatles to Rock Band (or…not)

  1. I’ve always been partial to “Back in the USSR”… as anyone who saw myself and a random LaRusic perform it live in kareoke can attest to.

    Note: the random LaRusic was probably Eddie.

  2. clearly I meant “more powerful lyric”

    Seriously though, I’m not overly excited about this, I mean, yeah, it’s a huge move, but the songs are not going to be that much fun to play on my weapon of choice…

    I will enjoy singing Twist And Shout I suppose – maybe Roll over Beethoven if it’s included, being a cover and all…

  3. I don’t know, man, I think this is a great idea. They’ve stated that it will work with Rock Band peripherals, and that it’ll “take advantage of many Rock Band elements”, so that’s not a concern. But The Beatles just seem so much bigger than that. Rather than touring my band Dildo and the Boners to a dozen cities playing Daytripper between American Woman and My Own Worst Enemy, with a new game you could actually play as The Beatles, evolving from the Cavern to Ed Sullivan to Abbey Road. The ONLY way to do this would be chronologically. And the fact that they’re going to focus on “visual exploration” is intriguing, whatever that means.

    I am supremely excited to see how this develops. Just the fact that they’ve got McCartney, Starr, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison in on it has got me pumped.

  4. It must have been pre-Remembrance Day fiasco (or however pre-backyour guys’ rivalry goes) because I honestly do not remember singing that song at all. And what part would I sing? The “ooooooooo oooooooo”‘s?

    – Eddie

  5. Look what Googling my name turned up: a comment thread referencing my name!

    Anyways, for the sake of posterity, I was, indeed, the LaRusic who with Rivers performed a rousing rendition of “Back in the USSR”. It was epic.

    As for River’s and I’s “rivalry”, here’s the truth: I was a total dick to Rivers at times, and for that I sincerely apologize. Looking back now, the things we disagreed about seem so trivial now that it’s embarassing.

    I don’t harbour any bitter feelings towards Rivers, and I hope someday he feels the same. I hope we can let bygones be bygones. I would be absolutely delighted to share a karaoke stage with Rivers again.

    (p.s. If someone can send me along River’s e-mail so I can pass this note on to him personally, that’d be sweet!)

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