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Tag: The Beatles (51-60 of 73)

Robert Pattinson thinks 'Twilight' mania is 'perhaps close' to what the Beatles went through

Oh, there’s no business like quote business. Last night, swoopy-haired Twilight star Robert Pattinson spoke to EW’s Carrie Bell at the New Moon premiere in Los Angeles—and linked the name of his vampire franchise with arguably the biggest four-pronged pop landmark of the last 50 years: John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

“You can’t prepare for this. It is just insane,” he said of the well-documented, culture-saturating Twi-frenzy. “I don’t know how the Beatles felt, but I imagine it was perhaps close to this. I think very few human beings will ever get to experience the same feelings and love we feel at Twilight events.”

Though his undoubtedly innocent (and not without merit) comparison is guaranteed to be reduced to breathless “Rob P sayz Twilight = Beatles OMGEEE!!” pull quotes out there in the LOL-osphere, it’s good to remember that John Lennon himself once got into pretty hot soup (record burnings, show cancellations, even death threats) for his infamous “We’re more popular than Jesus” quote back in 1966, at the height of Beatlemania.

Like nearly all pop cultural phenomena, the reign of Edward and Bella et al. will surely wane eventually, though not before a few more sequels—and a few million references in press outlets (this one included). But does it saturate our media and engage young people in part because there’s a dearth of that kind of lightning-rod star power in music now, or even the type of pop-radio mono-culture to support it?

Can a Beyonce or Lady Gaga, let alone a four-piece rock band, ever hope to be as culturally paramount as the Fab Four were (and one could argue, continue to be), and Twilight is today? And years from now, how will the Twi-team be judged by history—Pet Rock or Beatles-level monolith?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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The Beatles: Christmas comes early for fans with Fab Four USB

Beatles-USB_lEMI and Apple Corps have announced that the Beatles recently remastered back catalog will be available as a limited-edition USB on December 8. The drive will feature the quartet’s 14 stereo titles as well as 13 mini-documentaries. Apple has famously been in no rush to release the Beatles’ music in digital form, despite the desire on the part of Paul McCartney that the Fab Four’s tunes be available on iTunes. “It’s bit of a sticky issue,” the music icon told EW earlier this year. “I’d like to make it happen. Though I am not part of the negotiations.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for EMI has confirmed to EW that yesterday the company launched a lawsuit against Santa Cruz-based website BlueBeat.com, which has been selling the Beatles music digitally without permission, and providing free streams as well. According to the spokesperson, “EMI has not authorized content to be sold on BlueBeat.”

Will you be USBing come December, Beatlemaniacs, or better that their Fab catalog “Get Back” to where it once belonged—in regular physical form?

More on The Beatles:
John Lennon biopic trailer

Paul McCartney to document Citi Field shows
The Beatles’ ‘Lucy’ dies
The Beatles stereo box set
The best Beatles songs

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Album sales in 2009: How hard is it to go platinum today?

Despite the impressive showings of pop-industry giants — Michael Jackson and the Beatles sold a combined 6.3 million albums this quarter alone — album sales are down 13.9% so far from last year. And that’s after a 14% dip in 2008 from 2007’s numbers, according to Reuters (via Rolling Stone).

Part of the problem? Dependable marquee acts aren’t holding up like they used to; Eminem’s Relapse has hit a respectable 1.4 million, but U2’s No Line on the Horizon only reached platinum two weeks ago, seven months after its release; neither Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown nor the Dave Matthews Band’s Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King have hit the million-copies mark yet.

Of course, 2009 isn’t over yet; we’ve got the Simon Cowell Army — Carrie Underwood, Kris Allen,  Adam Lambert, Susan Boyle and Leona Lewis — all releasing albums in the next six weeks, along with Shakira, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Alicia Keys, and John Mayer.

Either way, it’s a tough market out there. According to the Chicago Tribune, more than 115,000 albums were released last year; out of those, only 110 sold more than 250,000 copies.

This is just album sales, of course; it doesn’t account for touring, merch, ring tones, etc. But what do you think, readers — who or what can reverse the record industry’s steady downswing, in which sales have decreased in eight of the past nine years?

Is the future in digital singles? Reduced record prices? All Glambert, all the time?  Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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Paul McCartney to document Citi Field shows with 'Good Evening New York City'

Paul McCartney was having a pretty cool 2009 even before the latest wave of Beatlemania kicked in early this month. Perhaps you recall his three-night stand at NYC’s newly built Citi Field this summer, echoing the Beatles’ historic 1965 gig at the demolished Shea Stadium next door? I know I do — I was there for the first show on July 17 (pictured), easily one of the most fun concerts I’ve seen in the past few years.

Whether you attended one of those dates or just wished you could, you’ll have a chance to re-live them when McCartney releases Good Evening New York City through Starbucks’ Hear Music on Nov. 17. The live album, culled from footage of all three Citi Field shows, will be available both as a 2-CD/1-DVD set or a deluxe 2-CD/2-DVD package which will also include McCartney’s July 15 outdoor performance for The Late Show. The compilers had plenty of material to work with: Those Citi Field shows were marathons, drawing heavily on McCartney’s Beatles years for set lists that stretched to nearly three hours each night. Though I haven’t heard or seen the finished product, I feel safe saying that if you’re a Macca fan, you might want to pick one of these up with your pre-Thanksgiving latte.

Anyone else looking forward to Good Evening New York City? If you’ve witnessed McCartney in concert this year, which songs are you most excited about seeing/hearing again?

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Photo credit: Kevin Mazur

The Beatles' 'Lucy' dies at age 46

Another chapter was written in the history of the Beatles this month with the re-release of their albums and the debut of The Beatles: Rock Band. But there is a very sad footnote: Lucy Vodden, the childhood friend of Julian Lennon and the inspiration for the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” has died from lupus in London at the age of just 46 according to the Associated Press.

Vodden became the inspiration for the track when the then four-year-old Julian came home one day with a painting. Ringo Starr would later recall how that piece of art became one of the most famous psychedelic rock tracks of all-time: “I was actually with John when Julian came in with this a crazy little painting, and John said, ‘Oh, what’s that?’ and Julian said, ‘It’s Lucy in the sky with diamonds.’ And then John got busy.”

To mark Lucy Vodden’s passing, and as a reminder of how “busy” John Lennon got, we’ve embedded the “Lucy” sequence from the movie Yellow Submarine below.

More about the Beatles:
Best Beatles songs
Q&A with Rock Band boss Alex Rigopulos

The Beatles remasters: EW’s review

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Jay-Z tops the albums chart; 'Abbey Road' is the best-selling Beatles remaster

Looks like he’s still got it. Jay-Z took the top spot in the new Billboard 200 albums chart after selling 476,000 copies of The Blueprint 3, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

That’s not super-huge, but it’s a nice opening number for a guy who’s been in the rap game as long as Jay. In fact, he’s been making hit records for so long that this is his 11th trip to No. 1 on this chart, breaking his tie with Elvis Presley for the most No. 1 albums of any solo artist. The only person or band with more chart-toppers to its name is the Beatles, who’ve racked up 19 No. 1s on Billboard‘s flagship albums chart over the years. More on them later!

Elsewhere on the Billboard 200, Whitney Houston fell to No. 3, selling another 88,000 copies of her comeback disc. Raekwon came in at No. 4 with 68,000 copies sold of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II. The long-awaited sequel to his 1995 classic of similar name, OB4CL2 is a deep dose of head-knocking hip-hop the old-fashioned Wu-Tang way. A week after its release hasn’t been close to enough time for this fan to digest all of Rae’s complex crime narratives, and I’m glad to see his hard work rewarded with decent sales.

One spot below at No. 5 are Brooks & Dunn, who announced their imminent breakup last month. A solid 55,000 fans said goodbye by purchasing #1s…and Then Some, the long-running country duo’s latest best-of set. Boys Like Girls, meanwhile, found 41,000 people who liked Love Drunk, their second pop-punk album, for a No. 8 finish.

Two other entries of note came from those aforementioned Beatles, whose new box set releases both went on sale this past week: Their Stereo Box Set bowed at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 with 26,000 copies sold, while the limited-edition The Beatles in Mono made it to No. 40 with 12,000. I’m impressed so many fans were willing to plunk down the $200-range price for either one.

The real sales action for the Beatles, however, was on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart, which tracks releases that are 18 months and older. The Fab Four’s individual remastered albums, unshockingly, dominated the Top 10 of that chart. No. 1 went to 1969’s Abbey Road, with 89,000 CDs sold. Next came Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (No. 2; 74,000), The Beatles a.k.a. The White Album (No. 3; 60,000), Rubber Soul (No. 4; 58,000), and Revolver (No. 5; 46,000).

After a brief pause at No. 6 for Michael Jackson’s Number Ones, still selling well (45,000) two and a half months after his untimely death, the Beatles’ inexorable march continued. Help! took No. 7 with 39,000, followed by Let It Be (No. 8; 32,000), Past Masters Vol. 1 and 2 (No. 9; 31,000), and Magical Mystery Tour (No. 10; 30,000).

What do you think of this week’s results? Did Jay-Z do as well as you expected? Are you surprised by the order in which the Beatles’ remasters charted? Weigh in below.

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The Best Beatles Songs, 25-1

25. I’M A LOSER (1964, Beatles for Sale)

One of the jolliest — and saddest — cries for help ever.

24-1 after the jump…

READ FULL STORY

The Best Beatles Songs, 50-26

50. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE (1967, Magical Mystery Tour)

Everything the Beatles stood for, summed up in those five simple words…

49-26 after the jump…

READ FULL STORY

No Beatles, but Norah Jones plays new song 'Young Blood' at Apple event

Well, that long-rumored Beatles/iTunes announcement failed to materialize at today’s big Apple extravaganza, yet again. At least the event wasn’t a total bust for any music fans in attendance, who got the treat of a surprise performance by Norah Jones. “This is the earliest I’ve ever played,” Jones told the assembled crowd in San Francisco, “but it’s okay!”

Jones performed two songs: 2002’s “Come Away With Me” and an upbeat, poppy new one called “Young Blood,” which will appear on her upcoming album The Fall. Backed by a three-piece combo, she traded her usual piano for a bright red guitar on both tunes. Reaction from the crowd seemed positive — though most of the tech journalists present were busy staring at their respective notebooks, laptops and phones.

The singer also made reference to Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ improved health: “Thanks to Steve Jobs for having us. We’re really glad he’s doing well.” Jobs thanked her with a kiss on the cheek after she performed.

Were any of you at the Apple event today? What did you think of Jones’ new music? Even if you weren’t there, Jones fans, are you excited for the rock direction that seems to be emerging for The Fall?

—Reporting by Elizabeth Livengood

Photo credit: Robert Galbraith/Landov

'The Beatles: Rock Band' is out today: Harmonix boss Alex Rigopulos gives us the scoop on working with Sir Paul and NOT being given hell by Yoko

beatles-rock-band-Rigopulos_lIt was 30 years ago today that Alex Rigopulos, co-founder of the video game company Harmonix, first heard the Beatles play. Well, roughly. “I think I was around 7 or 8 when I discovered my first Beatles album, which was Sgt. Pepper,” says Rigopulos, 39. “It was really the first rock album that meant anything to me. For as long as we’ve been making music games, the prospect of working in some capacity with the Beatles material has been looming out there on the horizon as a dream project.” That dream is now a reality. As observant EW readers will be aware, the MTV-owned Harmonix is today releasing The Beatles: Rock Band, the latest in its line of hugely successfully Rock Band games.

After the jump, Rigopulos reveals all about the “nerve-wracking” development of this season’s essential video game.

READ FULL STORY

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