What’s Happening on 09-09-09? The Beatles Reissues, The Beatles: Rock Band, Apple Music Event, and a Beatles Lithograph Giveaway

The Beatles Lithograph Giveaway
Beatles Lithograph
Send an email to contests@bumpershine.com to win this lithograph!

Number 9, Number 9, Number 9? Today is an auspicious day for music fans and gamers alike. The entire Beatles discography has been given a complete and long overdue digital overhaul and will be lovingly reissued (in both mono and stereo) on CD today. The stereo albums will be available for purchase as a complete box set or as individual CDs. Mono mixes of the first 10 Beatles albums will only be available for purchase as part of a limited edition boxed set, an early buying frenzy actually lead the initial run of the 10,000 mono box sets to sell out completely before their official release date, EMI has since stated that more copies will be produced to satisfy the demand. Eventhough I’ve got most of the Beatles catalog on CD in their original analog releases, I’m having a hard time resisting pulling the trigger on the new stereo box set. The increased fidelity would surely be a welcome to my home stereo system, but for a music geek, the new packaging is kind of exciting too:

Each of the CDs is packaged with replicated original UK album art, including expanded booklets containing original and newly written liner notes and rare photos. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album.

On their own, The Beatles reissues are a huge deal, (granted they would have been even more earth shattering five years ago), but today also marks the release of The Beatles Rock Band video game, which digitally chronicles the progression of the band from their early days at the Cavern Club to their final live performance on the rooftop of the Apple Corps in 1969. Not being a real gamer myself, I’ll admit that the meticulous attention to detail that has obviously gone into making this game has made me think twice about getting myself a little early chanukah present, here’s just a small example of what I’m talking about:

To turn classic Beatles songs into the stages of a video game, each song needed to be separated into its several components, so that if the person playing the guitar misses a note, the guitar sound can drop out while the music made by the other instruments is unaffected. Because the Beatles mostly recorded on four-track and two-track equipment, with multiple instruments sharing a tape, Martin had to spend months using digital filters to eliminate sounds at certain frequencies and not others.

Just as Giles Martin chose to walk a line between reality and fantasy when choosing and mixing the audio, Harmonix put an extraordinary amount of research toward a result that is at once meticulously detailed and purposefully ahistorical. They pored over reference books to determine which instruments the Beatles used on each song and studied photos of concert venues and their respective crowds in order to properly render 1960s fashion and hairstyles. When Olivia Harrison was worried that George looked a bit off, she invited the art team over to look through her personal photo archive “” with a set of calipers. And when the designer of the guitar-shaped instrument controllers couldn’t find a high-resolution photo showing the wood grain on McCartney’s Höfner violin bass, he had the Höfner company send over a block. [NYTimes.com]

In honor of all this hoo-hah, I’m giving away a copy of the Beatles lithograph shown at the top of the page. To enter the contest, just send an email with your name and address (US entrants only) to contests@bumpershine.com and tell me the name of your favorite Beatles record. A random winner will be notified on September 18, 2009.

But wait, there’s one more thing… Today is also the day for Apple’s Annual Music Event, which will take place at Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, CA. Rumors are running wild about what might possibly be announced, but among the things that could happen are:

  • A revamped iPod Touch lineup, including a 64GB iPod Touch with a camera and microphone
  • The addition of cameras and increased HD capacities to the entire iPod lineup
  • The scrapping of the entire iPod Classic lineup
  • An update to the Apple TV device
  • iPhone HD video out
  • The return of Steve Jobs to the podium
  • The new “Cocktail” digital album format
  • iTunes 9 (a fitting day for a version number increment)
  • The mythical Apple tablet device, and
  • The Beatles catalog coming to iTunes

As for the last rumor on the list, Yoko Ono confirmed in a now-pulled Sky News article that The Beatles catalog is headed for digital distribution, but that the announcement will not be made today. For what it’s worth, EMI has also denied that any announcement will be made today [Engadget.com]. If you’d like to keep up with the minute by minute play by play of today’s music event, you can follow the live blog stream over here or here starting at 1 PM ET.

Apple Music Event
Apple Music Event

The Beatles remasters and The Beatles: Rock Band product shots after the jump.

The Beatles Remasters Mono Box Set
Beatles Mono Box Set

The Beatles Remasters Stereo Box Set
Beatles Stereo Box Set

The Beatles Rock Band
Beatles Rock Band

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