Tomorrow Never Knows
Beatles' fans, don't get your hopes raised: there's nothing new or unreleased to be found on this iTunes compilation. The Fab Four's vaults were hoovered clean a long time ago with the issue of the three-volume Anthology series.
Since then all we've had is remastered stereo and mono re-issues, rethink albums like 2003's Let It Be...Naked and the awful Love - the 2006 soundtrack mash-up to Cirque du Soleil's glitzy Las Vegas production. Beatle George has lately come in for the rarities treatment with this year's Early Takes, Vol. 1 of demos and out-takes.
In 2010, after settling a lawsuit with Apple over the logo name and years of holding out, the surviving members and families of the business-savvy band agreed to make the Beatles' albums available online. Now in a low-key celebration of the 50th anniversary of their first hit, Love Me Do, comes this compilation exclusive to iTunes (it will not be released on CD or vinyl) of 14 of the Fab Four's most hard-hitting, guitar-based, career-spanning rock songs, from Revolution and I'm Down to Back in the USSR and Hey Bulldog. Cynics and Beatles obsessives will view this as little more than an unpleasant commercial exercise, seeking to re-cast the band as "rockist" guitar bores.
Indeed blog site Digital Spy has already called it "the most damaging thing to the band's legacy in recent memory". That's a bit churlish when millions of fans have over the years made their own mix-tapes. What we've got here is no more, no less than a well-chosen and superbly sequenced collection of songs that's very good value at $12.99, less than half the cost of purchasing the individual tracks.