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New Beatles collection out on iTunes: Is that all there is?

July 24, 2012|By Randy Lewis
  • The Beatles, shown with Yoko Ono in 1969, have a new compilation album out on iTunes, "Tomorrow Never Knows."
The Beatles, shown with Yoko Ono in 1969, have a new compilation album out… ('Linda McCartney: Life…)

A new compilation of 14 of the Beatles' most musically, socially or politically influential songs is being released today, July 24, as a digital iTunes exclusive. The collection,  “Tomorrow Never Knows,” nearly spans the group’s entire recording career, from “You Can’t Do That” in 1964 to “I’ve Got a Feeling” from the final album released by the Fab Four, “Let It Be,” in 1970.

The album also includes “Revolution,” “Paperback Writer,” “And Your Bird Can Sing” and “Hey Bulldog,” among a dozen John Lennon-Paul McCartney compositions, along with a pair of George Harrison’s contributions, “It’s All Too Much” and “Savoy Truffle.” The choice of “Tomorrow Never Knows” as the title will benefit from the high-profile exposure that song from the “Revolver” album recently received with its placement in the hit TV series “Mad Men.”

It’s essentially an iTunes play list any Beatles fan could assemble for himself or herself, but instead of paying the going iTunes rate of $1.29 per track individually, the “Tomorrow Never Knows” collection is being offered for $7.99, in effect a 56% discount on this batch of Beatles tracks.

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There are no plans for a CD or vinyl release, according to a spokeswoman for EMI and Capitol Records.

This may be as close to a 50th anniversary Beatles collection as fans will get. Word from sources close to the Beatles camp indicates that there are no 50th anniversary special projects due before the end of 2012. It was in 1962 that Ringo Starr joined the group, finalizing the lineup that soon would revolutionize the pop music world. The group also released its first recording, “Love Me Do,” on Oct. 5, 1962, in England.

EMI and Capitol already reissued the entire catalog of the group’s studio recordings in 2009, and that trove of music made its way to iTunes two years ago. Since then, EMI and Capitol have reissued the  "Red” (1962-1966) and “Blue” (1967-1970) retrospective compilations, which the Beatles themselves groused about when they first appeared on LP in 1973, three years after the quartet disbanded.

In 2000, the Beatles enjoyed an outpouring of renewed interest when EMI and Capitol released “1,” a  compilation CD with 27 of the group’s No. 1 hits. It has since sold 12 million copies.

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