Rumors are flying that Apple (the computer company) and Apple (the music publishing company) have reached agreement for the long-awaited digital release of the Beatles catalog. The Fab Four are the official Holy Grail of those who think the CD is long past dead.
The buzz began with a January 17 story in the Toronto Sun speculating that a newly remastered UK catalog would be released later this year:
The second strong possibility is that the entire state-of-the art, 24-bit remastered UK catalogue will hit stores the first week of June, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of what many call the Fabs’ finest hour — the release of their ground-breaking Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
What was the first possibility, you ask? During the iPhone pseudo-launch earlier this month, Apple CEO Steve Jobs played a bit of “Lovely Rita” on the device, tantalizing fanboys who’d already wet their seats at the sight of the underwhelming phone/music player/internet toy.
Then there’s the aforementioned Sun story, which also reported that Apple plans a “special announcement” during the Super Bowl February 4. That, said the Sun, is likely to be the moment when the world learns that they’ll be able to buy “A Day in the Life” and everything else Beatles from the iTunes Music Store come February 14.
Given the Cupertino, California company’s proclivity for big deal Big Game ads, the scenario makes some sense.
Frankly, I’ve got a bit of Apple fatigue lately, and I ripped my Beatles collection to MP3 a long time ago. I’d love to see 24-bit remasters of the UK catalog, and I’d especially like a DVD of “Let It Be” with tons of extras, something that was promised two years ago, but never delivered.
Given that the Sun was the same paper that floated those rumors, I’m not holding my breath.