I am embarrassingly pumped for 09-09-09: the magical date when the Beatles albums will be released as remastered stereo and mono CD box sets, plus the Rock Band game becomes available. I will be broke, but unable to stop smiling or leave my house starting on that date.
They say that the game will be a journey through the Beatles’ career — something I imagined before I heard that detail. It’s a good move that will add a ton of fun to the game. I imagine it as the tour element of Guitar Hero World tour. Different venues and places to beat in order to unlock songs.
I see the game starting with a Quarrymen song (“Putting on the Style“, “Be-Bop-A-Lula”?), then “That’ll Be the Day” and “In Spite of All the Danger” from Anthology as early Beatles numbers. Maybe they can throw in “My Bonnie” (Apple doesn’t own it, so it seems unlikely). What I’m most curious about is how/if they will handle Hamburg and the Cavern. I mean, how could they not build those venues into the game? Will Pete Best be portrayed in the game, and Ringo added later as in real life? So even if the same person is playing drums the whole time, their persona gets swapped out?
Aside from the Pete Best situation, the problem with all this early stuff is that the Beatles mostly did covers. I’m sure it’s a pain to get all the rights to that music, but then again I suppose MTV are pros at that. Another question is, will the early cover songs that the Beatles never recorded (though they are available on the Live at the BBC double album) be liked by the people playing the game? I know I’d love to play “Ain’t Nothing Shakin’ But the Leaves on the Tree”, but will the Guitar Hero/Rock Band gamer dude want them after purchasing a Beatles game?
Just like in real life, the Beatles will start recording after playing Hamburg and the Cavern. They could include a bit of failing the Decca audition. This part of the journey element to the game will switch quickly between recording and tours, to give a sense of urgency to the game. I wish they could include photo ops and interviews in the game to give a real sense of what life was like for Beatles then. How they dealt with failing the Decca audition and replacing Best will be exiciting to see.
They can have a lot of fun with venues, and I look forward to them recreating Studio 3 in the game. I see Shea, Sweden, France and of course English theaters being stops on tour throughout 1963-66. There were a lot of the same songs (covers, like “Twist and Shout”) were played throughout those 3 torrid years, so I wonder how they will handle duplication. It will be very interesting to go from recording Revolver to doing “She’s a Woman” live at the Budokan. I hope they also include selections their last show at Candlestick Park.
Then you’ll move into the studio full time, working on “Penny Lane” (note: not a guitar song) and “Strawberry Fields”, working up to Sgt. Pepper. I’d love to play sitar on “Within You Without You” (or even “Norwegian Wood”), but that seems unlikely. It’d be awesome if they included some acoustic versions from Anthology of the Kinfauns tapes as a tribute to their time in India. Next you’d work through to Let It Be, at Twinkenham and Apple, then up on the rooftop. Finally back to #3 to focus on Abbey Road. Then you’re finished. Unless they incorporate any solo Lennon stuff that existed before Abbey Road came out, but I doubt it. Or for a huge splash they could include a bit where you play Paul secretly buying shares of your company to gain control, then run off to Scotland to record what you’ve always wanted: a one-man-band album.
My list of song predictions (somewhat in order) for the entire game are below the fold. Please comment and let me know what you think is missing or unlikely.