Beatles Rock Band predictions

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.

The Journey

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.

The Songs

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.

Early Beatles

  1. Be-Bop-A-Lula
  2. In Spite of All the Danger
  3. That’ll Be the Day


  1. Ain’t She Sweet (or My Bonnie)
  2. [various cover songs]

Decca Audition

  1. Besame Mucho
  2. Hello Little Girl
  3. Three Cool Cats
  4. Like Dreamers Do
  5. Searchin’

Recording Please Please Me

  1. Love Me Do
  2. Please Please Me
  3. I Saw Her Standing There
  4. A Taste of Honey
  5. Do You Want to Know a Secret?
  6. P.S. I Love You
  7. Twist and Shout

Tour – but what songs? You already did them all.


  1. She Loves You
  2. It Wont’ Be Long (if this vastly underrated song is not included, I shall cry)
  3. All My Loving
  4. I Wanna Be Your Man
  5. Roll Over Beethoven
  6. Till There Was You

Again, tour – but with what songs?

Early 1964 Recording

  1. I Want to Hold Your Hand
  2. This Boy
  3. A Hard Day’s Night
  4. Can’t Buy Me Love
  5. And I Love Her
  6. You Can’t Do That
  7. I Feel Fine
  8. She’s a Woman


Late 1964 Recording

  1. Rock and Roll Music (live?)
  2. I’ll Follow the Sun
  3. Baby’s in Black
  4. I’m a Loser
  5. Eight Days a Week
  6. Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby (live?)
  7. Long Tall Sally (live?)
  8. Shout (live?)


Early 1965 Recording (this is where it gets hard to pull live stuff)

  1. Help!
  2. You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
  3. Ticket to Ride
  4. Act Naturally
  5. Yesterday
  6. I’m Down
  7. We Can Work it Out
  8. Day Tripper


Late 1965 Recording

  1. Drive My Car
  2. Michelle
  3. In My Life
  4. Norwegian Wood
  5. If I Needed Someone

Shea concert

1966 Recording

  1. Paperback Writer
  2. Rain
  3. Taxman
  4. Here There and Everywhere
  5. She Said She Said
  6. And Your Bird Can Sing
  7. Tomorrow Never Knows

Candlestick Park – last concert

1967 Recording

  1. Strawberry Fields Forever
  2. Penny Lane
  3. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  4. With a Little Help from My Friends
  5. Getting Better
  6. Lovely Rita
  7. A Day in the Life
  8. All You Need is Love
  9. Hello Goodbye
  10. Magical Mystery Tour
  11. I Am the Walrus

1968 Recording (or it would be great to start with Kinfauns demos)

  1. Back in the USSR
  2. Dear Prudence
  3. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  4. I Will
  5. Birthday
  6. Yer Blues
  7. Everybody’s Got Something to Hide
  8. Helter Skelter
  9. Lady Madonna
  10. Hey Jude (it’d be nice to do this one and Revolution on the Frost show)
  11. Revolution
  12. Hey Bulldog

Early 1969 Recording (how to incorporate the rooftop gig without duplicating?)

  1. Get Back
  2. Dig a Pony
  3. Across the Universe
  4. I’ve Got a Feeling
  5. For You Blue
  6. Don’t Let Me Down

Late 1969 Recording

  1. Come Together
  2. Something
  3. Here Comes the Sun
  4. I Want You
  5. Octopus’s Garden
  6. [the entire medley? that guitar and drum solo bit are kinda necessary)

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  • Comments (6)
  1. This looks good, except that typically Rock Band doesn’t have that many touring venues. If I recall, there are only 10 tours to go on to unlock all of the songs. Each tour venue had about 7 songs to play. You may need to oust some of the more obscure songs you have here so you can compress the touring. Your Rock Band for the Beatles is far more fun (and accurate) than the game that comes out in September will be. :)

    • Stacia
    • April 13th, 2009 7:16pm

    This interview with George’s son Dhani is quite revaltory, but I read it after I posted this.

    Key points:

    “So I have ad several meetings with Alex Rigopulos, who’s a genius, who’s the loveliest, loveliest guy; the CEO of Harmonix. We were sitting around one day, and he just said to me, “Do you think they would ever go for a Beatle game?” And I was thinking the same thing to talk to him about! “It would be amazing, wouldn’t it?” I said to him. Actually, I think I said, “It would be amazing because I could kick your ass at ‘I Am the Walrus’ while dressed as a wizard in Shea Stadium.” Do you know what I mean? Or I could put on the ice skating outfit from ‘Help!’ and then beat you at ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ in the universe somewhere. I don’t know. Just make up whatever you can; ‘I Am the Walrus’ at the Cavern Club, even. Wouldn’t that be fun? And we both just started riffing on that kind of stuff until we both just were in hysterics, and it was obviously a brilliant idea, but I said, ‘Well, that’s never going to happen, is it?’ And he said, ‘No, it’s never going to happen.’ I said, ‘But I should talk to the guys from Apple, anyway. Because it is actually a no-brainer. It is the biggest no-brainer that I’ve ever, ever thought about, and if Apple don’t go for it, then they are shooting themselves in the foot, because someone else is going to do it. Someone else is going to get their own game. In the way the media works these days, in the way that music delivery systems work these days, I find it quite often best to be first. You know?

    BE: Oh, definitely.

    DH: If you were the first person ever to design an application for the iPhone and you patented it, you would be very, very better off than we are right now, you know? But you’ve got to be the first one to do it. So I figured that Led Zeppelin or The Stones were going to do it unless we just got on to it. So I got cracking with the guys from Apple. I kind of almost bullied them into believing how amazing it was. They really didn’t need much convincing if you looked to the fourth quarter, the month of December 2007, I think they sold something like 10,000,000 units of ‘Guitar Hero 2′ in just one month, and they are $50.00 each. I said, ‘If you do the math, if you go 50/50 with ‘Rock Band’ and you sell a Beatles ‘Rock Band’ game, that’s a big deal’ you know. And not to mention that, once the game is made, you can just keep adding songs to it. You could do the Bangladesh pack, you could do the ‘Live and Let Die’ pack, you could do the ‘Imagine’ pack…”

    Not that all of that will be in the game, but I think it’s safe to surmise that Beatles Rock Band will be nothing like regular Rock Band.

    I doubt all those tour elements that I added will be there, but I’m positive that each album will be touched in individual elements. It will be about the growth of the band, which fits well with the Rock Band/Guitar Hero World Tour concept.

    I’m quite sure there will be some “obscure” songs because some of the biggies simply don’t have proper instrumentation for Rock Band (see Eleanor Rigby or When I’m 64 — unless they only focus on singing, which is boring I think for vast consumption).

    • T. Ruth
    • April 25th, 2009 8:51am

    Great article about the same thing as my post here, but a bit more eloquent:

    I hadn’t even thought of the Ed Sullivan show as a venue. I agree, this must be part of the game.

    I’m seeing it more as concentrating on the famous live gigs until Revolver, then concentrating on the studio until the rooftop concert (then back to the studio).

    It’s great to see a gaming site really doing a good job analyzing the possibilities of this upcoming game.

    I think they’re wrong about including solo stuff. I think it could come later as packs, as Dhani suggested above. Another issue is that Paul has already given some songs to Guitar Hero, so there may be a non-compete clause.

    • billy
    • July 8th, 2009 4:09am

    So George got “Love” going and Dhani got Rock Band going? The Harrisons seem to be directing the program these days, good for them.

    • T. Ruth
    • July 8th, 2009 6:50am

    That’s a really good point, Billy. What if they’d listened to George from the beginning?

  2. Funny to look at this now and see what really happened. Your list seems a bit more comprehensive and interesting, despite how the plan for the real thing was to be a bit more standard-catalog-oriented. Have you checked out the Macca Good Evening New York City pack for Rockband?

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