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Deal for Beatles on iTunes in works
The worldwide Beatles grapevine is buzzing over the distinct possibility that the long-awaited remastering of the Fab Four's United Kingdom CD back catalogue will finally see the light of day -- by June.
As per usual, Apple/EMI is presently mum, but sources with knowledge of the project say that two scenarios are possible for the release of the minimum 11 UK albums.
What's more, the long, heated court feud between the Beatles' Apple Corp. and Apple Computers over naming rights might finally have been resolved. The belief is that Beatles songs at long last will be available for downloading from Apple Computers' iTunes, as soon as next month.
As for the remasters, when CD versions of the Beatles' UK albums were first released some 20 years ago, they came out chronologically over a year, from their first LP, Please Please Me, to their final offering, Let It Be.
Sources say if a chronological release occurs this time, the timeframe would be much quicker, from March to June of 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.
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PEPPER
Although there is a chance that Sgt. P will be given a special treatment -- in a box set, with both stereo and rare mono mixes -- little is being said about any extras for the other catalogue albums, other than that a compilation CD might be made available.
Even though EMI had a strong outing with the LOVE soundtrack in 5.1 Surround Sound last year, there's no word on whether any of the new UK remasters will have any multichannel content, which is highly coveted by die-hard fans and audiophiles.
As for the Apple vs. Apple battle, the buzz is that two companies apparently will finally collaborate on Beatles music -- for an exclusive three-month, restricted deal allowing Apple Computers' popular iTunes to offer downloaded, remastered Beatles songs, perhaps even before the CDs are made available.
Apple Computers plans a "special" announcement scheduled for a Super Bowl commercial on Feb. 4, which may give more indication as to where the new remastered CDs will debut first.
"I'm amazed at the possible Apple/Apple alliance," said Steve Marinucci, who runs the award-winning Abbey Rd website. "The Beatles can still surprise us after all these years."