the beatles, british rock, remastering, apple inc

“Even if you are a hard-core collector, it’s a worthwhile purchase,” Mr. Spizer (a Beatles historian) says.

This, dear readers, is the least sincere endorsement ever: “If you have already bought everything, you should definitely buy this!”

This Tuesday, UMG released a 59-track album of Beatles live recordings, mostly from BBC performances, for $39.99. While that sounds like an epic release, many of the songs are included twice or even thrice, reducing the actual value of the package, if you ask me.

How many times are we going to fall for the same gimmick? Newly unearthed archives of music from a world-revered artist come out, there is an article about the remastering process, they move a few thousand units, and then we all forget about the release once the holiday season is over.

If you remember the last time consumer hysteria was drummed up over the Fab Four, The Beatles Were Finally Released on iTunes! This, according to Apple, was an extremely newsworthy event, worthy of shelling out $149 for a “special digital ‘Beatles Box Set’!” Because you can call it a box set even without a box. Yeah. That makes sense.

If you remember, Apple Inc. had settled its legal dispute with The Beatles, which was related to an agreement that the computer company made to not sell music. One that was broken when the iTunes Music Store opened for business.

Reissued, remastered, or uncovered music from long since broken up or deceased artists are the most shameless money grabs the record industry has mastered. And you’d hope consumers would have smartened up by 2013. Unfortunately, this album is currently charting in iTunes’ top 10 albums, so, I guess we’re not there yet.

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