Are the Beatles finally coming to iTunes and the world of digital downloads?
Not right away mop top fans. But with today's announcement that 15 non-Beatles albums from the Fab Four's Apple label are going to be remastered and released by EMI. Can the “White Album” and “Let It Be” be far behind?
Though they were musical pioneers, the Beatles have been late adopters when it comes to new media. Together, the 15 albums represent the first ever Apple Records to be available via digital download.
Launched by The Beatles in 1968, Apple served as the new outlet for the group's own recordings as well as the music of an eclectic roster of artists – James Taylor, Badfinger, Billy Preston, Mary Hopkin, Doris Troy, and Jackie Lomax among them – who were all personally brought to the label by The Beatles.
Apple and EMI Music are digitally releasing albums from the Apple catalog on October 26, 2010. Most of the physical CDs will include bonus material.
The Beatles remained intimately involved in Apple’s recordings, even when their names weren’t on the album cover. 1968's self-titled debut album by James Taylor, for example, features Paul McCartney and George Harrison on "Carolina In My Mind." McCartney was instrumental in bringing the Welsh chanteuse Mary Hopkin to Apple, and produced her debut single, "Those Were The Days."
The Beatles had been fans of Billy Preston ever since seeing him in Little Richard's band in Hamburg in 1962. Harrison went on to produce and play on Preston's Apple debut, "That's the Way God Planned It." Harrison was one of the producers and played (along with Ringo Starr) on Doris Troy's self-titled Apple album. And Harrison also produced and played (with McCartney and Ringo Starr) on Jackie Lomax's debut album, Is This What You Want? featuring the Harrison composition, "Sour Milk Sea."
The Apple Records albums reissued in the campaign are:
JAMES TAYLOR (1968) by James Taylor
MAGIC CHRISTIAN MUSIC (1970) by Badfinger
NO DICE (1970) by Badfinger
STRAIGHT UP (1972) by Badfinger
POST CARD (1969) by Mary Hopkin
EARTH SONG, OCEAN SONG (1971) by Mary Hopkin
THAT'S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT (1969) by Billy Preston
ENCOURAGING WORDS (1970) by Billy Preston
DORIS TROY (1970) by Doris Troy
IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT? (1968) by Jackie Lomax
UNDER THE JASMIN TREE (1968) & SPACE (1969) by the Modern Jazz Quartet (a 2-on-1 CD)
THE WHALE (1970) & CELTIC REQUIEM (1971) by John Tavener (a 2-on-1 CD)