McCartney: Beatles on Apple iTunes Store talks ‘stalled’

“Paul McCartney said Monday negotiations on a long-awaited deal to make the Beatles’ catalog available on the online music service iTunes have stalled,” Meera Selva reports for The Associated Press. “‘The last word I got back was it’s stalled at the whole moment, the whole process,’ the former Beatle said. ‘I really hope it will happen because I think it should.'”

Selva reports, “McCartney, who was speaking at the launch of his new album, Electric Arguments, added: ‘It’s between EMI and the Beatles, I think.'”

“The band’s holding company, Apple Corps Ltd., has so far declined to allow the Fab Four’s music on any Internet music service, including iTunes… Record label EMI, which owns the Beatles recordings but needs Apple Corps’ permission to release the music in new formats, said it was still trying to resolve the matter,” Selva reports.

Full article here.

Mike Collett-White reports for Reuters that a spokeswoman for EMI said, “‘We have been working hard to secure agreement with Apple Corps to make the Beatles’ legendary recording catalog available to fans in digital form,’ said. ‘Unfortunately, the various parties involved have been unable to reach agreement, but we really hope everyone can make progress soon.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Matt R.” and “Mrsteve1” for the heads up.]

Whatever. This is plainly a neverending story and it’s years beyond joke stage. At this point, whatever Beatles tracks that most people want have long been digitized and are already on their iPods. The only ones missing out are new fans who don’t know what BitTorrent is – in other words, not a huge audience.

Chalk it all up to yet another opportunity blown long ago by Apple Corps’ ridiculous viscosity.

By the way, “Paul McCartney yesterday said that he ‘doesn’t mind’ illegal downloading, though he does have some problems understanding the concept,” as Jonny Evans reports for Distorted-Loop here.


  1. To those who sarcastically ask “Who are the Beatles,” I pity you for your loss and ignorance and stupidity. But yes, I have absolutely every single Beatles release on CD, and remastered versions by George Martin and son Giles would certainly interest me. The Beatles are not meant to be heard as compressed MP3’s.. surround is more like it.

  2. Most Beatle fans already have every one of their umpteenths repackages of CD/DVDs/Greatest Hits/Collectables (with better audio quality too), so what’s the big deal on iTunes?

    I’m over 40 and not a Beatles fan so couldn’t care less, but it’s sad that an artist has no control over his own creation and has to leave it up to corporations to decide if Beatles are going to build a new fan base or whither in yesterday’s technology like lost phonographs and damaged music sheets.

  3. To have a music/record “collection” WITHOUT the Beatles

    Be it your own, or Apple’s iTunes “collection”

    Is like having a library of books without – for example – Mark Twain

    Or plays without Shakespeare

    Or films without Citizen Kane

    Yes, you’d have a “collection” or a library

    But few who know History and Art would call it a “complete collection”


  4. If I understand this correctly… it’s not the Beatles (aka Apple Corp.) that are being greedy here, but EMI is the culprit. If Apple Corp. wants the music distributed without DRM, in MP3 compatible with all players, and also distributed via iTunesMS, it seems to me that if EMI is the holdout for DRM, we should be trashing them, not Sir Paul and company. Let’s hope the good guys win.

    PS: Whether you respect the Beatles or not, or have even heard of them matters not one whit. It’s a simple matter of history that they are perhaps the most influential band of the last century. Even if some folks aren’t at all interested in who the Beatles were, they have a lot to thank them for… like bringing popular music into the 20th century and unleashing the age of modern rock. You won’t find one serious musician who doesn’t know this basic fact.

    Zune Tang not only uses a PC… he IS a PC. What is obvious is that the PC that he uses is a Mac. (PC = personal computer; Mac = better personal computer.)

  5. 3 years ago, I was really excited about the prospect of The Beatles on iTunes and a Beatles iPod.

    Now, even Beatles fans like me are at the point that we don’t care anymore.

    Wish Capitol would release the third batch of CD’s. I need to complete that CD collection. I’d rather have that. And the packaging was cool.

  6. A this point, I don’t really care.

    > to make the Beatles’ legendary recording catalog available to fans in digital form

    Isn’t CD a “digital form”? If the “spokeswoman for EMI” means downloadable form, I’ll bet that’s already “available to fans” too.

  7. I read that it’s Yoko Ono holding up proceedings. She wants Apple to change the DRM so the tracks can’t be played backwards otherwise listeners will be hypnotized into saying ‘Yoko is fat’ whilst running down the street wearing nothing but one sock and holding a chicken aloft – vegetarians will hold up a root vegetable. Oh, and she wants a purple limousine with a 4mm yellow stripe on one side and some sushi prepared fresh waiting on a triangular plate when she gets in, if she gets in, she hasn’t decided yet.

  8. It is true that the CDs sold in the 80s and 90s are horrible quality. They sound like home digitalization. The extreme stereo channel separation also makes the listening experience poor. With headphones, it’s like John and Paul sing into your right ear, and George into your left, with the drums to the far left. I usually switch into Mono mode.
    Most of the master tapes should be Fe type and in good shape. Time for a state-of-the-art re-mixing and re-mastering.

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