With The Beatles: Rock Band and reissues of all their albums hitting stores Sept. 9, it’s time for another Beatles revolution. This week’s Entertainment Weekly offers fans our guide to what’s new — as well as the 50 best songs the world’s greatest band ever wrote and a gallery of rare behind-the-scenes photographs.
Do you find yourself occasionally slipping into a Liverpudlian accent? Hankering after a pair of granny glasses? Arguing with your friends about the best Beatles songs of all time? Then you’ve got a condition called Beatlemania, and if you don’t want it to get worse, then stay in bed on Sept. 9: The eyes and ears of the world will once again be on the Beatles — and now their hands and larynxes will be able to join them.The reissues alone would be huge news, since the band’s albums haven’t been upgraded since their original CD release in the late ’80s. But if you’ve ever fantasized about actually playing with the Beatles, then Rock Band is equally drool-worthy. This installment of the massively popular franchise (more than $1 billion in sales and counting) lets you jam along with 45 tracks from all stages of the group’s career. It also offers previously unseen photos and never-heard audio clips of the quartet talking in the studio. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, and Olivia Harrison were intimately involved in putting it all together. “It’s very cool,” McCartney enthused to EW earlier this year. Now Rock Band seems set to turn an even younger generation on to the band. “I see people playing it and they look…completely funny,” says McCartney. “But I like the idea that it introduces kids to music.” Maybe Sept. 9, 2009, will soon be known as the day that the biggest band of the 20th century also became the biggest of the 21st.
For more on The Beatles, check out the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Sept. 4.