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E3: Beatles Rock Band Details Out, and GH5 Band List too

DJ Heroes, country tracks, sequels and spinoffs, the fall and winter of 2009 are sure to be a busy season for music-based video games (not to mention a big test of the genre’s staying power in the face of significant brand dilution).  On September 1st, there’s Rock Band 5 (see Artist list below), then there’s DJ Hero, Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, Lego Rock Band and more.  There’s something for different ages, and for fans of different genres, for everyone, maybe.  But far and away, on many lists at least, the most anticipated curiosity to grab the limelight and grace the marquee will be the Beatles: Rock Band.

First announced in November, the game was (in a way) years in the making, decades even, if you truly count the permission challenges necessary to get the Beatles song catalog authorized and approved for digital remastering and release. iTunes didn’t get it nor did Amazon Mp3. The first Beatles tracks to legally cross the digital divide will be in a game that EA, MTV Games and Harmonix managed to tie up.

Little by little details have been trickling out.  The producer’s behind it. Teasers about the concept. Images of instruments and a release date. Today, just before the official kick off of the gaming industries monster trade show, E3, Microsoft pumped up the buzz with the biggest data dump yet.

During a press briefing aimed at capturing audience attention before the show even gets a chance to catch up, Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos and president of MTV Networks Van Toffler took to Microsoft’s stage and aired footage of the game.

beatles theater screenThe game will follow the band’s storied career with graphics and venues representing the different stages.  Some of the venues will include the Cavern Club, The Ed Sullivan Theater, Shea Stadium, and Abbey Road.  (see thumbnails)

For singers, multiple participants can join together in three part harmony to mimic some of the Beatles musical style.

beatles RB screenAlso disclosed were ten official songs: I Feel Fine, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Day Tripper, Taxman, I Am The Walrus, Back in the USSR,  Octopus’s Garden, Get Back, I Saw Her Standing There and Here Comes the Sun.

"All You Need Is Love" will be available for download exclusively via Microsoft’s Xbox Live. The proceeds from all of those downloads will be donated to the charity, Doctors Without Borders.

Beatles RB instrumentsOther songs, and full albums, will be available for download across platforms.

Surviving Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were both on hand to share their comments (Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s widow, and Olivia Harrison,  George Harrison widow also took a moment on stage).

Added details about the game can be found on the game’s official site. Curious about the 9.09.09 release date and the sometimes bizarre ties to the Beatles and Number 9, check out the second half of this prior Metue article.

And in other music game news….
Trying to steal some spotlight from a news day Rock Band hoped to capture, Activision has released a list of Guitar Hero 5’s official artist roster. The bands are:


  Band Of Horses    Love and Rockets  
   A Perfect Circle    Megadeth  
   AFI    Mötley Crüe  
   Arctic Monkeys    Muse  
   Attack! Attack!    My Morning Jacket  
   Beastie Boys    Nirvana  
   Beck    No Doubt  
   Billy Idol    Peter Frampton  
   Billy Squier    Public Enemy Featuring Zakk Wylde  
   Blink-182    Queen & David Bowie  
   Blur    Queens Of The Stone Age  
   Bob Dylan    Rammstein  
   Bon Jovi    Rose Hill Drive  
   Brand New    Rush  
   Bush    Santana  
   Children of Bodom    Scars On Broadway  
   Coldplay    Screaming Trees  
   Darker My Love    Smashing Pumpkins  
   Darkest Hour    Sonic Youth  
   David Bowie    Spacehog  
   Deep Purple    Stevie Wonder  
   Dire Straits    Sublime  
   Doors Down    Sunny Day Real Estate  
   Duran Duran    T. Rex  
   Eagles Of Death Metal    The Bronx  
   Elliott Smith    The Derek Trucks Band  
   Elton John    The Duke Spirit  
   Face to Face    The Killers  
   Garbage    The Police  
   Gorillaz    The Raconteurs  
   Gov’t Mule    The Rolling Stones  
   Grand Funk Railroad    The Sword  
   Iggy Pop    The White Stripes  
   Iron Maiden    Thin Lizzy  
   Jeff Beck    Thrice  
   Jimmy Eat World    Tom Petty  
   John Mellencamp    Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers  
   Johnny Cash    TV On The Radio  
   Kaiser Chiefs    Vampire Weekend  
   King Crimson    Weezer  
   Kings Of Leon    Wild Cherry  
   Kiss    Wolfmother  


Related Articles from Metue
Music Game News: Pearl Jam Next on the Rock Band Game List and Scratch DJ v Activision on the Mend?
Gaming Short Takes: Rock Band Billion, Sims DRM, and Eidos Shareholder Vote
Beatles Rock Band: New Information Released
Activision Details Next Guitar Hero Titles
Activision Sued Over DJ Hero (updated)
Activision Blizzard Working on DJ Hero
Activision Blizzard Wins Guitar Hero Suit
New Head for Team Guitar Hero at Activision
Gaming and Music Convergence: Guitar Hero Aerosmith Debuts
Say You Want A Revolution: Beatles and Harmonix in Game Pact
Milking the Franchise: Guitar Hero Spinoff Stories

Guitar Hero Beatles Edition: Possible or Probable?


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