Christmas may of come early for Beatles fans yesterday when for a limited period a series of 59 previously unissued tracks were released but not without drama on several internet sites as these tracks had appeared on the iTunes Stores starting in New Zealand briefly but appear only to had been up for a matter of minutes in the UK before they were taken down, leaving fans feeling cheated. The ensuing controversy was reported on CNN and in the Times of England newspaper.
They did reappear but with a sizable price hike although sources close to Apple/Universal suggest this was more the price point they had in mind and the original one an error although it seems odd such a mistake could of happened on a high profile project such as anything connected to the Beatles.
The driver for this project seems to have been the recent extension from 50 to 70 years of copyright laws from 1963 across the European Union including in the UK that had a rider added that unissued tracks would revert after 50 years to "Public Domain", usable by anyone. Thus by issuing however briefly they become copyright with Apple/Universal being the rights owners controlling their usage.
As for the material itself, there are a few Abbey Road studio tracks including a number of takes of Misery which are interesting to listen to for the fluffed moments and banter between the four Liverpool lads and a number of recordings recorded at the BBC studios for various shows that for a variety of reasons hadn't been considered for the Live at the BBC and recent second Live at the BBC albums.
Being Mastered For iTunes (MFiT), the sound quality for the studio material is of a very high standard being close to that of a regular cd.
This isn't for regular Beatles fans who are better served with the studio albums and various hits and BBC recording packages but more those who want to hear everything they did comparing multiple versions.
They may well be a break before the next blog update due to Christmas activities so do enjoy the upcoming season.