Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Allen Klein Must Have Been Involved...

Hey, Apple, can we talk? Yes, you, Apple. Yes, The-Beatles-Apple. I'd like to talk candidly to you. You've gotten enough of my money over the last ten years, the least you can do is sit down and shut up, right?
I have taken notice of the latest Facebook updates to the official Beatles fan page, and I must say, what the holy loving hell is going on?
The first of two updates says that the Anthology series is going to be reissued.
"Great!" said I, "That's fab, man. Even the Anthology will be on iTunes now! Gear, it'll get out to a whole new generation of sods that are about to have their little brainboxes blown by the awesomeness that is John, Paul, and George."
Not long after, the second update posted this great little video to promote it.
Intrigued, I watched this awesome video. I was really into it, Apple, I've got to tell you; George Martin, Paul, George, and especially when they talked about the "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love" tracks - goosebumps all over! Way to go, you've got me sold, and I've already got the entire package (the three volumes, plus the astounding accompanying documentary and coffee table book).
I was reveling in the music nerd moment, Apple, until I saw this message flash across the screen before your groovy little green apple logo.
Wait, in the update, you didn't say anything about it being remastered, for the love of all that's good and cheezy. Did you really digitally remaster the ancient lo-fi demos? And it is going to be released on June 14th? As in, like, the same June 14th as the remastered McCartney and McCartney II issues (side note: Paul, you lovely cheeky monkey, you. This was all planned! How do you manage to take all my money, you adorable scouser, you?)?
Admirable effort to be hip, dearest Apple (even more dear than Macintosh, you slags), but I have a bone to pick with you.
It is obvious that, since the company's inception, all was doomed (two words: Allen Klein. I don't care that it was all those years ago, we're all still trying to live through the mistake that was Allen Klein): poor management, and concepts that are either out-of-date or bordering on ridiculous all add up to illogical business sense (read, the opposite of MPL... you know, the McCartney/Eastman company of awesome? We'll not get into that now, though).
Let me tell you what the record buying public want; I should know, I'm the record buying public. Don't get me wrong, I love the Anthology series with a purple passion - the George Harrison takes in particular tickle my fancy, and, of course, that "And Your Bird Can Sing" giggle-take is the best thing since Hershey Kisses.
Here's the thing: we've already got access to these things. We have them in our grubby, greedy little hands. We have read the booklets that came with the CDs. We have drooled over the studio chatter. We have marveled at the stripped down awesome of the infamous three part harmonies (like golden angels, for God's sake, and I am convinced it's what Heaven sounds like).
Not that we aren't excited for this new release, but, as a member of this record buying public, let me tell you what you should have done: give us access to something new.
"What kind of new?" I can hear your big-wigs nervously ask.
Sour Milk Sea, Bad To Me, Goodbye, One And One Is Two, Suicide, The Donovan Session from 1968, extended takes of It's All Too Much (and NOT just the version from the Yellow Submarine film, either... don't be stingy), Can You Take Me Back, and Her Majesty, and, sweet lizard with an afro, the list could flow from the top of the Empire State Building to unsuspecting tourists on Fifth Avenue below; and that's not even to mention the stuff we don't even know exists. The long and short of it? Anthology, v.2.0, remastered, if you please.
And you absolutely cannot use the "well, now that George has passed" excuse. If you can do it with the Threetles, by God, you can do it with Paul and Ringo. I know Ringo is pretty useless, but he was a Beatle nonetheless. So what if you can't use the same shtick of "new Beatles material after twenty-some years"? If you give us takes like the ones I mentioned, it'll ALL be new. We know you have the ability (does anybody remember "Let It Be... Naked"? A twenty-two minute track entitled "Fly On The Wall" rings a bell).
Hell, it doesn't even have to be fancy. I'm sure that the Anthology series was incredibly difficult to cull together, what with the special liner notes, the book, the documentary; the best part of an Anthology 2.0 is that no one expects, or is even asking for such a fuss.
Liner notes? Big bold print along the following line: "Thank you for buying this thing what we done longtimes ago. Love, Paul". Oh, and that Peace and Love thing Ringo does. Slap that on there, too; you know, in smaller print.
We don't need a book, we don't need a documentary, either; everything that's going to be said has pretty much been said (unless Paul can think of anything else awesome. Which he can) as far as the whole "this-is-the-story-of-The-Beatles" business goes.
Oh, and one more thing: I suggest you do it pretty damn quick, kids. Use the resource of Sir George Martin while we still have him to turn to. The dude's eighty-five years old, so time is of the essence. Bring Giles into it, too, for kicks and giggles. The more, the merrier! As far as I'm concerned, make everybody a part of this celebration. Yoko? Come on in, darlin'! Olivia? Sure, bring Dhani, too! Sean, you say you might want to chip in? Great, join the party, bring your lovely brother along, if you can catch him!
The point is to do this while you can. Record sales are in the tank, so it may be a good business idea; you know, if you can be bothered to come up with one (you know, unlike that "Best Of Apple" compilation that came out last year; seriously, you'll release Jackie Lomax's version of Sour Milk Sea, and the Mary Hopkins version of Goodbye before you'll let the original demos out of your death grip? I know they exist, too, so don't say you haven't got them).
Oh, and, by the way, put the Anthology 2.0 on CD; you know, unlike this remastered Anthology (seriously, Apple?). Believe it or not, the die-hards you're trying to target LOVE physical copies - since I first read the news, I've seen nothing but complaints that this is a purely digital release.
Once again, Apple's respective head is deep in the metaphorical sand.

Is It A Subscription Box, Or Something More Sinister? (It's A Subscription Box. Maybe.)