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September 10, 2009

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All you need is the Beatles remastered

A WAVE of "Beatlemania" struck Britain's streets yesterday as a specially remastered edition of their albums was released, complete with an interactive video game for a new generation of fans.

The Beatles collection, launched worldwide on 09/09/09 and priced at 180 pounds (US$300), is expected to dominate the charts in the United States and Britain, bringing a windfall to the group's label EMI Music and the Beatles' company, Apple Corps.

While queues formed at major music stores in London, there was also Beatles nostalgia across Europe and parts of Asia.

A front page cartoon in France's Le Monde newspaper showed France's divided opposition leaders dressed as Beatles. "It would be nice if we played the same music," says one. "All you need is love," replied another.

In Ireland, a radio station hosted a karaoke event with people invited to sing and play Beatles tunes on guitar.

Ahead of the launch, Beatles singer and songwriter Paul McCartney wrote a letter to Britain's biggest selling daily newspaper saying how he once imagined the band, which changed popular music in the 1960s, would only last a couple of years.

"Now it feels like the Beatles will go on forever," he wrote in The Sun, nearly 50 years after the group first formed.

While the remastered catalogue, its first overhaul since 1987, is seen appealing mainly to Beatles' fans who would appreciate subtle variations and improvements, most excitement surrounds MTV's video game, "The Beatles: Rock Band."

Developed by Harmonix Music Systems, published by Viacom Inc's MTV Games and distributed by Electronic Arts Inc, analysts say the game could sell 2 million units in the first month.

The game, which offers 45 songs from the band's catalogue, has won rave reviews from critics and analysts.

The Beatles also appear set to move into the digital age - with some of their music likely to be made available as downloadable content for the video game.

Allan Rouse, who oversaw the remastering, said improved computer software allowed his team to improve the quality and sound of the Beatles' catalogue.


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