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While My Guitar Gently Beeps

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the happiness-is-a-warm-axe dept.

Music 140

theodp writes "As the world prepares to meet the Beatles all over again on 9-9-9, the NY Times Magazine takes a look at the making of The Beatles: Rock Band, and asks a Fab Four tribute band to take the game for a test drive. (Not surprisingly, they fare well.) 'As huge as Guitar Hero and Rock Band have been over the past few years,' says Harmonix Music Systems co-founder Alex Rigopulos, 'I still think we're on the shy side of the chasm because the Beatles have a reach and power that transcends any other band.' The Beatles: Rock Band follows the group's career from Liverpool to the concert on the roof of Apple Corps in London in 1969 (trailer). The first half of the game recreates famous live performances; the second half weaves psychedelic dreamscapes around animations of the Beatles recording in Studio Two. 45 songs deemed the most fun to play, rather than the band's most iconic numbers, come with the game."

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YOU ARE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29089227)

FAGS! [youtube.com]

I DON'T (-1, Troll)

kshade (914666) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089537)

LIKE YOU! [youtube.com]

The Killer App (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089255)

This could be the app that makes casual- and party-gamers splurge on a console for themselves. I suspect the console chosen would be whatever they played the game on at a friend's house.

Great summary! (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089407)

This summary almost tempts me to buying this game, as well as whatever console I'd need to play it on. I'm not a fan of consoles or gaming gadgets usually, but a psychedelic Beatles trip is something I'd sign on for.

Paranoid about control (5, Insightful)

andi75 (84413) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089293)

From the article:

> Apple's preoccupation with security meant that the high-quality audio "stems" he created never left Abbey Road.
> If the separated parts leaked out, every amateur D.J. would start lacing mixes with unauthorized Beatles samples.
> Instead, Martin created low-fidelity copies imprinted with static for the Harmonix team to take back to the States -- in their carry-on luggage.

And why would that be such a terribly bad thing? It's exactly this kind of gone-out-of-control control-thinking that makes me respect the idea of copyright less and less. I believe that trying to 'make a quick buck' from the work of others is unethical. But creatively extending someone else's work is art.

On a unrelated note: Has someone already managed to rip the individual tracks off the Guitar Hero / Rock Band games? I assume they're not just simply there as .wav files on the CD :-)

Re:Paranoid about control (4, Informative)

daid303 (843777) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089341)

For the Guitar Hero and Rock Band songs, look on the FretsOnFire user forums. Or on your favorite torrent site (search for FretsOnFire).

Re:Paranoid about control (5, Interesting)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089419)

I find that quote particularly poignant when compared to this quote:

McCartney sees the game as âoea natural, modern extensionâ of what the Beatles did in the â(TM)60s, only now people can feel as if âoethey possess or own the song, that theyâ(TM)ve been in it.â

So, people can feel as if they possess or own the song - but Apple Corp, the owners of the Beatles' music (including McCarney), can't tolerate the thought of anyone getting ambitious and wanting to actually do something creative with it, like recombine elements of the Beatles' work into something new! This is a thin and watery form of ownership indeed.

Re:Paranoid about control (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 4 years ago | (#29091845)

can't tolerate the thought of anyone getting ambitious and wanting to actually do something lucrative with it, like recombine elements of the Beatles' work into something new!

Fixed that for you. I see nothing wrong with wanting to protect their asset. If someone else wants to be creative, fine...let them go ahead and write some amazing music that transcends generations and then release it all for free, that's their choice. Just don't project their particular views onto others.

Re:Paranoid about control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29095721)

Being granted access to the stems for a song has long been held as a very exclusive and rare occurrence in the music industry. It's a huge honor, and that's not something that can just be changed overnight. The problem isn't really that giving out the stems would allow people to create entirely new compositions with them, but rather that anybody could recreate all of the songs and sell them, and Apple Corp would have to spend all its money trying to hunt down people that would just keep popping back up under different names.

Re:Paranoid about control (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089451)

The ironic part is that this thinking is exactly what copyright was supposed to combat. Before the days of copyright, playwriters had bodyguards for the scripts they passed out to their actors because they feared if they took it home it could be copied. Opera composers went out of their way to make sure their new libretti were not heard before the big premiere (there's stories of opera singers practicing on boats on the sea so nobody could hear them).

And now we're there again. Content creators going to lenths and putting people through hardships as if copyright didn't exist. Forcing performers and audience alike to jump through hoops and swallow poor quality in an attempt to protect their precious works.

Why again did we have copyright in the first place?

Re:Paranoid about control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29089695)

Control

Re:Paranoid about control (1)

teflaime (738532) | more than 4 years ago | (#29092431)

This is all true. But the reason that copyright is no longer effective at protecting work is that people lose respect for copyrights when they are extended essentially forever. Return copyright to 20 or 40 years, and I believe people would be a lot more respectful of it. Moreover, a larger number of people would be willing to support harsher penalties for copyright infringment if it were considerably shorter, IMO.

Re:Paranoid about control (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29092633)

Why again did we have copyright in the first place?

Duh. So that when those mechanisms fail, they can sue you.

Re:Paranoid about control (1, Insightful)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 4 years ago | (#29092969)

Before the days of copyright, playwriters had bodyguards for the scripts they passed out to their actors because they feared if they took it home it could be copied....Content creators going to lenths and putting people through hardships as if copyright didn't exist. Forcing performers and audience alike to jump through hoops and swallow poor quality in an attempt to protect their precious works.

What's ironic? Your point seems to be that before the existence of copyrights, artists would sometimes protect their work with literal brute force. You then go on to imply that modern artists are somehow acting unreasonably by utilizing the copyright method for protecting their work (as if this is worse or equivalent to the body guards). Furthermore, you imply that people are having to endure "hardships" and are being asked to "jump through hoops" to access the art produced, which seems just ridiculous.

You want a Beatles song to listen to? Go buy it and listen....no hardship....no hoop to jump, and listen all you want. I think it's unfair to imply that any artist should be forced to allow his work to be used by anyone at any time in whatever way they deem necessary including ways that profit the person(s) doing the re-interpreting/re-imagining of the art. I understand people wanting something for free, and believe me, as an artist I do see the artistic value that comes out of re-interpreting music. However, to make the implication that ALL the work by ANY artist should just be allowed to be used however one pleases is very unreasonable. If it weren't, couldn't I just use the Mona Lisa for my Trademark? How about my favicon? Can I print it on T-Shirts and sell it? Can I change Holden Caufield's name to something else, and then sell my new interpretation of "The Catcher in the Rye"? No? Then why is it so different for music?

Re:Paranoid about control (2, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 4 years ago | (#29093453)

I think it's unfair to imply that any artist should be forced to allow his work to be used by anyone at any time in whatever way they deem necessary including ways that profit the person(s) doing the re-interpreting/re-imagining of the art.

If the music should be in the public domain, as the early works of the Beatles should be by now, then it's totally fair that the artist should be "forced" to "allow" his work to be used in any way imaginable.

If the artist wanted to control his work forever, he should have kept it in a little trunk in his attic.

Re:Paranoid about control (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29090935)

But creatively extending someone else's work is art.

Pfft. No, it called being lame and having no talent. Case in point - rap "music".

Re:Paranoid about control (2, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29090983)

Copyright is intended to encourage creative works. I'm sure that if the Beatles knew that someone was just going to remix their music 40 years later, they never would have bothered to record it. And who would have bought it when they could just wait 40 years for some DJ to remix it?

Re:Paranoid about control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29091643)

Copyright is intended to encourage creative works. I'm sure that if the Beatles knew that someone was just going to remix their music 40 years later, they never would have bothered to record it. And who would have bought it when they could just wait 40 years for some DJ to remix it?

Never bothered to record it? What the hell?

I like remixes, what do you have against them? And who's going to refrain from buying music because it may be remixed in FORTY YEARS?

What a stupid post.

Re:Paranoid about control (3, Interesting)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 4 years ago | (#29091781)

I believe that trying to 'make a quick buck' from the work of others is unethical. But creatively extending someone else's work is art.

As a composer/songwriter myself, I must ask: How do you intend to differentiate between these 2? Who should be the judge of that?

You have a right to your opinion, but I disagree with you and with others who seem to be vehemently opposed to the idea of there being any regulation of copyright. I'll never understand why it's perceived that wanting to protect something I've created from being used either in a way that I don't agree with, or in a way that someone else gets to benefit from is so wrong. Why on earth should I have to be cool with the idea of someone re-packaging or re-interpreting something I've done artistically? If I choose to allow that to happen, that's one thing. But, to assume that I should be forced to do so is a little one sided, in my opinion.

Re:Paranoid about control (1)

gdek (202709) | more than 4 years ago | (#29093507)

"Why on earth should I have to be cool with the idea of someone re-packaging or re-interpreting something I've done artistically? If I choose to allow that to happen, that's one thing. But, to assume that I should be forced to do so is a little one sided, in my opinion."

Guess what? It's not up to you, Individual Artist, and never was, and never will be. Whether you are "cool" or "not cool" with it is entirely beside the point. Good artists borrow; great artists steal. It's cliched because it's the absolute truth.

You can, of course, sue to get your Tasty Monies. That's the essence of copyright, and all well and good. But if the derivative work sucks, then there are likely no Tasty Monies to be had -- and if the derivative work doesn't suck, then you may be forced to face the notion that a transformative derivative work is actually art in its own right! Hope your ego can hold up to that notion.

Trent Reznor wasn't cool with Johnny Cash performing Hurt. Doesn't matter now, does it?

Re:Paranoid about control (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 4 years ago | (#29093575)

Trent Reznor wasn't cool with Johnny Cash performing Hurt. Doesn't matter now, does it?

No, it really doesn't. Not since Cash is dead. Other artists playing the song at Cash's tribute concert was taking it a little too far however. Of course, I always thought that turning a cover into a single was a pretty lame thing for any musician to do.

Re:Paranoid about control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29094661)

Of course, I always thought that turning a cover into a single was a pretty lame thing for any musician to do.

Hmm, Elvis singing Blue Suede Shoes is lame? It used to happen a lot.
Nothing compares to U, Sinead whatshername ?
Doesn't it depend on the cover artist bringing something new to the work ?

Boz

Re:Paranoid about control (1)

Myrddin Wyllt (1188671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29095345)

Nearly all of the tracks on the four Rick Rubin produced albums were covers, usually of material by much younger artists - that was pretty much the point of them. I'm not sure where the idea that Reznor wasn't cool with it comes from, as far as I can tell he had some reservations at first, but changed his mind when he heard it, especially when he saw the video.

Re:Paranoid about control (0, Troll)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 4 years ago | (#29095205)

Good artists borrow; great artists steal. It's cliched because it's the absolute truth.

What a load of garbage. Do us all a favor, if you will. Please cite a few examples of where the following great artists stole:

Picasso
Shakespeare
Monet
Beethoven
Da Vinci
Michaelangelo

etc etc

You can, of course, sue to get your Tasty Monies...Hope your ego can hold up to that notion.

What is your problem? I'm sorry if it bothers you that there are artists who would like to be able to derive some sort of income from creating and sharing music. Perhaps it's some jealousy on your part, perhaps your father was a musician who paid more attention to his instrument than you, or perhaps you're just a jerk...who knows? Your argument just doesn't hold up at all, and furthermore, its arrogance is quite astounding. You seem to feel that you (or others) has some inherent 'right' to do whatever the heck they want with anyone else's work. I would ask that you apply this same formula to what you do for your income and see what you think about it. Imagine someone gets to put your hours on their timecard and get paid for them as well as you (meanwhile you were the one who did the work). Wouldn't feel too good would it?

Trent Reznor wasn't cool with Johnny Cash performing Hurt. Doesn't matter now, does it?

You are mistaken [rollingstone.com] . Seems Trent was fine with it, and more importantly he was asked first. That's the point that you, and a lot of others, tend to miss. This isn't about trying to stick it to anyone, and it isn't about trying to hit the lottery for one song. It's about not allowing others to decide what will or won't be done with something I've created. I resent the implication that my efforts should benefit someone else unless I agree to the terms.

Re:Paranoid about control (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 4 years ago | (#29096949)

Shakespeare? You're holding up Shakespeare as a bastion of originality?

You do know that almost all his plays are based on works by other authors, right? His artistry was in the interpretation, not in the ideas.

Mart

Re:Paranoid about control (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 4 years ago | (#29097129)

Yes, I am holding Shakespeare up as an example as I am not one who subscribes to the "Oxfordian" conspiracy theory.

Re:Paranoid about control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29097047)

What a load of garbage. Do us all a favor, if you will. Please cite a few examples of where the following great artists stole:

Picasso
Shakespeare
Monet
Beethoven
Da Vinci
Michaelangelo

etc etc

You don't know their sources, because the artists they stole from weren't great!

Re:Paranoid about control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29093583)

Because its not YOURS. This idea that we have created - that works belong to the author for the authors lifetime is ridiculous. If you want it to stay with you unmodified for ever, do not distribute it to anyone. But the moment "copies" e

Re:Paranoid about control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29096917)

OMG OMG this post rocks OMG +5 for sure let me just preview one last... damn!

Re:Paranoid about control (2, Insightful)

andi75 (84413) | more than 4 years ago | (#29093591)

If you don't want your ideas to be extended, you probably should keep them to yourself.

You have no inherent right to it once it's out in the open. You have no right to forbid people to sing your song (very badly and out of tune and very loud) in their car or in the shower. You have no right to forbid other musicians to play your songs in their garage.

If someone else thinks your music is good enough to be re-interpreted, you should be *proud*. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Also, it will serve to *increase* the popularity of the original material.

The idea behind copyright is that you can make enough money from it to support yourself, your family and whatever your favorite pasttime is (e.g. save the rain forests or maybe cocaine and hookers). That's a good thing. But lately, it's been more and more twisted and corrupted by greedy people. It's about exercising a ridiculous amount of control over the material. That has to end.

Re:Paranoid about control (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 4 years ago | (#29095291)

If you don't want your ideas to be extended, you probably should keep them to yourself.

Should we apply that same logic to everyone? How about scientists? Philosophers? Spiritual Leaders? Teachers? Writers?...get it yet? Choosing to share an idea/composition/story with others is not the same thing as allowing others to claim it as their own and use it for their own intents.

You have no right to forbid people to sing your song (very badly and out of tune and very loud) in their car or in the shower. You have no right to forbid other musicians to play your songs in their garage. If someone else thinks your music is good enough to be re-interpreted, you should be *proud*. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Also, it will serve to *increase* the popularity of the original material.

That's not what I'm suggesting in this particular case. Someone playing a cover version of a tune or singing a song along at a party (or something like that) is one thing. It's quite another thing to take actual copies of something and pass them off as one's own in an attempt to profit off of someone else's work. To use the (admittedly crude) example I used in a comment above, apply this same principle to whatever it is that you do for a living. Imagine several other people in your office decide they're going to report some hours on their timecard that you worked....and then they get paid for them as well, even though they weren't there the same hours you were. You probably wouldn't be a fan of that, I'd imagine. So why should it be that in the case of someone writing music (or for that matter creating any art) that it be measured any differently? Can I just change a few of the names in "To Kill a Mockingbird" and then sell the book as my own? No? Why not? Because it's plagiarism, plain and simple, and I'm saying that I think this type of situation isn't any different than feeling entitled to any other art form.

Re:Paranoid about control (1)

andi75 (84413) | more than 4 years ago | (#29095777)

> It's quite another thing to take actual copies of something and pass them off as one's own

I don't know where you read into my sentences that I ever suggested that should be possible. It's downright ridiculous.

The original author should always be compensated. And of course if the derivative work is making money, the original author should be compensated, but not excessively.

A famous (and ridiculous) example of copyright gone wrong: The Verve's song: "Bitter Sweet Symphony" [wikipedia.org] . It's a twisted world where a company that currently holds the rights to some old material (remember, they're not even the creators of that stuff) can claim someone elses *entire profits* because they used a sample (which they even cleared before use, but there was something wrong with the fine print) in their song.

Also, I'm opposed to the *control* the original authors (or more accurately, the copyright holding companies these days) want to exert over their work. Making derivatives impossible in the first place.

Re:Paranoid about control (1)

andi75 (84413) | more than 4 years ago | (#29095831)

> The original author should always be compensated.

Sorry, I didn't use the preview button. That should read 'credited', not 'compensated'.

Compensation is not in all cases required (especially if e.g. the remix doesn't make any sizable profit or is given away for free).

Re:Paranoid about control (1)

andi75 (84413) | more than 4 years ago | (#29095895)

>> If you don't want your ideas to be extended, you probably should keep them to yourself.
> Should we apply that same logic to everyone? How about scientists?

Scientist know the value of the work of others especially well. Just look at the number of citations in every research paper. Few are trying to pass off the research of others as their own (if you do, you'll ruin your reputation pretty quickly). And everyone on them knows: "If I've seen farther then others, it was because I was standing on the shoulders of giants" (famously used by Sir Isaac Newton, but attributed originally to Bernard of Chartres).

We need a montage (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29089325)

The hours approaching, just give it your best
You've got to reach your prime.
Thatâ(TM)s when you need to put yourself to the test,
And show us a passage of time,
We're gonna need a montage (montage)
Oh it takes a montage (montage)

Show a lot of things happing at once,
Remind everyone of whatâ(TM)s going on (whatâ(TM)s going on?)
And with every shot you show a little improvement
To show it all would take to long
Thatâ(TM)s called a montage (montage)
Oh we want montage (montage)

And anything that we want to go from just a beginner to a pro,
You need a montage (montage)
Even Rocky had a montage (montage)

(Montageâ¦montage)

Anything that we want to go from just a beginner to a pro,
You need a montage (montage)
Oh it takes a montage (montage)

Always fade out in a montage,
If you fade out, it seem like more time
Has passed in a montage,
Montage

I find beatles music increidbly boring (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29089367)

it's boring and easy listening.

i don't get it why there's such a hype around that band.

Re:I find beatles music increidbly boring (3, Informative)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089413)

Compare it to the other music from the '60s. Especially their later albums pretty much wrote the book on psychedelic rock and albums as more than just a collection of loose hits, yet they somehow managed to never leave the mainstream. Very diverse music. They did a lot more than just Let It Be and Yesterday.

Re:I find beatles music increidbly boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29089557)

Common misconception that the Beatles "wrote the book on psychedelic rock".

Re:I find beatles music increidbly boring (3, Informative)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089731)

It's not, really. Sgt. Pepper was recorded about the same time as the first Pink Floyd album - the Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Both were THE psychedelic rock albums at that time.

Re:I find beatles music increidbly boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29090925)

Think again. [wikipedia.org]

Psycedelic rock really wasn't a mainstream movement and the Beatles, much like Elvis, rode on the coat tails of lesser known bands.

Re:I find beatles music increidbly boring (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29091011)

Except Piper was a really weak album with cheesy production values and frankly, doesnt have the replay value of Sgt Peppers. I dont think Floyd really got their groove on until much, much later. Perhaps until they lost Barrett and released Dark Side of The Moon. YMMV.

Re:I find beatles music increidbly boring (2, Insightful)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 4 years ago | (#29091097)

I think you greatly underestimate the effect that 'See Emily Play' had on the British music scene at the time.

Re:I find beatles music increidbly boring (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#29091833)

I am not a fan of Syd's works either but I personally like a number of earlier Floyd's songs like Careful with that axe, Eugene, Echoes (IMHO a masterpiece) or Atom Heart Mother.

Re:I find beatles music increidbly boring (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29092053)

I dont think Floyd really got their groove on until much, much later. Perhaps until they lost Barrett and released Dark Side of The Moon.

There's quite a bit of time between losing Barrett and releasing Dark Side of the Moon, and they did some great stuff in that time.

Recently I discovered I completely disagree with Pink Floyd on what their best albums are. I'm a big fan of Atom Heart Mother and Ummagumma, but they consider them "stumbling around in the dark". On the other hand, I'm a bit tired of Dark Side of the Moon, whereas to them it's when everything fell into place.

Re:I find beatles music increidbly boring (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 4 years ago | (#29093605)

For me, nothing beats Animals. ;)

Re:I find beatles music increidbly boring (5, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089475)

Because they were the first.

Yes, today that's easy listening. At least some of their songs, if not most, are mainstream vanilla pop. But that was new back then. They created a style that wasn't heard before, that was new and rebellious, their music, their style, their everything. You have to understand that in those days, even this rather tame beat was rebellious and quite suitable to drive your parents nuts. More than Marilyn Manson could today.

Re:I find beatles music incredibly boring (1)

Myrddin Wyllt (1188671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29090367)

I'm not sure the Beatles were ever considered rebellious, (except perhaps in the American Mid-West). Certainly in the UK they were seen as the clean-cut, parent-friendly option, especially when set against the Rolling Stones. This was played up by both camps at the time, as it was seen as driving sales and popularity.

Personally I never really liked The Beatles music, although I can appreciate the influence they had on many bands who followed. I wouldn't call them 'Easy Listening', as to my mind that implies a much safer, blander style of music, but they were definitely 'Pop' rather than 'Rock'.

Re:I find beatles music incredibly boring (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29092459)

Oh you bet it was a rebellion (at least in the part that I grew up in). Judging from what I got to hear from my parents, it was a revolution in music. And culture.

Everything had to be "British". My dad used to have a scarf he was really proud of because it was "original English". You have to see, the people that grew up with the Beatles were born around the end of WW2, to parents who, at least in central Europe, were born into a culture that had a heavy nationalist and dictatorial background. Not only Germany had its Nazis, you know, similar fascist regimes were common from Italy to Hungaria to Austria and even Switzerland was leaning towards the political right during those times. Now the kids listen to this music coming from abroad, either from a former (middle Europe) or a current (eastern Europe) enemy, a music that sounds strange, that makes people gyrate and wiggle worse than those sounds that were already "banned" during their youth because it drives the young people nuts. Not to mention those long hairs!

Not to mention that the very idea of some young guys from Britain creating a band and having huge success gave birth to a lot more bands all over Europe. My dad was in a band (and, bluntly, if you knew him today... I mean, if you look up 'square' in a dictionary you find him there as the role model), and a lot of young people picked up guitars, drums and other instruments just because of the Beatles and because some of their songs are easy to play (and some ain't... especially some of their later songs are completely insane to play) and yet they were a big success. That wasn't possible with the sounds of the 40s and 50s where you needed a big orchestra or great players and singers if you wanted success, it was four people and some fairly affordable instruments, as well as (let's be honest here) not too stellar voices. It's one of those "anyone could do" things.

That's the revolution of the Beatles. Not so much that they wrote some, admittedly, fairly easy and easy to listen songs. That they inspired people.

Re:I find beatles music incredibly boring (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#29092557)

Have you seen the videos of thousands of teenage girls screaming and throwing themselves at the stage? It isn't the music that's risque, it's the culture that comes with it. Regardless of what the Beatles themselves were doing, eventually you're just selling sex hysteria to the masses.

If it weren't for the chastity rings, you'd see all kinds of parents freaking out over the Jonas Brothers just because of the way their daughters behave. You could even argue (South park obviously did) that the Jonas Brothers image is specifically crafted to make parents feel ok with selling sex to the young children.

Re:I find beatles music increidbly boring (3, Insightful)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 4 years ago | (#29090621)

Yes, today that's easy listening. At least some of their songs, if not most, are mainstream vanilla pop. But that was new back then. They created a style that wasn't heard before, that was new and rebellious, their music, their style, their everything. You have to understand that in those days, even this rather tame beat was rebellious and quite suitable to drive your parents nuts. More than Marilyn Manson could today.

This reminds me of how I was talking with a friend about Black Sabbath. My dad came in the room and said, "Man, Black Sabbath, back in my day those guys were OUT THERE. My teachers said their music would rot your brain". And it made me laugh because I could totally see their music being totally strange back when they first started, but now their music is the norm because everyone is influenced by them.

Re:I find beatles music increidbly boring (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29092501)

KISS being banned from playing in Germany (because the SS of their name was styled like the SS in, well, SS) still makes me giggle.

But hey, such were the times. In 20 years people will go "meh" over the antics of Marilyn Manson and whatever other "shock rockers" we may have today.

Re:I find beatles music increidbly boring (3, Informative)

Torodung (31985) | more than 4 years ago | (#29091907)

Yeah, um... have you seen the cover of "Meet the Beatles?" They were whitebread brits with novel mop-top haircuts, comparable to the Jonas Brothers in marketing and social impact, though clearly superior in talent.

Christ. The Doctor had the same haircut! They were utterly mainstream.

They didn't get rebellious until they were assured of their wealth in perpetuity, round Rubber Soul. Then they rapidly train wrecked after a few albums because they couldn't get along.

And none of it is worthy of much lasting artistic impact. It ain't Mozart. They were ever following, rarely leading. Like Microsoft, they scooped up whatever was being innovated and killed with their marketing muscle.

They were most certainly not ever "the first," any more than Microsoft was "the first" to bring the GUI, the web browser, or SQL.

--
Toro

Why do rock band and GH allways look so crappy? (1)

madpuppy (96129) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089389)

It is like the developers don't bother making the game look good because people are interested in the songs only. Music games all look like ports from gamecube games.

Re:Why do rock band and GH allways look so crappy? (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 4 years ago | (#29090155)

"It is like the developers don't bother making the game look good because people are interested in the songs only."

It's a different kind of immersion. Instead of getting you immersed in the world the developer is creating, the developer is aiding you in immersing yourself in the performance you are creating. Too many visuals would distract from that. All the player needs is that Klax-looking interface to let you know what to press and when and a guitar controller. They bring the rest of the environment with them.

Re:Why do rock band and GH allways look so crappy? (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29095637)

Their number one priority is minimizing control latency and jitter. Where music is concerned, even a 15ms discrepency is noticable by the human mind. Since it's all about the gameplay (if not, they'd just make animated music videos), sometimes the graphics will need to be scaled back so that gameplay doesn't suffer at the expense of (unnecessary) bump-mapping and HDR.

That said, while the new games tend to suffer from the same common shading issues that are common on their host consoles, I think it's quite an exhaggeration to say they look crappy. They might not be Crysis, but they're definitely screenshot-worthy.

Kudos on the title... (2, Funny)

dominique_cimafranca (978645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089399)

...this one got a smile out of me.

What is even the point.... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29089403)

I just don't get the 'fun' involved in pressing buttons in time to music. It's not a game. It's like a kids toy or something. like simon.

Maybe if you were real drunk and were playing to fuck around with some friends. maybe... but i don't think most people 'play' it like that.

And theres all this self-important bullshit surrounding these games too. And every new game ammounts to... hey more songs! wooo!

I just don't get it.

Re:What is even the point.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29089609)

It is as much a game as pressing the correct buttons at the correct time to headshot your opponent.

Re:What is even the point.... (0, Flamebait)

Mprx (82435) | more than 4 years ago | (#29090603)

No, it's not. Scoring the headshot requires prediction and deception of your opponent as well as timing. Rhythm games only require timing. Rhythm games have zero tactical depth, so they shouldn't really be called games. They have even less depth than tricks like juggling or riding a unicycle, which at least require real time decision making because they involve unstable systems. Guitar Hero is a perfectly stable system, and you can get a perfect score with no thought at all. The only rhythm game with any value is DDR double (8 switch) mode, played without the bar (or other similar games). Here the unstable system is your own body. In Guitar System you are only making minor hand movements so momentum and balance are not an issue.

Re:What is even the point.... (1)

koinu (472851) | more than 4 years ago | (#29090715)

DDR is a bit different, because you can really get exausted, when you play it too much. These are sometimes really extreme and fast movements. Btw, in some songs on DDR you need tactics. How else do you explain that all the noobs end up turning their butts to the TV when the arrows start to confuse them? :)

Re:What is even the point.... (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 4 years ago | (#29093827)

For someone new to the game the hand is a fairly unstable system, and it does get out of balance. You're maintaining pressure with different fingers and hand positions at various times, and it can be challenging to get the hang of changing hand positions and which fingers are exerting pressure, without fucking up and missing buttons.

Re:What is even the point.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29094275)

I agree - music rhythm games are not "games" in the sense of game theory. BUT they are still valuable. What everybody seems to miss is what the actual value is.

Music rhythm games are training to be a musician and to appreciate music.

You will not find actual musicians (meaning somewhat trained, able to count a steady beat, knowledge of time signatures, reading sheet music helps too) who are BAD at these games. When they first start of course, reflexes need to be trained to line up the symbols, but suddenly for musicians it "clicks" and within a month they're nailing 9-foot songs on DDR. Within three days or less they're doing "hard" mode on Guitar Hero.

It also works the other way around. Given two potential newbie bass players for my band, one who is an awesome DDR player but has not touched an instrument since middle school band class, and the other who is "self-trained" at dicking around on a guitar and can cover a couple of songs but can't count a beat by himself, I will pick the DDR player, and he will have an easy time learning how to play bass.

We're actually sort of facing this problem at the moment - we have a new bass player who has been in and out of bands for 9 years... but he can't hold the timing for a long rhythm in his head. We've been talking about trying to get him to play DDR and maybe it'll help.

Re:What is even the point.... (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 4 years ago | (#29096129)

> Rhythm games have zero tactical depth, so they shouldn't really be called games.

Actually, when to use star power involves tactics.

Re:What is even the point.... (2, Insightful)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 4 years ago | (#29091035)

By cracky, you may be on to something there. You find something "fun" or "not fun". Perhaps if game companies produced a wide range of games, so that they would have a broader base of games that people find "fun", they would sell more games overall.

Why, it will be revolutionary! Imagine, not all games would be Rock Band! You might have games based upon the American version of football, or simulations of science-fiction warfare against alien races, or dare I hope... games wherein a stocky Italian water and sewage maintenance worker solves a variety of problems for his viewed from afar love, a lovelorn scion of royalty.

Re:What is even the point.... (2, Insightful)

The Moof (859402) | more than 4 years ago | (#29091549)

It's crazy, I know, but it's just fun. You should try it once before knocking it.

Perhaps xkcd will explain better than me: http://xkcd.com/359/ [xkcd.com]

Also, your description of how to play is somewhat inaccurate.

Re:What is even the point.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29091783)

Maybe videogames aren't really your scene. Maybe sitting in a field around a bonfire while drinking heavily is more your speed. And the speed of people along your area of the curve.

Just a thought.

Re:What is even the point.... (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 4 years ago | (#29094089)

Tons of people go to see live shows, when they like the studio versions of the songs.

Why? There's more noise, the sound is much worse, the volume is usually not enjoyable, you have to deal with other annoying people, seating is horrible, etc.... why would people go to see their favorite songs butchered in this manner? Do you get it, or is that equally obtuse to you?

If you can answer that question, you'll have your answer of why games like Rock Band are entertaining. It's an immersive way to experience your favorite songs.

Comparing it to simon is an uninspired straw man because it intentionally ignores the music aspect which is the whole point. You could use the same logic and claim that playing music is just pushing buttons to a metronome.

Re:What is even the point.... (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29095925)

Comparing it to simon is an uninspired straw man because it intentionally ignores the music aspect which is the whole point. You could use the same logic and claim that playing music is just pushing buttons to a metronome.

Exactly. It's far more music than game that makes it enjoyable. That said, Rock Band focuses more on the music aspect while Guitar Hero is focused more on the game and competitive aspects.

Alternatively, one could claim that they didn't understand the fun in games with shooting other people. I mean, maybe if I were really drunk with some friends, but I don't think you could 'play' that. Besides, every new game is the same, just with different guns, things to shoot, and places to do it in.

I just don't get it.

Have The Meatmen released an updated tribute yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29089431)

They released a John Lennon tribute song [lyricsmania.com] a while ago now...

Beatles and their drug use (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29089435)

The article says that: "In many respects, Martin and the Harmonix developers obsessed over creating an accurate portrayal of the Beatles. (They were never without teacups in the studio!)". So, do we get to see Lennon take LSD and trip during the recordings ? According do a interview (http://taz4158.tripod.com/johnint.html): "It went on for years, I must have had a thousand trips. Literally a thousand, or a couple of hundred? A thousand - I used to just eat it all the time." Probably not. Not a good idea to let the youth of the nations know that their heroes ate LSD like candy back in the days.

Re:Beatles and their drug use (2, Insightful)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089699)

You don't need to see that they were permanently on drugs, you can pretty much hear it in lots of their songs.

Re:Beatles and their drug use (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089947)

We all live in a yellow submarine.

Mmm-hmm.

Re:Beatles and their drug use (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#29093529)

I don't see the reference in that one?

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is a bit more obvious (kaleidoscope eyes?).

Re:Beatles and their drug use (4, Insightful)

ragefan (267937) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089979)

"See I think drugs have done some good things for us. If you don't think drugs have done good things for us then do me a favor. Go home tonight and take all of your records,tapes and all your CD's and burn them. Because, you know all those musicians who made all that great music that's enhanced your lives throughout the years? Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreal fucking high on drugs, man."

- Bill Hicks

Re:Beatles and their drug use (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29090095)

The game in fact comes with a nine-bar of hash, large sheet of acid tabs and a milkshake [wikipedia.org] recipe for the kids.

Seriously, a rake of drugs and a guitar is more fun (for all the family) and cheaper than the console, controllers and game.

Re:Beatles and their drug use (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 4 years ago | (#29097125)

Not a good idea to let the youth of the nations know that their heroes ate LSD like candy back in the days.

Why?

Big news... (5, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089439)

The most newsworthy part of this article from a Slashdot perspective isn't that Rock Band Beatles is coming out. We already knew that.

It's that the New York TImes, the old grey lady, published a *nine page* video game review.

Re:Big news... (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089575)

Well, "nine page" in a newspaper is only - no wait, that is a pretty gianormous review. Good call on that. Although the NYT is doing a good job of establishing itself as the best source of original tech news and reporting. Keep an eye out, almost every day, every day the NYT has at least one article featured on slashdot's primary page. Expect more, in depth technology reviews (for the items that warrant it, at least). Beatles on Rock Band (or whatever the othe3r one is called) is a pretty big deal, culturally.

Re:Big news... (2, Informative)

moortak (1273582) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089917)

It was in the sunday magazine, so it wasn't quite as long as a full 9 broadsheet pages.

Re:Big news... (2)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 4 years ago | (#29090383)

I'm counting online pages. Who reads the New York Times on *paper*, anyway? Sheesh.

Re:Big news... (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089951)

And why is it a big deal culturally? Would it have been a big deal if they hadn't had to make a whole game just for the beatles and just been DLC?

Re:Big news... (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29090101)

Welcome to marketing 101. Of course not; there is immense value in the Beatles being "other" from the mainstream music market. A few other people, like Neil Young and Bob Dylan also have this kind of aura and it does wonders for them.

Re:Big news... (1)

Myrddin Wyllt (1188671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29094225)

I love the way Neil Young and Bob Dylan are finally cool again; it's like the world gave them each a 20 - year sentence for 'Trans' and 'Slow Train Coming', but now we're prepared to forgive and forget on the condition they never do anything like that again.

Re:Big news... (2, Funny)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 4 years ago | (#29092881)

It's that the New York TImes, the old grey lady, published a *nine page* video game review.

Well, "nine page" in a newspaper is only

I'm sick of these articles needlessly spread over multiple pages to generate ad revenue. Anyone have a link to the print version?

Licensing costs (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089441)

45 songs deemed the most fun to play, rather than the band's most iconic numbers, come with the game.

Translation: We chose the 45 songs that would cost us the least amount to license. After all, it's not like we've shied away from including difficult tracks before.

Re:Licensing costs (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089549)

Who said fun != difficult? I'd say it was the other way around. Besides, if you're playing on easy/normal it's never going to get difficult no matter what song you're playing, unless you have no rhythm at all and just try to hit the notes as they pass the bottom of the screen as if you're playing some kind of space invaders game..

Obviously there is a point where making it overly difficult just gets stupid though and detracts from the fun. There's a particular pattern of finger movements in Dream Theater's Constant Motion on Rock Band, I'm sure I could play the song much easier on a real guitar than Rock Band, though I haven't tried, but certainly there are a few songs in these games that I can play on a real guitar and often the game version is more awkward.

Re:Licensing costs (2, Informative)

u38cg (607297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089555)

Have you ever tried to licence anything from the Beatles? It's not quite as simple as you paint it. They certainly don't sell their stuff to the highest bidder, regardless.

Re:Licensing costs (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 4 years ago | (#29093497)

On the other hand, I found a new appreciation for songs like the Smashing Pumpkin's Cherub rock because they were included in Guitar Hero.

Re:Licensing costs (3, Informative)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29096545)

Harmonix has never shied away from picking the deeper cuts from a discography, rather than just the most popular hits. That said, this game is still chock full of #1 singles, as well as the b-sides. So, what about those songs do you think makes them more expensive to license?

Makes perfect sense to me to go by the fun factor rather than chart position or sales. "Love Me Do" was their first #1 hit in the US, but the melody is all harmonica. Similarly with "Elanor Rigby" and violin. Put the most fun songs on the disk, then release most of the rest of the discography as DLC to allow everyone to pick and choose their favorite of the others.

Not exactly (1)

Noam.of.Doom (934040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089645)

The title of the post is actually a song by George Harrison as a solo artist, and not The Beatles. B.T.W. A lot of the guitar work done on the original track is young Eric Clapton.

Re:Not exactly (5, Informative)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089883)

Ummm, I hate the Beatles and even i know you're completely wrong. While My Guitar Gently Weeps was on the White Album, which I'm fairly certain was a Beatles album not a George Harrison album. He did write it, and Clapton did play lead guitar on the studio version, but it was still a Beatles song.

spamburger hero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29089799)

if i turn off advertisements on /. will this article dissapear too?

Fuck the Beatles (1)

tqft (619476) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089813)

I want
a) Rolling Stones
b) Deep Purple (You Fool No-one, Burn,
My Woman From Tokyo)

Is it really so hard?

Yes, but you have taste, most of this lot don't. (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29090005)

When I was at school we practically worshipped our English teacher because her husband had been a roadie for Deep Purple.

Re:Yes, but you have taste, most of this lot don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29090761)

Cool story bro

Re:Fuck the Beatles (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 4 years ago | (#29091591)

Screw that, the Stones and Purple already have some songs in the games. I quietly await the day that Led Zeppelin realizes that this is, in fact, a good thing, and lets their music be licensed.

Yeah right (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 4 years ago | (#29089885)

Yeah, the world is fucking preparing for the second coming of the Beatles because a new Rock Band is coming out. Right.

Yellow Matter Custard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29089907)

Slightly OT, but that's my favorite Beatles cover group. You know: Neal Morse, Mike portnoy, Matt Bissonette and Paul Gilbert.

Is it just me? (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#29093259)

I am not a Beatles fan, but those screenshots from the article are awesome. I want them simply to be backgrounds on my computer.

By the way, has Frets on Fire gotten any better? Last time I played it was dicey at best (I was running the Ubuntu version).

Screw Rock Band: The Beatles (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29094889)

I like how people enjoy bashing Activision for "selling out" and doing band-specific games, but the truth is, Harmonix's designers sold their -souls- just for a contract.

Fact: The Beatles: Rock Band DLC will not be playable on any other Rock Band titles, and normal Rock Band songs will not be playable on Rock Band: The Beatles because of technical reasons associated with the "dream sequences" and three-part harmonies. Bull - both issues are minor, trivial things that would take a good programmer a day or two to work around. The real reason is that Harmonix sold out to Apple Corps, who would never have signed on were it possible for The Beatles to sing non-TB songs, or for non-TB bands (in Rock Band or Rock Band 2) to sing TB songs.

Fact: The Beatles: Rock Band will no longer have a usable whammy bar. Certainly, the user will still be able to pump up Star Power or whatever it's called in RB using the whammy bar, but it won't affect the audio at all. Why would they change a simple gameplay mechanic like that? More soul-selling. Apple Corps would have freaked if people were able to change the way The Beatles' songs sound.

Fact: The Beatles: Rock Band will no longer have a "drum fill" mechanic as we know it; instead, the user will have to hit all the notes in a pre-tracked drum line in order to activate Overdrive. So, it differs from normal gameplay... how, exactly? Again, more soul-selling, for the same reason: If users were able to trigger arbitrary drum samples, Apple Corps would have flipped out.

So, who's more evil? The company that signs on bands for profit, or the one that's so desperate to sign a band on for profit that they'll sell their own design principles to get it?

Sources for the above three fundamental changes to the Rock Band series are at the Wikipedia page for The Beatles: Rock Band.
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