Posts Tagged ‘Rock Band’

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Bob Dylan went unrecognised during a trip to John Lennon’s home.

May 12, 2009

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We hear that Bob Dylan toured Mendips, John Lennon’s childhood home, while in Liverpool last week. According to the story that guides told visitors, he showed up at the house late in the day. He supposedly commented that some things, like the unheated bedroom, reminded him of his house in Minnesota.

The music legend wasn’t spotted by fellow visitors as he joined a £16 excursion to the late Beatles star’s childhood house.

The ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ singer was in Liverpool as part of his current world tour and a spokesperson for National Trust – who own and maintain the modest semi-detached property – admitted the organisation was stunned to be asked to accommodate him.

The representative said: “We couldn’t believe it when his agent rang us and asked if we could get Bob on one of our tours to see John’s house.

“He spent ages going through photo albums and all the memorabilia. He’s definitely the biggest celebrity we’ve ever had on our tours.

“But incredibly no one else recognised him.”

According to sources, Dylan said the 1940s home Lennon shared with his aunt Mimi and uncle George was similar to his own “modest” upbringing.

He was said to be particularly “enthralled” by the musician’s bedroom, where he wrote many early Beatles hits.

Dylan – who was a member of supergroup the Travelling Wilburys along with late Beatle George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Electric Light Orchestra star Jeff Lynne in the 1980s – recently revealed he wants to duet with John’s former songwriting partner Sir Paul McCartney.

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The 68-year-old musician said: “That would be exciting to do something with Paul. But you know your paths have to cross for something like that to make sense.”

Friends say 66-year-old Paul – who has previously worked with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Elvis Costello and recently declared the folk star his favourite living songwriter – would love to take up the offer.

A source said: “This would obviously be a major moment in musical history if Bob and Paul got together and it’s quite likely that Paul will be interested.”

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The Beatles: Rock Band vs Guitar Hero

March 11, 2009

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The much-anticipated digital reunion of The Beatles has got a launch date: September 9.

Fans of Fab Four who have always wanted to sing alongside John, Paul, George and Ringo will finally get their chance when the band’s interactive video game hits the shelves.

“The Beatles: Rock Band” developed by Harmonix will be available simultaneously at locations in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand.

The videogame is based on MTV‘s popular “Rock Band” and will “allow fans to pick up the guitar, bass, mic or drums and experience The Beatles extraordinary catalog of music through gameplay that takes players on a journey through the legacy and evolution of the band’s legendary career”.

Apple Corps, which handles the affairs of the group, and Viacom’s MTV Networks have also announced the software will be priced at $59.99. As well as support for the more usual instruments for the video game, “a limited number of new hardware offerings modelled after instruments used by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr throughout their career” can be bought for an extra $99.99. (There are no UK prices yet.) Platic Riky anyone?

“The Beatles: Rock Band” will be compatible with Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony‘s PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii systems. Existing Rock Band instrument controllers can be used to play the game.

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What has not been announced yet are the songs in the package but fans should expect to have more than a decent smattering of the greatest hits as they follow the band’s iconic career in the game.

The Beatles have closely guarded the distribution of their back catalogue – their songs are still not available for digital download via iTunes for instance. Their music continues to sell in huge quantities. The group has sold more than 600 million albums.

The official Beatles Rock Band website is here (not that it shows you much yet).

In further Beatles / Game news

Not a surprise but it looks like Activision (Guitar Hero), and MTV Games (Rock Band), are both going after the Beatles. What makes this a big deal is not only the millions, but the Beatles are not even on iTunes yet.

Representatives for the Beatles are in talks with Activision and MTV to expand the group’s licensing deal to include videogames, according to a new report by the Financial Times.

Any deal would be worth “several million dollars” according to sources, and could be reached within a matter of weeks.

Activision publishes the Guitar Hero franchise, while MTV Games is the company behind Rock Band.

But any potential deal would need to be approved by EMI, which owns the master recordings of the Beatles, and Apple Corps, the company set up to manage Beatles business interests.

Apple Corps has been selective with its licensing and has yet to release Beatles recordings on any online digital format, although according to the FT, the company has been more active in the past year since Jeff Jones took over the role of chief executive.

Activision has had considerable success with the Guitar Hero franchise in recent year’s, with a new portable version due for the DS, and a dedicated version featuring US rockers Aerosmith set for release.

Although MTV Games’ Rock Band is the new contender in the lucrative music gaming genre, it is also proving successful, with the company announcing back in February that it had already achieved downloads of over 3 million songs in the US alone.

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All you need is a digital guitar to join the Beatles!

January 6, 2009

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The surviving members of the band have been resistant to new technology, refusing to allow their music to be downloaded from online stores such as iTunes.

Instead, in the band’s first significant move into the digital world, fans will be able to transform into any member of the quartet and sing, drum and strum along with their favourite Beatles songs.

Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono-Lennon and Olivia Harrison have given their blessing to the new game. They will all be involved in its development and design before it is launched sometime next year.

The exclusive deal between MTV Games, owners of the Rock Band franchise, and Apple Corps, the company established by the Beatles to oversee their business interests, was announced yesterday. Jeff Jones, chief executive of Apple Corps, said that there were still no plans to make Beatles music available for digital download.

“The project is a fun idea which broadens the appeal of the Beatles and their music,” Sir Paul said. “I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out.”

The two surviving members of the band have been cautious about iTunes, fearing that digital downloads can be pirated too easily. In the past they have dabbled with offering streams of an album from their website and running trailers on YouTube.

The creators of the game would not disclose its title or its price. They did say that it will be a standalone game, not an add-on to Rock Band or Rock Band 2, which was released this month. Even so, Rock Band musical instruments will be compatible with the game.

Analysts estimate that the market for music-based video games, such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero, are worth about $1.2 billion (£730 million) in the US alone. The music download market was worth about $2 billion in America last year.

“The Beatles continue to evolve with the passing of time and how wonderful that the Beatles’ legacy will find its natural progression into the 21st century through the computerised world we live in,” Starr said. “Let the games commence.”

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Guitar Hero leads children to pick up real instruments

January 6, 2009

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Online gaming, PC’s, Hand held games and video game consoles  have long led many anxious parents to fear that their children could turn into addicted, uncultured sloths.

But research by one of Britain’s largest music charities suggests that the popularity of active music titles such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band have prompted up to 2.5 million children to learn the instruments for real.

The report conducted by Youth Music found that of the 12 million young people aged from 3 to 18, more than half played music games. A fifth of those gamers said that they now played an instrument after catching the musical bug from the games.

“We have long known that young people are encouraged to take an interest in music if it is presented to them in a compelling way,” said Andrew Missingham, the music industry expert who wrote the report. “This research for the first time shows conclusively that young people are being inspired to make their own music by games that first piqued their interest.”

Guitar Hero, where players strap on a plastic guitar and strum along to rock hits, has sold 5.5 million copies worldwide since its 2005 release and spawned several games including Guitar Hero: World Tour, which came out last month. Rock Band, which features a plastic drum kit, has sold 4 million and the karaoke game SingStar has sold 4 million copies globally.

Guitar manufacturers and instrument stores told The Times that sales of instruments featured in the games are on the rise and music teachers said that the games were encouraging the uptake of music lessons.

Nick Matthews, 13, from Buckinghamshire, said that he had started to learn playing tracks such as School’s Out by Alice Cooper on a real guitar. He first heard the song while playing Guitar Hero with his 67-year-old grandfather.

“I like it because it’s really fast,” he said. “I probably wouldn’t like the songs if it wasn’t for game.”

Adam Easton, from Music Ground, the parent company for the majority of the musical instrument shops in Denmark Street, in the West End of London, said: “Because getting a guitar is actually cheaper than buying a new computer at Christmas, when kids get influenced by Guitar Hero and think they really want to play an electric, mums and dads say, ‘great, I’ve got him off the computer at last! Here’s 200 quid, go buy yourself one’.”

The US guitar-maker Gibson said that it had seen sales on the rise, particularly those that are featured in the video games such as the iconic Les Paul guitar.

Source: The Times