The relationship between Apple Computers and Apple Records (the Beatles’ record label) has always been tumultuous. Bringing suit against Apple early in the Mac-maker’s history for their similar names, an agreement was struck that Apple could use its iconic fruit name only if it didn’t get into the music game… an agreement Apple disregarded when it launched iTunes. That move kept the Beatles off of iTunes until a deal was finally struck in 2010.
Things between Apple and the Beatles have been pretty rosy since. In fact, a new Beatles album comprised of rare recording and bootlegs will ll launch later this week exclusively through iTunes.
Called The Beatles: Bootleg Recordings 1963, the compilation reportedly contains 59 rare and unheard recordings. But why are these being released now? The BBC explains:
EU law protects songs for 70 years after they are recorded, but only if they get an official release. Otherwise, copyright lasts 50 years.
In the case of The Beatles, that means their 1963 debut album Please Please Me is protected until 2033, but the unreleased session tapes for that album are not.
If the Beatles chose not to release the recordings before the end of the year, it would mean other record labels could theoretically put them out and profit from them.
Taking a look at the track listing, this looks like ‘for completists only’ stuff, containing multiple flubbed takes of the same songs and a number of performances for BBC Radio. If that’s you, though, be on the look out!