To celebrate 50 years since The Fab Four appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, the Apple TV has been quietly updated with its own Beatles channel, which streams the band’s famous debut performance on U.S. shores.
In addition to streaming all 14-minutes of the Beatles first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the new Beatles channel also allows you to purchase all of Steve Jobs’ favorite band’s U.S. albums.
Don’t have an Apple TV? You can check out the same content on your Mac or PC through iTunes here.
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.
Rolling Stone magazine finally makes its debut in Newsstand on the iPad today, two years after the publication’s founder criticized rivals’ premature rush to Apple’s tablet. The digital version of the magazine comes filled with iTunes links that will allow readers to quickly purchase content from featured artists.
For decades, Apple had a long-running dispute going with the Beatles over their eponymous fruitarian trademark. Namely, Apple Corps. congolomerate — a mult-armed multimedia corporation founded by the Beatles in 1968 — had a problem with Apple Computers stepping all over their TM. In 1981, Apple settled the dispute for the first time by paying Apple Corps. $80,000 and promising to never enter the music business, but then in 2001, Apple launched both the iPod and iTunes, starting the hostilities anew.
Everything came to a resolution in 2007, when Apple took ownership of all trademarks related to “Apple”, including Apple Corps’s granny smith apple logo, and agreed to license them back to Apple Corps. for their continued use.
Today, we’re seeing the last apple fall from that treet, as the Canadian IP Office has just disclosed that the Beatles’ iconic recording label is now Apple, Inc. registered trademark. Isn’t that nice?
A few weekends ago, I had some friends over, and we all got drunk and played Beatles Rock Band for a fun couple of hours. It was great. There really is something for everyone in the Beatles’ music catalogue.
One particularly funny moment came as I was singing “I Am The Walrus.” John Lennon has always claimed that the song is a blistering parody of caterwauling crooner Bob Dylan’s nonsense lyrics, but a friend of mine made an utterly bizarre case that the song is, instead, a subversive anthem in support of polysexual sodomy… an interesting interpretation, to say the least.
The key to the interpretation, he argued, is the chorus line. “Ooompah oompah! Stick it in your jumper. Everyone has one,” my friend quoted, his eyes bulging meaningfully. I found the whole exchange so funny that I immediately made myself an iPhone ringtone of the appropriate section of the song.
On a tangentially related note, The Fab Four has just released their first ever batch of iTunes ringtones. “I Am The Walrus” isn’t there, making my ringtone unique and signaling a conspiracy, but there are a ton of good songs available. Full list below.
If you’re a big fan of The Beatles’ psychotropic adventure to save Pepperland from the hopping foots and music-hating Blue Meanies, here’s a great deal: Apple is offering the children’s e-book adaptation of The Beatles Yellow Submarine for free to anyone who wants to download it.
What were the nigh-implausible terms that Apple agreed to in order to finally compel the Beatles to bring their catalog to iTunes? Did Steve Jobs personally agree to perform on “butt bongos” for Ringo Star’s & His All Star Band? Did Apple’s elite team of corporate espionagers steal back the sentimental leg Sir Paul once gave Heather Mills and return it to his bosom? Did they just liquor Yoko up with a cocktail comprised of a plum floating in perfume served in a man’s hat?
None of the above, sayeth Reuters. Instead, they say — surprise! — it all came down to just paying the Beatles gobs of money directly, instead of paying Sony, who controls most of the song catalog.
Was the Beatles on iTunes worth the ten year wait and the thousands of hours of negotiation? Probably not, but Beatles songs and albums are still selling pretty damn well now that they’re finally available, even if they’re not really setting any sales records.
On Tuesday, Apple made the addition of the Beatles’ repertoire to iTunes the story of the week (ho-hum though the story was), and this Sunday, the company made the new partnership the centerpiece of every NFL game, flooding the airwaves with multiple ads drawing on still images from the Get Back/Let it Be sessions (and occasional Ed Sullivan performances).
It’s all a bit retro, but there is some kind of nice unifying warmth to the band that made Helvetica rock-and-roll being featured by the company that made Helvetica high-tech.
The ads are nice, though, particularly if you’re enjoying a holiday beverage or two and are feeling nostalgic about the excitement of four friends, a recording studio, and creativity. Take a sip, sit back, and remember that love is all you need.