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.