Beatles Rock Band – A Review


I hate to admit, but I was one of those idiots who pre-ordered the Beatles Rock Band so I would have it the first day. Not sure what the real urgency was, but apparently, about 700,000 others made a similar decision to be sure they added this much-ballyhooed addition to whatever category Guitar Hero and Rock Band constitute in the gaming world.

In full disclosure, I am a musician and a Beatles lover. The Stones don’t suck, but they don’t hold a candle to the Beatles. No one does. Their music is timeless, and in most cases flawlessly executed.  I thought the Cirque du Soliel Love show featuring the music of the Beatles was terrific. I am biased.

I also have Rock Band and have found playing with my wife and seven-year-old son to be a most rewarding experience. The best byproduct of playing is reconnecting with great old songs. The other day my son was singing Pinball Wizard on the way home from 2nd grade. As a Who fan, this delighted me to no end.

Beatles Rock Band is incredible. The animated collages that start the game are full of loving details a real fan would admire. They also stand on their own, as my son was mesmerized and wanted to view it again and again.

Most will want to jump into the story which takes you from the Beatles early days in the Cavern Club all the way through their last rooftop concert made famous in the film Let it Be. The transitions from each venue feature rare photo collages that have you looking forward to the next transition.

My favorite feature was the inclusion of previously unreleased studio chatter by the boys themselves heard while the songs would load. Their considerable charm was never more evident than in these clips.

The remixed tracks have astonishing clarity. Paul’s bass lines, which usually were buried in the mono mixes, stand out showing just how melodic a bassist he was. It made me want to run out and buy the new box set of Beatles remixes that came out the same day as Rock Band.

My only criticism is completing the story seemed to go by too quickly. Not sure if this was because there weren’t enough songs/levels or we were just having too much fun.  Apparently more songs will come available soon.

One can’t help appreciate the durability of Beatles music and their development as musicians and songwriters over the span of their career.

My son is now humming Beatles songs. Maybe that is why I pre-ordered it!

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