Long after The Beatles split in 1970, long after the deaths of John Lennon in 1980 and George Harrison in 2001, Beatlemania lives on.
The band’s lengthy catalog continues to sell well in the digital age. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are still touring (albeit separately). Last year, Capitol Records, the band’s label, rereleased its 13 U.S. albums. And this year, on November 6, Apple Corps Ltd. plans to release a new version of its record-breaking album “The Beatles 1.”
“The Beatles 1,” a compilation album, was originally released in November 2000. By 2009, 31 million copies had been sold worldwide. Fifteen years after its release, about 1,000 copies are still bought each week.
Who wouldn’t want to capitalize on that success?
The new version of “1” includes 27 digitally enhanced promotional videos for each of the band’s 27 No. 1 hits and 23 additional videos consisting of a mix of classic TV appearances and some rarely seen footage.
“Apple Corps dug deep into The Beatles’ vaults to select a broad range of films and videos for their rarity, historical significance and quality of performance,” an Apple Corps news release said, noting that it took 18 people to complete the “frame-by-frame cleaning, colour-grading, digital enhancement and new edits.”
“The restoration is extraordinary,” said Michael Lindsey-Hogg, who directed four of the Beatles’ music videos. “The colors come out really well. Those guys should get a knighthood.”
Fans are eager for the album’s release. “There are no lack of claimants for the title of ‘the inventor of the music video,’ but the Fab Four has a strong case,” lifelong fan Dennis Michael said on social media. “Grainy, bad-sounding versions of The Beatles’ early music clips have been bouncing around YouTube for years, but now they’re back in their vivid glory.”
The Beatles founded Apple Corps Ltd. in 1968 to oversee the band’s creative and business interests. The London-based company manages The Beatles’ intellectual property and periodically produces new Beatles projects, such as “The Beatles 1” and the Cirque du Soleil show “LOVE.”
“The Beatles, their music, their work and their images is as strong as (it’s) ever been,” Lindsey-Hogg said. “You can’t beat them. You can’t beat the Beatles.”