Can’t buy you Beatles on iTunes? That is, after years of negotiations, setbacks, and false starts, about to change. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple will imminently announce its acquisition of the band’s legendary catalog, famously absent from the digital marketplace since, well, digital was born.
Spokesmen for Apple and EMI refused requests for comment, and insiders say that label EMI could still renege, but if the deal does go through it should be massive for both parties, as well as consumers.
It would also bring to a close a decades-long antagonism between the band and the brand–the former accused the later of infringing on its Apple Corps logo trademark with its own apple icon. (The case was finally resolved in 2006, 28 years after its first filing).
Terms of the deal are still unknown, and may or may not be revealed when Apple makes a much-touted announcement tomorrow morning at 10am EST/7am PST.
UPDATE: It’s true, and it’s pretty much instantaneous; the band’s 13 remastered studio albums, the two-volume Past Masters compilation and the Red and Blue collections are now available on iTunes worldwide as either albums or individual songs. There is also an exclusive box set featuring the band’s first U.S. concert, Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964.
Here, the chorus of approvals from the official press release: We’re really excited to bring the Beatles’ music to iTunes,” said Sir Paul McCartney. “It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around.” “I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes,” said Ringo Starr. “At last, if you want it-you can get it now-The Beatles from Liverpool to now! Peace and Love, Ringo.”“We love the Beatles and are honored and thrilled to welcome them to iTunes,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “It has been a long and winding road to get here. Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we’ve had since we launched iTunes ten years ago.”“In the joyful spirit of Give Peace A Chance, I think it is so appropriate that we are doing this on John’s 70th birthday year,” said Yoko Ono Lennon.
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