The Beatles’ Catalog Now on iTunes; World Reportedly Looks Up from Worn Copy of “Let it Be.”

On Tuesday, the biggest news from the Beatles in quite some time arrived in the Beatles, the very reason why bands do “something different” by the time they reach their third album, joining the digital revolution, a decade after massive proliferation of the .mp3 file. Aside from the amazing resistance to going to digital and how this is a positive for the Beatles from a business standpoint, there really is no story to tell. Christmas came early for Steve Jobs, and that’s that.

But even I have to admit some of the cool extras available exclusively through iTunes is enviable, chief among them, a video of their very first United States performance “Live at Washington Coliseum, 1964.”

Other than that, the only news to report would be Ringo’s increasingly curmudgeonly character regarding the whole affair: “I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes.” Meanwhile, Olivia Harrison, George’s widow, kept in step with her husband’s reputation as the quiet one by simply saying, “The Beatles on iTunes. Bravo!”

All of this became possible through the mediation and revision of the 1991 agreement between Apple Corps and Apple Inc. regarding Apple Computer’s presence in the music industry, which caused a trademark infringement suit on the Beatles behalf after the launch of iTunes. This was resolved three years ago when the agreement was revised to state that Apple Inc. cannot compete in the music industry through the sale of physical format items (CDs, LPs).

Now, the most relevant hold-out to the tentacles of Jobs is Frank Zappa.


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