Yet again, it’s rumoured that The Beatles back catalogue will be made available for download any day soon.
There are numerous media claims that Sir Paul McCartney has made around £200 million through licensing the tracks to Apple’s iTunes – after years of legal wrangling over rights to the Apple name (the Beatles’ corporate side is known as Apple Corps).
There are several reasons not to start saving your hundreds of 79p credits right now.
1) Why would Macca score hundreds of millions of pounds right at the moment that his divorce settlement is being decided by the courts?
2) Macca might have been the number-one man in Wings but there were other Beatles. One of them is even alive. What does Ringo have to say about it, or the families of George Harrison and John Lennon – who last week dismissed the claims as "rumour and speculation"?
3) It has been widely reported that the entire Beatles back catalogue is being digitally remastered, and this has been offered as a suggestion why the deal has not been done as quickly as some would like. The Beatles ‘Love’ album - produced by George Martin and his son Giles - showcased some of the remastered Beatles hits, but there’s been no news of the fate of the rest of the tracks. It took years to remix 26 tracks, and the level of detail was astonishing: for example, when remastering "Because" the opening track now includes the bird sounds used in the World Wildlife Fund version of "Across the Universe”. A new recording of a Wood Pigeon was implemented "to make it more British," according to George Martin.
4) Record company EMI is in the news for all the wrong reasons right now, with its major artists leaving in droves and/or bashing its new private equity boss for having the temerity to try to run it as a profit-making business. A bit of good publicity with the cheeky mop-tops going digital does no one any harm. And it takes some attention away from Macca’s marital woes to boot.
5) The leaked “news” of a special edition "Yellow Submarine" iPod is unlikely to harm sales of Apple’s market-leading MP3 player, is it?