The Beatles Rock Band

I honestly never thought the day would come when we could look forward to playing a Beatles song in Guitar Hero or Rock Band. The rights to the songs are wrapped up tighter than a Gordian Knot and not even iTunes has Beatles songs available for download. However, on September 9th that day will finally be here.

The game will have 45 tracks on the disc when it ships. While that’s slightly more than half of what Rock Band 2 shipped with, this game promises to be a much more immersive experience. The buzz word that’s being tossed around is “experiential.”

Only 10 songs have been announced so far: I Saw Her Standing There, I Want To Hold Your Hand,I Feel Fine,Taxman,Day Tripper, Back In The USSR,I Am The Walrus,Octopus‘s Garden,Here Comes The Sun,and Get Back.


Based on trailers of the game and playbills visible during the games introduction sequence it’s reasonable to surmise that the songs Come Together, For the Benefit of Mr. Kite, Hard Day’s Night, Carry that Weight, Mr. Moonlight, Rocky Racoon and Paperback Writer will be included as well.

Harmonix and MTV also announced that the album Abbey Road (presumably without Octopus’s Garden and Here Comes The Sun) as well as the song All You Need Is Love will be available as downloadable content. Proceeds from the latter will go to support the international charity Doctors Without Borders.

One of the coolest features of the game is the introduction of three-part harmonies. While I’m stoked for the opportunity to have someone else cover up my horrible singing I’m confused as to precisely how two more peripherals (microphones) will be added to the mix. The worst (and most likely) solution would be yet another powered USB hub. Another important question is whether or not individual controllers will be necessary for each microphone. I have yet to hear from MTV on this issue but I don’t expect to wait too long to find out from them or another news outlet.

According to the Fact Sheet from Harmonix, The Beatles Rock Band will have four game modes. The Quick Play and Story modes are both familiar but the Chapter Challenges mode is new and will focus on specific points in the career of the Beatles. The Training mode is also updated with a new vocal training mode focused on ear training and harmony. There hasn’t been any word on an online multiplayer mode, either cooperative or competitive, but my fingers are crossed.

The Beatles Rock Band goes on sale September 9th and will retail for $60 on the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii. The bundled edition – which includes the Ludwig branded drums, Hofner bass controller, microphone and mic stand – will sell for $250 on all three systems.