Culture & Conversation

Rocking As The Fab Four

The Beatles recently re-released their entire catalogue remastered to perfection. They also came out with The Beatles: Rock Band. A music game where you play and sing along to a couple dozen Beatles songs through the lifespan of their career. It can be A Hard Day’s Night working Eight Days a Week, but we all love to Come Together.

In The Beatles: Rock Band you get the chance to rock in the shoes of one of the Fab Four. The game’s 45-song track list spans a dozen albums with plenty of hits, but also a great deal of omissions considering the number of Beatles songs there actually are. You can Twist and Shout on the guitar as John Lennon, or While My Guitar Gently Weeps, you can lay down a bass line as Paul McCartney. If you are Getting Better at the drums, you can attempt to emulate Ringo Starr, or play Something while harmonising with George Harrison.

You can pick and choose any song in Quickplay mode, or in Story mode, you and a couple friends can play through an abridged version of The Beatles’ decade long recording career. You start off as they did, at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, then make an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. You play a sold out show at Shea Stadium, then travel halfway around the world to perform at the Budokan arena in Japan. You end your career cutting tracks at the famous Abbey Road Studios, then top it off with a concert on the roof of Apple Corp. Despite the real life drama that was The Beatles, this is a happy go lucky music history lesson in a Yellow Submarine appropriate for any age.

The stages themselves are loving recreations of key moments in Beatles history or a psychedelic music video of one of their songs. Each event is packed with just the right amount of screaming fans. The Ed Sullivan Theatre set has a cheap retro charm to it and the other venues all carry this sense of scale and grandeur. Whether you are in a cramped club in England or a million dollar stadium, each location has a life of its own. Thanks in part to the great character animations and possibly the best looking animated crowds in a video game, ever. The sound design is Beatles quality. Each track is perfectly tuned no matter what instrument or difficulty you are on.

The Beatles: Rock Band is a must play for anyone even remotely familiar with their music. And even if the Beatles are not your thing, it is still a wonderful game. Check me out on YouTube playing The Beatles: Rock Band.

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