Known the world over for their small but fiercely devoted fan-base and uncompromisingly technology-centric methods, experimental pop foursome The Beatles have always been pretty stubborn in their approach to marketing. Since the band’s inception in a college dorm room in Liverpool several years back, the group has remained adamant in their stance that their music “sounds best” when recorded with 100% pure digital signal paths and ought to be released ONLY in pristine, uncorruptable digital formats.
So its a pretty BIG fucking DEAL that these giants of the digital realm and early proponents of the now somewhat antiquated MP3 format (fact: it was still called “MP2.1” when they released their first album on it) are finally giving-in to consumerism and releasing a limited vinyl edition of the classic A and B-side pairing of “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” in celebration of this year’s Record Store Day. Yeah, you heard right. On April 17, a scant 1,000 lucky fans will finally have a chance to own these classic MP3s, presented here in a vintage-style paper Parlophone house bag, on a revitalizing format that is almost guaranteed to shed new light on the group that I’ve taken to calling “The Fab Four.”
But The Beatles are not the only artists jumping on this bandwagon and running the risk of alienating their dedicated, hardcore, digital-only fans. Other artists on the Parlophone label, including Pet Shop Boys, Bat for Lashes, Tinie Tempah, Babyshambles, Lily Allen, and Hot Chip will also be cashing in on this craze and releasing strictly limited-edition vinyl singles. The releases will be exclusive to the independent records stores taking part in the event. Let’s hope for the Beatles’ sake that this little gamble pays off.
• The Beatles: http://www.thebeatles.com