McCartney laments snags in Beatles' iTunes talks

Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:36pm EST
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By Andre Paine

LONDON (Billboard) - The Beatles' back catalog won't be appearing on iTunes anytime soon, according to Paul McCartney.

Speaking at a media launch Monday in London for the new album by his side project the Fireman, "Electric Arguments," McCartney said that Apple Corp. and the band's label EMI could not agree on terms to release the Beatles' catalog to iTunes and other download services.

"That is constantly being talked of -- we'd like to do it," McCartney said. "What happens is, when something's as big as the Beatles, it's heavy negotiations."

He added: "We are very for it; we've been pushing it. But there are a couple of sticking points, I understand. So the last word I got back was that it had stalled, the whole process.

"(EMI executives) want something we're not prepared to give them. Hey, sounds like the music business.

"It's between EMI and the Beatles -- what else is new."

"Arguments" is the third album released by McCartney under the Fireman alias with collaborator Youth, and it is the first with vocals. It was released on the indie label One Little Indian in the U.K. on Monday, and it is set to be released Tuesday in the U.S. on ATO/Red.

McCartney, who broke with EMI to release his solo album "Memory Almost Full" on Starbucks' Hear Music label in June 2007, said he was glad he left the major.   Continued...