"Beatlemania" strikes with CDs, video game launch

Wed Sep 9, 2009 7:14pm EDT
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By Farah Master

LONDON (Reuters) - A wave of "Beatlemania" struck Britain's streets as a specially remastered edition of the Fab Four's albums was released on Wednesday, complete with an interactive video game for a new generation of fans.

The Beatles collection, launched worldwide on 09/09/09 and priced at 180 pounds ($300), is expected to dominate the charts in the United States and Britain, bringing a windfall to the group's label EMI Music and the Beatles' company, Apple Corps.

While queues formed at major music stores in London, there was also Beatles nostalgia across Europe and parts of Asia.

A front page cartoon in France's Le Monde newspaper showed France's divided opposition leaders dressed as Beatles. "It would be nice if we played the same music," says one. "All you need is love," replied another.

In Ireland, a radio station hosted a karaoke event with people invited to sing and play Beatles tunes on guitar.

Ahead of the launch, Beatles singer and songwriter Paul McCartney wrote a letter to Britain's biggest selling daily newspaper saying how he once imagined the band, which changed the face of popular music in the 1960s, would only last a couple of years.

"Now it feels like the Beatles will go on forever," he wrote in The Sun, nearly 50 years after the group was formed.

While the remastered catalog, its first overhaul since 1987, is seen appealing mainly to Beatles' fans who would appreciate subtle variations and improvements, most excitement surrounds MTV's video game, "The Beatles: Rock Band."   Continued...

<p>People play "The Beatles: Rock Band" game during its launch in New York, September 9, 2009. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>