The Beatles' US albums remastered: Review and overview

On Sunday, February 9, in 1964, 73 million viewers in the US and millions more in Canada watched the Beatles' American television debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The band's very first LP, "Meet the Beatles," sold 3.6 million albums in the first two months in the US, and Capitol Records went on to sell 15 million Beatles albums in the States in 1964. These were different albums, with different combinations of songs than the Beatles albums released in England. That separate release pattern continued until June 1967 with the release of the "… Read more

Beatles channel debuts on Apple TV

It's been 50 years since The Beatles made their way to the US, and Apple is commemorating the anniversary with an Apple TV channel.

For a limited time, Apple TV owners can view The Beatles' back-to-back performances on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The channel popped up on the company's set-top box on Sunday and is free to download.

The new channel follows several Beatles-related efforts that Apple is making in its iTunes store, including full access to the band's US albums and a "Beatles in America" station on iTunes Radio.

(Via 9to5Mac)

John Lennon gets his own Mercury impact crater

The words "Mercury" and "crater" don't appear in the Beatles lyrics catalog anywhere, but they now belong as part of the band's history. The International Astronomical Union has named a Mercury impact crater after John Lennon.

Lennon isn't the only musician on Mercury, but he's in good company. There are craters named for Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, Puccini, and Aaron Copland. Lennon seems to be the only rocker among the planet's rocks. In case you were wondering, Keith Richards doesn't qualify yet to have a crater named after him. You have to be deceased first.… Read more

Audiophile Odyssey: Behind the Scenes at B&W, Meridian, and Abbey Road Studios

Among the ancient castles, quaint houses, and picturesque countryside, Great Britain is actually a hotbed of high-end audio. Brands big and small pepper the island country from the southern coast to the northern highlands.

On a recent trip, I had the opportunity to visit three such storied companies: Bowers & Wilkins (speakers and headphones), Meridian (electronics and speakers), and Abbey Road Studios (where the Beatles and Pink Floyd recorded).

It was a long day. OK, day and a half.… Read more

Let it be: Dentist wants to clone John Lennon from tooth DNA

I'm going to give you a free hand. And a free set of teeth.

Whom would you like to bring back to life? Einstein? Beethoven? Genghis Khan?

For Canadian dentist Michael Zuk, there will be an answer: John Lennon.

Zuk, you see, has already bought one of the Beatle's teeth for $31,000. Now, his intention is to take that DNA and re-create the whole Lennon.

Imagine.… Read more

Remember when bands made a living without touring?

Most of today's bands view recordings as promotional tools for their concerts, they have to stay on the road to make a living. That's just the way it is, but they make a lot fewer records than bands did before, and since most recordings lose money, studio time is limited and budgets are shrinking. That's too bad, recordings are the bands' only tangible legacy, and the great bands of the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and early '90s have substantial back catalogs that continue to earn income long after the band breaks up. Performing is an important element in … Read more

Tim Cook maintains Steve Jobs' Beatles business model

Tim Cook likes to talk about Apple's values and the virtues of teamwork. At the Worldwide Developers Conference this week, he told the 5,000 developers in attendance to build products for Apple's platforms that trigger emotional responses, such as "delight," "surprise," "love," and "connection" for users.

One of the videos shown at WWDC, and released as a TV ad, introduces the world to Apple's value system: "We spend a lot of time on a few great things...until every idea we touch...enhances each life it touches.&… Read more

At what age did you start thinking about sound?

Most folks rarely focus on music; it's background to other activities like talking, reading, working, exercising, and so forth. They don't really think about sound that much, as long as it's loud enough, or they can follow the dialogue, or there's enough bass, they're happy. Audiophiles are more likely to really listen, so we care about how our music or home theater sounds. The more you listen, the more you hear, and the opposite is also true.

I always liked music, but it was the sound of Jimi Hendrix's guitar feedback and distortion that … Read more

The 404 1,215: Where we stand up to stereotypes (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Beatles fan exhibits record store that only stocks The Beatles' "White Album," featuring more than 650 first pressings. Here's a preview.

- comes up with quirky statistics about music fans, like "MJ fans likely to join a cult."

- Nine new ways to sit, thanks to tech.

- Illegal music downloads took a nosedive in 2012.

- Check out Samsung/GameSpot's Unicorn Apocalypse contest for a chance to win $25k.

- Ghostbusters HQ Lego creation by Orion Pax.… Read more