From AC/DC to Kid Rock, there are a number of big name artists whose music still isn’t available for download on iTunes. But the most notable name on that list is, of course, The Beatles. But as opposed to most, the conspicuous absense of The Beatles from iTunes has more to do with contractul entanglements than with any ill-conceived notions of musical purity.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Paul McCartney expressed a desire to put the entire Beatles catalog up on iTunes, but placed blame for the hold up on his record label, EMI.
“To tell you the truth I don’t actually understand how it’s got so crazy,” McCartney explained. “I know iTunes would like to do it, so one day it’s going to happen. It’s been business hassles. Not with us, or iTunes. It’s the people in the middle, the record label. There have been all sorts of reasons why they don’t want to do it.”
EMI naturally says that it’s working hard to ink out a deal, but it’s hard to gauge exactly the source of the holdup. While McCartney and others are quick to point the finger at EMI, some have speculated that the holdup is a result of McCartney demanding more money than EMI is willing to dish out. You would think, though, that if all the relevant parties to these types of issues were able to come to terms with musical and character licensing rights on The Beatles: Rock Band, that an iTunes agreement would be a walk in the park.
I suppose it’s impossible to know exactly what’s going on, but it’s a shame that one of the most popular acts in all the history of music is nowhere to be found on iTunes.
Rumors of The Beatles finally coming to iTunes have been making the rounds for years now. One of the more elaborate rumors had Apple unveiling a commercial during the 2007 Super Bowl where it would announce a yellow submarine themed iPod pre-loaded with every Beatles song ever recorded.