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Beatles reissues, Rock Band game unveiled at Abbey Road

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Little Beetle
Little Beetle

Studio 2, Abbey Road. For disciples of the Fab Four, this really is Mecca.

The Beatles spent the majority of their recording career in this studio in London's leafy St John's Wood, bashing out everything from two-minute pop wonders such as 'Love Me Do' and 'Twist and Shout' through to their dense, experimental epics like 'Across the Universe' and 'Hey Jude'. When it comes to the myths and legends of recording music, this room beats all.

On Monday, July 13, journalists assembled at the famed studio for two reasons: to hear the remixes of The Beatles' studio album catalogue -- a task five years in the making -- and for the unveiling of 'Rock Band: The Beatles', the video game which allows you to recreate the band's finest live moments and studio magic. Both will be released on September 9.

Introduced by Apple Corps' chief Jeff Jones, the night began with audio taken from Paul McCartney and John Lennon tripping their way through 'Misery' off their debut album 'Please, Please Me', with George Martin's voice booming over the studio PA as take after take conks out. Then, we were treated to two mini documentaries on a giant screen, one on the making of 'Beatles For Sale' and the second about 'The Beatles (The White Album)', complete with an ear-splitting slice of the metallic 'Helter Skelter'.

EMI head honcho Guy Hayden introduced the remixes, where snatches of the originals and remixed versions (the featured tracks included 'Can't Buy Me Love', 'Taxman' and 'I Am the Walrus') were played through a giant PA. While you couldn't quite shake off the nagging feeling the volume for the remixed tracks had simply been notched up a bit, the mixes seemed to have been treated to a lot of vocal retouching in particular. The voices were clearer and louder, and those trademark Beatles harmonies boomed out.

Next, the team behind 'Rock band: The Beatles' brought their kit to the stage, and Harmonix Music Systems John Drake introduced the band's cartoon introduction, replete with all sorts of Beatles references, before he and three bandmates played the game.

Beatles aficionados will slaver at the peripherals you can purchase -- McCartney's trademark Hofner violin bass, Gibson and Rickenbacker guitars, and a replica Ludwig drum kit complete with hi-hats for budding Ringos. What's more, the reworked game now allows three people to sing -- giving you ample opportunity to ape the glorious three-part harmonies -- or else give the neighbourhood dogs reason to howl moonwards.

After storming through 'I Saw Her Standing There' in a recreation of Liverpool's Cavern Club, they then tried studio-era Beatles classics like 'I Am The Walrus' and "Here Comes The Sun,' complete with psychedelic background visuals. Sgt Pepper coats, sadly, are not included with game.

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