With The Beatles: Rock Band now officially dated and priced, we take a look at what songs and instruments need to be represented in order to make the Premium Bundle worth US$250.
$250 is a rather large chunk of change to lay out on another bundled music game. The Premium Bundle of Harmonix's Rock Band 2 only retails for $189.99, so what could make The Beatles: Rock Band so impressive that it cost $60 more? My only thought is that they're including a bass guitar in the package to provide a more accurate Beatles experience, though technically they'd have to pack in two guitars and a bass to really capture the band dynamic.
We've taken a look at the songs that simply must be included with the game, along with instruments they could reproduce in order to make The Beatles: Rock Band Premium Bundle worth picking up, even if we already have a living room full of plastic instruments.
The main problem I have picking out songs for a Beatles: Rock Band game is the fact that many of my all-time favourite Beatles tunes weren't songs that fit the guitar-bass-drum-singer formula that Rock Band has laid out. "Blackbird", my personal favourite, is just a guitar and a metronome, so that one is right out.
Here are a few of the more Rock Band-friendly tunes I think need to make the cut.
Helter Skelter: Paul McCartney's response to the loud and dirty sound of The Who's "I Can See For Miles", "Helter Skelter" is probably the heaviest song The Beatles ever produced, making it perfect for the Rock Band treatment.
I Saw Here Standing There: "She was just seventeen...you know what I mean..." "I Saw Here Standing There" is a classic rock tune, and while the instrument bits might be simple, the "hooooooo!" in the chorus makes it all worth it for the guy on the mic.
Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds: A prime example of The Beatles more psychedelic bent, the song may not have been written about LSD but it certainly has provided hours of entertainment over the years to those on it.
Help!: One of John Lennon's personal favourites, "Help!" has a nice tempo and vocals that would allow the singer to express a little bit of range.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps: George Harrison's ballad that featured guitar legend Eric Clapton on lead guitar is one of the most guitar-friendly tunes The Beatles ever released.
Taxman: Another song by Harrison, who wrote it when he realised that even though the band had started to make money, they weren't seeing most of it. This one is actually one of my brother's favourites, so I included it so he'd have something to play.
Paperback Writer: One of my favourites, and The Beatles first hit that didn't have anything to do with love.
Yes, I know the Beatles made extensive use of Fender Stratocasters throughout the years, but I for one am not shelling out $250 for another plastic Strat. Here's some alternatives:
Epiphone Casino: The guitar The Beatles made famous. Paul, John, and George all used an Epiphone Casino sometime during their career, so it would almost be a shame not to see it included in the game.
Rickenbacker 325: Lennon's guitar of choice, once described as his dream guitar. Sweet curves and classic lines that would be easy to replicate in plastic form.
Höfner 500/1 "Violin Bass": Paul McCartney's signature bass guitar has an extremely distinctive look and feel to it. Anything else would just be another bass. Either that, or tap Mad Catz to make a jazz bass version of the Fender precision bass they've already manufactured. I wonder if they'll ship it left-handed?
Ludwig Drum Set: Let's face it...unless they completely redo the Rock Band drums, there isn't going to be much to customise here to make the set scream Ringo Star. The only feature they could tweak, outside of giving the set a faux bass drum with "The Beatles" written on it, is to give the plastic the Black Oyster Pearl finish that originally drew Ringo to the Ludwig set he used extensively throughout his career.
So what about you folks? What kind of instruments and songs would Beatles: Rock Band have to include in order for you to fork out $250 come September 9th? Fill the comments section with your opinionated joy.