Sunday, March 09, 2008

Gennaro Castaldo Watch: Beatle grail

The possibibility of Beatles band on iTunes is exciting a small but vocal portion of the public, so to whom can The Independent turn to make sense of it all?

How about Gennaro Castaldo?

An HMV spokesman, Gennaro Castaldo, said: "This move has been the Holy Grail of the music industry for a long time now and they will want to get the timing exactly right.

"It will generate renewed interest and value in Beatles products, which are being re-mastered. Anything to do with the Beatles generates massive excitement and interest and this will be a key iconic moment."

Remastered? Again? How many more remastering does the Beatles back catalogue need?

Nice observation from Gennaro there that it will generate interest in the Beatles because the Beatles generate interest - isn't that a perpetual motion machine? He does miss the more interesting point that - far from being a holy grail, the Beatles are coming online because they're a declining brand; not a steep, drop-off-the-cliff type of decline, but they're gently losing their significance and all of a sudden are having to work to shore up their position. The interesting thing, then, is that the release is driven by a need to be thought interesting.


Jack said...

They want to get the timing exactly right, in that they want to sell the original versions for a bit to get people interested before they whack up a load of newly remastered editions, ultimately getting them twice as much cash in the process.

Anonymous said...

speaking as a beatles fan who picked up most of the albums on vinyl in the early nineties, i'd rather welcome a good quality reissue/remaster. the old CD(from the late eighties) version are horrible. and if they finally do a nice series with b-sides/EP tracks as bonus tracks, and liner notes, that'd be ace. something as well done as the Byrds remasters from ten years ago.

Spence said...

"An HMV spokesman"

*AN* HMV spokesman? Surely he's *THE* HMV spokesman!!

Anonymous said...

He's the spokesman's spokesman, no less. I like to think of him as The People's Spokesman.

Call me a cyber-thickie by the way, but what difference does 'timing' make to the release of tracks as MP3s? I thought the beauty of downloads was that you just had to put them up and let people find them anytime they wanted, rather than rely on one big sales push. Surely it's the physical product where timing is more important, with its large unwieldly shop-window posters and in-store cardboard displays which have to come down after a week to make way for HMV's next Biggest Ever Sale? It's not as if the average music fan will need reminding who the Beatles are (in the way that, say, a bit of promotion for Simple Kid might help if you'd heard 'Lil King Kong' on the Orange advert but not known who it was).

Still, knowing HMV, this 'timing' will probably consist of putting up an image on their homepage of a grotty-looking flipchart scrawled with "Pre-order the Revolver download online NOW!" two weeks prior to release.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

I've never quite understood the concept of pre-ordering downloads - surely they're meant by their nature to be an instantaneous fulfillment of desire. It's like chatting yourself up in the hope of getting a handjob out of it.

Anonymous said...

Arf! I've never grasped the concept of HMV's 'pre-ordering' of CDs, to be honest. I can understand pre-ordering something obscure which might not otherwise be stocked, but I'm always puzzled when HMV bring out the flipchart urging us to pre-order the forthcoming White Stripes/Coldplay/Kylie album, as if the record company were only planning on sending a dozen copies to each store, causing riots not seen since the days of Cabbage Patch Dolls.

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