Beatlemania Coming Back

The release of the digitally remastered Beatles catalog and the Beatles-themed “Rock Band” video game 9/9/09 is called a revolutionary day in Beatles history.

Beatle fans have waited more than 20 years for the remastered versions of the Beatles catalog. The band’s music was transferred to CD in 1987, and experts said the songs lost quality during the switch. Engineers spent four years cleaning up the recordings with new technology and vintage equipment to ensure each song sounded like it did when it was first released.

The new albums’ features include original artwork, expanded booklets and rare photos. For a limited time, the CDs will be embedded with documentary films about each album. The CDs are available in stereo or mono box sets or individual albums.

The release of “The Beatles: Rock Band” was timed to coincide with the remastered catalog’s release.

“Rock Band” creators worked closely with The Beatles and their estates for more than two years to make sure all the details were accurate, according to the “Rock Band” Web site, LSU The Reveille reports.

In the meantime, fans flocked to get their hands on the long-awaited sonic masterpieces, with lines snaking outside record stores in London and Liverpool. Some die-hards jammed the streets outside Abbey Road, the landmark studio where the Beatles recorded many of their groundbreaking albums.

About 50 people gathered outside the HMV music store on London's Oxford Street early Wednesday — some, like university student Daniela Gutierrez, waiting in line since 3 a.m.

"My parents were huge Beatles fans and I grew up listening to their music," said Gutierrez, 25. "I can't wait to have the game and start playing the songs."

It's not exactly 1964 — there were no fainting teens or other visible signs of feverish Beatlemania — but the long-awaited release brought the long-gone band to the top of the charts maintained by online retailer

Or, as John Lennon liked to say, "to the toppermost of the poppermost."

Uma Nolan, an Irish nurse visiting London, came to the Abbey Road studio to be photographed at the pedestrian crossing made famous on the "Abbey Road" album cover. She plans to buy the entire set of 17 CDs — even though she already has all the songs in the collection.

"I will absolutely go out and buy them," she said. "I'm a huge Beatles fan and have every single LP in original first edition copies. They were the first real pop group. The entire generation was waiting for that to happen. They sent worldwide pop culture off into orbit," the Associated Press reports.

So what artist would be huge enough to follow the Beatles? "There's a short list of some of the other biggies. I always say I'm a huge Devo fans, so, like, 'Devo: Rock Band,' " Randall laughed. "But we already have those guys as downloadable content in 'Rock Band,' so I can live out my own private Devo fantasy that way. But, yeah, we've got a short list. What I'm hoping is that 'The Beatles: Rock Band' will come out and, if people are impressed with that, that'll lead to future conversations. We'll see."

With no solid news to speak of, we asked Randall to comment on rumors that "Rock Band 3" has already begun development and will hit stores in late 2010. Randall was quick to respond with a sly giggle: "Never heard of it.” reports.