LONDON (Reuters) - The original Beatles catalog has been digitally remastered for the first time and will go on sale in CD format on September 9, the band’s record label and company announced Tuesday.
The release will coincide with the launch of “The Beatles: Rock Band” video game, the British quartet’s first major leap into the world of digital music.
The catalog will not be available online for the foreseeable future, although the digital remastering is widely seen as bringing that process one step closer.
“Discussions regarding the digital distribution of the catalog will continue,” a statement issued on behalf of record label EMI and Beatles company Apple Corps Ltd said.
“There is no further information available at this time.”
Fans of arguably the world’s most successful pop band, with album sales of more than 600 million worldwide, are eager for the Beatles to release the catalog online.
The group is one of the few big acts left whose music is not available on Apple Inc’s iTunes, but the settlement of a trademark dispute between Apple Inc and Apple Corps Ltd in 2007 was seen as finally clearing the way.
The new collection comprises 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in Britain, and “Magical Mystery Tour,” which became part of the Beatles’ core catalog when the CDs were released in 1987.
In addition the collections “Past Masters Vol. I and II” are combined as one title, making up 14 titles overall.
“This will mark the first time that the first four Beatles albums will be available in stereo in their entirety on compact disc,” the statement said.
The 14 albums will be available for purchase individually or together in a stereo boxed set.
For the specialist collector, there will be another boxed set called “The Beatles in Mono” which combines all of the Beatles recordings that were mixed for a mono release.
The albums were remastered by a team of engineers at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in London over four years using up-to-date recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato