The band broke up 40 years ago and two of its four members are dead. Still, The Beatles remain perhaps the most popular group ever to sing a song. This continued popularity, no doubt, led to the holiday release of Rolling Stone’s Beatles Album-by-Album Guide, available now for the iPad in the App Store. Unfortunately, The Beatles deserved much more than this.
Created by the editors of America’s most venerable music news magazine, the $9.99 e-book charts The Beatles from their very first album in 1963, Please Please Me, to the group’s last, Let It Be, in 1970. In total, the app includes behind-the-scenes stories for each of the group’s 13 official albums, plus scores of classic Beatles photos. In addition, the app includes track-by-track insights and audio samples for every song on every album. Plus, if you’re missing a track in your collection, links to iTunes are readily available.
Other features include:
- Vital stats and facts associated with each release
- Album by album appreciations from Jim James of My Morning Jacket, James Taylor, Stevie Nicks, Liz Phair, Steven Van Zandt, Liam Gallagher, Stephen Malkmus of Pavement, Colin Meloy of the Decembrists, Graham Nash, Bob Weir and more
- A guide to the best non-album tracks
While the content alone makes The Rolling Stone’s Beatles Album-by-Album Guide a must-have for even the most casual Beatles fans, it isn’t anywhere near perfect, especially for $9.99. In fact, Rolling Stone could have created a masterpiece here given the subject matter. Instead, it looks like Rolling Stone developed a brick-and-mortar book and then added links to it for use on the iPad. In a word, the app is decidedly underwhelming, which is a shame.
Our advice: Holdout until the app goes down in price. Otherwise, you might be extremely disappointed.
The Rolling Stone’s Beatles Album-by-Album Guide is available in the App Store.