Lennon's solo works on iTunes
Los Angeles - Apple Inc said on Tuesday
it would offer the entire solo catalogue of John Lennon on iTunes
in its second such deal with one of the Beatles, who have been
among the highest-profile holdouts to put tunes online.
The Lennon deal, a similar one with Paul McCartney, and a
recent settlement to a lengthy trademark dispute between Apple
and the Beatles' company, Apple Corps Ltd, is seen clearing the
way finally for the Fab Four catalogue to be distributed online.
Apple said 16 Lennon solo albums from EMI Group Plc were
available for the first time on iTunes, with the Lennon
Legend and Acoustic collections making digital debuts.
Industry sources said Apple would soon announce similar
deals for the solo works of Ringo Starr and the late George
All the band's members, except for Harrison, have in the
past made some of their solo works available digitally, but not
through iTunes until recently, according to EMI.
Asked in an interview in June if the Beatles catalogue would
be online by the end of 2008, Harrison's widow, Olivia
Harrison, said, "I don't know if it would be the end of this
year, but it would be nice. Imminent, let's put it that way."
Apple declined to say when it expects to release the
Geoff Mayfield, director of charts at trade magazine
Billboard, said the market has been expecting Apple to release
the Beatles catalogue since the settlement in February.
But the challenge has been in getting approval from the
band's two surviving members as well as the estates of Harrison
and Lennon, he added.
'New generation of listeners'
The band's organisation has traditionally
adopted a conservative approach to new technology.
He said the fact that Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, signed off
on distributing his solo works bolstered the likelihood of a
deal even further.
"I would suspect that she'd be amenable to approving the
sale of the Beatles catalogue online now that she's approved Lennon's
solo catalogue for online sales," Mayfield said.
Ono said in a statement on Tuesday: "John would have loved
the fact that his music will now be available in a format
suited to a new generation of listeners."
Apple also said that for just 30 days, exclusive video
content would be included with the albums John Lennon/Plastic
Ono Band, Sometime in New York City, Walls and Bridges, Milk and Honey and the collections Anthology and Working