Rock Band Abbey Road Commercial

Posted by Scott

This is one of those things where I am in awe of the technical achievement but the whole idea behind it makes me want to drive off a cliff in a ’78 Blazer playing Sgt. Pepper’s on 8-track. It’s easy to say John Lennon would be rolling over in his grave if he saw this, but then again time does funny things to people. At any rate, The Beatles have always been idols of mine so this is still a treat, even if it is some cynical alternate reality where they’ve all been recast (two posthumously at that) in their prime as hucksters for some half-assed video game cavorting around with Hollywood-extra hipster stereotypes and generally making my whole childhood feel nauseous.

Anyways, it’s worth a watch as long as you hit stop right around the 22 second mark at which point is devolves into the zombie-mation 3D stylings that are the reason Rock Band makes me cringe. Although it could be worse, far worse.

Via Sorry Mari

19 Comments Leave A Comment


Scott Strickland says:

September 10, 2009 at 9:19 am

As bad as it is for our generation who grew up knowing and loving the beatles, I see countless reiterations of this game where the legacy of the beatles is lost on children in lieu of fun characters and catchy tunes. Bed-In for video games!


Alex N says:

September 10, 2009 at 12:54 pm

“some half-assed video game cavorting around with Hollywood-extra hipster stereotypes and generally making my whole childhood feel nauseous.”

Something about reviving music by making it into a game doesn’t work.


NAVIS says:

September 10, 2009 at 1:10 pm

I’m waiting for Rock Band to come out with an East Coast versus West Coast gangsta rap edition feat. Biggie Smalls vs Tupac.

Rock Band can’t forget the gangsta rap demographic.


Bijan Berahimi says:

September 10, 2009 at 3:58 pm

The remaining members of the Beatles, and also Oko Yono had a huge part in making this game. I subconciously don’t agree with the idea of the Beatles making this video game, hell they even refuse to sell their music online. Anyways there is an excellent article in last months WIRED magazine that explains the process of making this game and how much effort they put into it.


James says:

September 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm


The Beatles or representing parties have never refused to distribute their music online. The reason their music hasn’t been available online is due to rights management disputes as well as a dispute between Apple Corps. and Apple Inc. over usage over the “apple” trademark.

Here’s an article with Paul McCartney saying their music would be available back in ’08.

Right now, it seems EMI is the one holding out on the online distribution.


frank says:

September 10, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Ugh, iJohn is sooo creepy. The others don’t look so bad. This idea would have been 1000x better if they had brought to life all of the historical people in the sgt. pepper photo shoot and had them making dumb faces like john here.


Lydia says:

September 11, 2009 at 9:06 am

yeah, this commercial has a high creep-factor, but it doesn’t actually reflect the game it all, which is great. And it’s not distilling Beatles music down to “catchy tunes” – they’re the actual songs charted out for the different instruments and vocals. Rock Band might be the funnest game I’ve ever played, and it looks great (so much better than the Guitar Hero interface). Beatles Rock Band, as you guys posted earlier, has a beautiful look.

And the whole concept behind getting a wider audience with the game might not be so pressing with the Beatles, but I’ve discovered lots of music through Rock Band – even well known bands that I just never gave a chance. Anyway, just my two cents on why this game – and the others in the series – rock :)


Schlafende says:

September 11, 2009 at 7:11 pm

If you’ve flipped through the channels and stopped briefly here and there on MTV (or maybe it’s VH1), they’re showing full length “videos” of the Rock Band Beatles. The Beatles.. Watching a video game version of the Beatles as a music video?! The cherry on top is that they’re sandwiched by the hollow, robo-sexual, plug-in produced katyperryshakirabeyoncebritneyspearskanyewestlilwayne folk.
And the youngsters would rather play Rock Band/Guitar Hero than the real thing? Mom and Dad, can I have a guitar and a practice amp this year for my birthday? Maybe a set of drums?


David says:

September 11, 2009 at 7:45 pm

The hand-animated intro is quite a sight, as well.

I find it patently absurd to paint this game as some sort of corpse-diddling corporate cash-in. The folks at Harmonix are bonafide, their passion for music is 100% genuine and they had the purest intentions with this game on their end. I agree that the in-game models are a bit automoton-creepy, but considering their earlier RB games had much more vivacious and natural-looking animation in place, I’m rather convinced they may have had their hands tied by some misguided Apple Corps mandate on how rambunctiously they could play with the likenesses.

Whatever you believe to be the case, though, the fact of the matter was that it was bound to happen eventually, and the alternative if it had gone to Activision/Neversoft would have been far, FAR more grisly and tasteless.


Scott says:

September 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm

I’m sure you’re right, it could have been worse, still creepy though.

I’d love to know what any of this has to do with elitism.


Big Branko says:

September 28, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Maybe, just maybe, Rock Band is the way that the youngest Generation is able to connect with the Beatles. While I share many of the posters concerns about commercializing the Beatles music or trivializing it to a video game….these games are the way that most younger people experience older pop music. To this group, albums and most CDs are obsolete. It’s got to be on an MP3. My ten year old daughter and all of her friends LOVE the Beatles and play their tunes endlessly. They started with YouTube and watching the old Beatles cartoons….and learned the lyrics to the songs because, if you recall, subtitles were provided….Now Rock Band is the listening device of choice and they truly want to hear the Beatles….and they love the melodies and the lyrics.