Friday, June 21, 2024

John Lennon Becomes First Beatle to Put Catalog on Spotify (Yay!)


The Beatles can’t be streamed on Spotify. Neither can Paul McCartney, George Harrison or Ringo Starr. But starting now, the John Lennon catalog, all remastered, is up on the streaming service. Yoko Ono came to some arrangement with Spotify that presumably includes proper payment for pre-1972 recordings like “Imagine” and “Instant Karma.” They’re probably the biggest songs among the 8 albums and three compilations (one of which is a box set that reiterates the 8 albums plus rarities. Good for her.

The Beatles will probably be a different story as they are so tied to Apple and iTunes Radio. Plus all of their music falls under the pre-1972 law, over which the Turtles (Flo & Eddie) are successfully battling Sirius XM and Pandora in court.

Yoko and her advisers are smart, indeed. Streaming has overcome CD album buying and digital downloading. Putting Lennon’s canon into Spotify means a new generation will hear him. I know it sounds so dreadfully old, but I still don’t quite understand this. The magic of getting an album, holding it, reading it, you can’t take that away. I remember when “Imagine” came out… I was sitting on the front porch…whittling…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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