The Beatles: Rock Band

7.5 Overall Score
Graphics: 10/10
Sound: 8/10
Controls: 9/10

The Beatles at your control, amazing visuals

Too short, too reliance on downloads

Game Info
Game Name: The Beatles:  Rock Band

Developer(s): Harmonix (PS3/XBox 360)/Pi Studios (Wii)

Publisher(s): MTV Games

Platform(s): PS3/XBox 360/Wii

Genre(s): Music

Release Date(s): September 9, 2009

ESRB Rating: T


You are there when it all begins!

George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon bring their music to life.  From Liverpool bars to the rooftop of Apple, the Beatles will change the world of music along with you.

Of all the “never going to happen” games, I thought the Beatles lending their music to a game was one of them.  The announcement and the pomp & circumstance surrounding the game’s release was incredible.  Critics loved it, but despite all the pluses, The Beatles:  Rock Band kind of fizzled.

First off, The Beatles:  Rock Band is one of the prettiest, smoothest, slickest games I’ve seen.  The makers did a great job combining the art with the music and what is really cool, is that the art evolves with the characters and the style that the Beatles were projecting at the time of their recordings.  Be it the black & white Ed Sullivan appearances or the hyper color Peter Max style of Yellow Submarine, the game makers nailed it.  The music works in correspondence with the graphics and can remind you of the Beatles happier days or the end of days as the band broke up.


Bad LSD trip?

The problem (amazingly enough) with The Beatles:  Rock Band is the music.  It isn’t that it is bad, but it doesn’t work with any other Rock Band.  The makers also banked on fans downloading other albums, but that meant holding off on songs for the actual game.  Some of the Beatles best music isn’t found on The Beatles:  Rock Band…It is additional downloadable content, but since you can’t use the downloads on any other Rock Band, it really defeats downloading it.

The complete music setlist of The Beatles:  Rock Band:

Twist and Shout


Do You Want to Know a Secret

I Saw Her Standing There

I Want to Hold Your Hand

Can’t Buy Me Love

A Hard Day’s Night

Ticket to Ride

I’m Looking Through You

Eight Days a Week

If I needed Someone

I Feel Fine

Day Tripper

And Your Bird Can Sing

Drive My Car


Paperback Writer

Yellow Submarine

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help from My Friends

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Getting Better

Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows

Good Morning Good Morning

I Am the Walrus

Hello, Goodbye

Hey Bulldog

Dear Prudence

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Helter Skelter



Octopus’s Garden


Come Together

Here Comes the Sun

Dig a Pony

I’ve Got a Feeling

Don’t Let Me Down

I Me Mine

I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

Get Back

The End



No actual field were hurt in the making of this game

As you can see the list is extensive, but major songs from Abbey Road, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Rubber Soul are missing due to the fact they were released as a download (the Abbey Road stuff was released a month after the release of the game…kind of crappy to fans and purchasers of the game).  Also Beatles songs are rather short, so you can make it through the entire setlist in a few hours.

The Beatles:  Rock Band is a bit frustrating in that sense.  It is a great game, with great music, but it could have been so much better.  The visuals are as stylish as I’ve ever seen and they do bring a kind of wonder to the game (it would almost be nice to just watch them by themselves).  A lot of the game’s failure was banked on the weariness of players toward music games, but I think the manufacturers also have to look at the cost/problems with the game itself.

Related Links:

Rock Band

Rock Band 2

Rock Band 3

Lego Rock Band

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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