The Beatles Now Face The Scrutiny Of iTunes User Reviews

Now that the Beatles have finally made their entry into the digital age (in an official capacity, at least), the band is enjoying a bit of a renaissance (one they seem to enjoy once every few years or so; the last one came during the release of "The Beatles: Rock Band" in 2009). Several of their albums shot right to the top of the iTunes sales chart, and you can expect at least one or two to make a major impact on next week's Billboard album sales chart (which now incorporates older titles into the new stuff). Any excuse to re-discover the Beatles is usually a good one, as they are the rare band with the work that actually backs up their lofty reputation (which is no small feat, considering that reputation is "greatest band ever") and their songs always seem to be revealing subtle twists and turns even five decades later.

Of course, not everybody is a universal fan, and now that the Beatles are on iTunes, they have subjected themselves to iTunes user reviews. The reviews, submitted by real music fans and generally unfiltered, are always a treat to read, and they only really operate in extremes (just about everything — from Led Zeppelin albums to the "Angry Birds" game — gets either one or five stars) and the dismissals can be alarming. For example, when reviewing Abbey Road, user gina simply wrote "So lame and overrated." Another user named Jacob (Oh Ya) specifically wanted to dismiss "Come Together," calling it "the dumbest song ever." And then there's Philip Meyer, who simply wrote, "The Beatles are crap. Get some metal."

Other reviews are just as blunt. In evaluating Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, user Chubby C. wrote "Pet Sounds is better. This album is over hyped and boring." Promethea added, "Horrible album! Everything sounds so old." And in addressing Let It Be, Shalabi simply wrote, "I thought their earlier stuff was better."

There's no shortage of positive hyperbole in the user reviews in regards to these albums, but it's so rare to hear a discouraging word about John, Paul, George and Ringo that all the negative words seem particularly jarring. But the great thing about the Beatles is that there is probably something for everyone. So if "Love Me Do" doesn't get you going, there's always "Maxwell's Silver Hammer."