It’s really for real: 13 remastered Beatles studio albums arrive on iTunes

I thought Hell might freeze over first. Alas, the Beatles are finally coming to Apple’s iTunes store.

Apple said today that its iTunes service will start selling music from the legendary 60s band, in an agreement between recording label EMI and Apple Corps Ltd. Quoth The Globe and Mail:

As of Tuesday, Apple will sell 13 remastered Beatles studio albums, the two-volume Past Masters set and the classic Red and Blue collections. People can buy individual songs for $1.29 apiece or download entire albums, at $12.99 for a single album and $19.99 for a double.

For $149, Apple is also selling a special digital box set that includes a download of the 41-minute movie of the Beatles first U.S. concert, Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964.

The Beatles had been the most prominent holdout from iTunes and other online music services. Apple Corps. had resisted, and the situation was exacerbated by a long-running trademark dispute between Apple Inc. and Apple Corps. It was resolved in 2007 when the companies agreed on joint use of the apple logo and name, and many people saw that as paving the way for an agreement for online access to Beatles songs.

the beatles

“It has been a long and winding road to get here,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs remarked in a statement. “Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we’ve had since we launched iTunes ten years ago.”

“I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes,” Ringo Starr said in a press release that included comments from Sir Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono Lennon.

Apple will also be running a series of television commercials using Beatles footage and music, and have redone the iTunes homepage to celebrate the event.

The legends live on.