They released their first record nearly 50 years ago, but the extraordinary appeal of these four men continue to shake the world, and this wednesday, EMI re-release the 14 original Beatles albums; digitally re-mastered, enhanced and with all the lumps and bumps and hisses polished away.
I've had a Beatlemania weekend, dragging out my parents old vinyl after watching The Beatles on Record on Saturday night (see it here on iPlayer) and then poring over the Sunday supplements yesterday. Despite always enjoyed the poppy, happy songs of the early 60s, I was unfamiliar with their later work, in particular the White Album, Revolver and Rubber Soul; post-Rishikesh, at the height of psychadelia and sitars.
Of course, the albums will only be released on CD, not LP, which is a shame. I have always been nostalgic, without memory, for the days when vinyl was a piece of plastic gold, and a record sleeve was an artwork in its own right.
It's not just their music, their album artwork and their fanbase that will live on, but their iconic style will keep coming back, consciously or not, and it is evident all around us, as I watch my 17-year old brother leave the house in black tapered trousers, a peacoat and dark, mop-like haircut.