Tuesday, April 07, 2009



September 9, 2009 promises to be expensive for Beatles fans. All twelve original UK releases (plus the US version of Magical Mystery Tour) have finally been digitally remastered and will be released on that date, along with all of the singles and a ten disc collection titled "The Beatles in Mono".

A crew of engineers at London’s Abbey Road Studios have spent four years working on the remasters using new technology and vintage equipment in an effort to preserve “the authenticity and integrity of the original analog recordings” and ensure “the highest fidelity the catalog has seen since its original release in 1987.”

Track listings and artwork will match the original UK releases. Expanded booklets will include original and newly written liner notes with rare photos. For a limited time, each of the albums will be “embedded” with a brief documentary about its making.

Any collector of sixties rock albums will tell you that The Beatles titles on CD are sonically inferior to the original vinyl releases. Depending on which country you lived in when the albums first appeared, there are also countless variations in the mixes, song titles and covers. Throw in mono, stereo and "electronically reprocessed for stereo"( where a mono master had the high and low end panned to opposite sides of the spectrum to create the illusion of stereo) versions and you'd need a separate room just to store Beatles LPs.

On a personal note, I am one of those sick (or really healthy if you're a muso) individuals who has multiple vinyl copies of just about everything they did. I may have to stand up at a meeting someday and tell everyone present that it's been 47 days since my last visit to a record shop and that I have five copies of "Let It Be" alone-The Box (with book), gatefold on Red Apple, gatefold on Apple, non-gatefold on Apple, and Capitol reissue. I promise that I won't buy any more...

I've said too much.

Nice to see that EMI is finally giving this treasured catalogue the treatment that it deserves.

Now, enjoy what you won't hear on these sets.


Jeff said...

Damn, five copies of Let it Be! I have two copies of Let it Be and Abbey Road on vinyl.

The other day I saw a copy of Sgt Pepper in my record store and I was very tempted to pick it up, but the $30 price tag was a little steep for me at the time.

Sean Coleman said...

It's quite a hobby, isn't it? I got hooked when I was a kid and started reading about all of the different types of releases and what to look for (serial numbers, labels, etc.) It can be expensive, though.