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Beatles fans: start saving your money

beatles_2The Beatles record company in England, EMI, has announced that it's digitally remastering all the Beatles albums and releasing the new versions September 9th. They will also re-issue Past Masters Volume One and Volume Two on one CD.  Sounds great, right? Not so fast. According to EMI, the new collection is comprised of 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in Britain, and "Magical Mystery Tour," which became part of the Beatles' core catalog when the CDs were released in 1987, and the new Past Masters CD. First of all, the early albums weren't originally recorded in stereo..so will this be the re-channeled voices in one speaker instruments in the other mix that we've been dealing with for more than 40 years? Most likely.   It was cool when they released the early albums in both stereo and mono, so fans could listen to the differences. Second of all, what would be really exciting is to have the later albums released on CD in MONO as well. EMI does say that for the ultimate fan, they'll release all the albums in a collectors' set in stereo, and a separate set all in mono. I imagine that will cost a pretty penny. Or sixpence, or whatever. Why not release Sgt. Pepper, the White Album and Abbey Road in mono individually as well, like they're doing with the stereo versions?  When I first started dating Mike he played me the mono Sgt. Pepper and the mixes are completely different..especially when it comes to the sound effects, the upfrontness of the vocals (is upfrontness a word?), and even the speed of the song "She's Leaving Home." (It's slowed down on the stereo version.) Why the big difference? In England, the economy was in worse shape than here in America..and when albums were sold the mono versions typically sold for a dollar less than the stereo..so most people in England would buy the mono versions. So when Sgt Pepper was mixed, it was done with great care with all four Beatles in the room. When the stereo was done it was done much more quickly and with no Beatles present. So why is EMI doing it this way? I have no idea but it sure is annoying. Click here to read more about the new remastered Beatles versions and to find out what if anything this means for the availability of Beatles songs online.

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04/07/2009 10:09AM
Beatles fans: start saving your money
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