The Beatles Remasters

Magic Music

Playlist Author
09-09-09 isn't just for The Haunted Mansion CDs...

Review: The music sounds great, by the way

By Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY

Do the newly remastered Beatles albums live up to the hype?

[floatright][img][/img][/floatright]Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Fans who have waited 22 years for the overdue and long-rumored sonic upgrade of The Beatles catalog won't be disappointed when the months of promotion, speculation and anticipation end with Wednesday's arrival of the new discs.

Get ready to re-meet The Beatles. Oh, you've heard it all before. The music is reassuringly familiar and as grand and timeless as ever. But it's never sounded this stunningly clear, spacious and organic.

A sampling of the cache offers an illuminating reintroduction to the Fab force of nature that first gripped the globe in the early '60s. Twist and Shout rings out with thrilling, shiny clarity. Eight Days a Week, one of many tracks that lost punch in the 1987 transfer to CD, sparks again. In My Life blooms with greater definition and breadth. All ofAbbey Road shimmers with aural magnificence. It's like standing inches from van Gogh's Starry Night after squinting at it for years through a dirty window.

Four years ago, a small team of longtime Abbey Road engineers was handed a ticket to right the wrongs left by the initial CD process. Clearly, great care was taken in remastering to ensure that results didn't veer significantly from the sound Beatlemaniacs initially heard pounding from turntables and radios. While preserving the music's integrity, tinkerers removed imperfections, murk and haze, unleashing original beauty and bounce.

The masses will gravitate to the more widely available stereo versions, which are substantially superior to their '87 forebears. But the real ear-opening delights await in the cleansed mono works, particularly Please Please Me, re-invigorated by a livelier bottom end and the heart-stopping crispness of I Saw Her Standing There, and With the Beatles, vibrant with rejuvenated bass and harmonies.

The trippy, trailblazing Revolver, arguably the band's finest album, is likely to kindle the loudest debate among stereo and mono enthusiasts. Good news: It's massive and smashing either way.

Cynics may shrug at another round of Beatles for sale some 40 years after the band's split. Unlike cheesy repackaged oldies dispensed with annoying regularity by rock vets, these spine-tingling remasters constitute page one of a vital chapter in pop history: The Beatles as you were always meant to hear them.

Buy: :wacko: The Beatles Stereo Box Set | :p The Beatles Mono Box Set

Visit Amazon's The Beatles Store


DLRP explorer
Premium Member
Playlist Author
Nah, the best way to hear them was live at the Cavern (before they pulled it down, moved it to another building over the road, pulled that down and then rebuilt it where it was originally - Liverpool has always been slow to realize the importance of things like that) - complete with perspiration dripping off the ceiling :lol:
One good thing about:-
(a) being old
(2) Living in Liverpool.
Worked in Penny Lane (yes, the bank on the corner)
Live two minutes away from Paul McC's old home (yes, I was here when he still lived there).
Still, I'll probably get the remastered CDs as well.
Make a change from the vinyl I got in the 60's ;) (I do have them on CD as well)
They should make interesting listening.
On a side note, what we in Liverpool call Penny Lane isn't actually Penny Lane.
It's called Smithdown Place but Penny Lane is an unremarkable road that runs off that (check a map) - just houses, a few small shops on one side and a playing field on the other - but it's usual to call the entire area "Penny Lane" as it was a major bus terminus (hence the shelter in the middle of the roundabout).
OK, more than you wanted to know................
I am really fighting with myself on this whole thing. I am a huge Beatles fan but here are some of the things that bug me

Number 1 the boxes are too expensive. Buying all 14 CDs at once should be cheaper then buying them individually

Number 2 Why is the mono box more expensive then the stereo when there are 3 less CDs and no video content?

Number 3 why cant we buy the mono CDs individually instead of only in the box? I would love to get the early CDs in mono but maybe I want some of the others in stereo. They made it impossible to get what you want. I have read that Sgt Peppers for instance sounds better in stereo

Anybody have any thoughts or opinions?

Magic Music

Playlist Author
As for individual mono and stereo box sets... I think the Beatles should have done the same thing the Beach Boys did with [i]Pet Sounds[/i] — include both the mono and stereo versions of each track on the same CD. Selling them separately, especially in this day and age where most of us have our music on anything but a physical CD, is a rip-off, plain and simple. That being said, I will be buying both sets. ;)

Let's all blame Yoko! :lol:


DLRP explorer
Premium Member
Playlist Author
"Stereo" at that time wasn't that good, honest. The only stereo sets were inside huge pieces of furniture with the speakers only a few feet apart.
Mono sounded far more like the "real thing" anyway (the speakers on stage were pretty close to each other).
I daresay they can do all sorts of wonders nowadays but it ain't gonna sound like it did back in 1963 :lol: Mono was the norm. Stereo if you wanted to show off.
Even the standard of their own speakers was pretty bad (just made it LOUDER) so you have to balance what it sounded like then to what it would have sounded like if they were recording now.
I suppose anyone under 40 would prefer the more modern view.
I prefer the "no bells or whistle" myself, which sounds more like they did at the time when they performed.
There's a mock-up of their recording studio in the exhibition here in Liverpool.
It's pretty basic and I bet even the simplest recording stuff we us to get our park music is far superior to what they used. ;)
I'll probably get Revolver and a couple of other CDs but definitely not the first two (Please Please me and With the Beatles). The primitivness is part of the attraction for me.