I have had it up to here waiting for the Beatles catalogue to be remastered

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you mean the 1st pressing UK vinyl? sure, we can all enjoy those.

Ian, or Mark or anyone else: So the initial pressings were all mono up to a point, which was when? And all the later stereo vinyl pressings are from the same masters as the first, or not? So should my rubbish floppy 80s vinyl Revolver sound better than my badly mastered 90s CD Revolver? What about the 60s issue Sgt Pepper that I stole off my parents with the red and white inner sleeve? And I recently got a nice UK White Album, but I'm not sure exactly when its from. In summary: are all the stereo versions the same? Have there been mono represses? Were any of the albums never issued in stereo on vinyl?

Any links to stuff on all this would be most welcome.

Jamie T Smith, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 15:43 (6 years ago) Permalink

Can open. Worms everywhere.

nate woolls, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 15:47 (6 years ago) Permalink

I heard the reissues are coming from the original master tapes... of Jeff Lynne's covers of the Beatles catalogue.

Paul: "Well, you know, I always trusted him to know the Beatles better than even us. 'Free as a Bird' was lovely."

LOL

Mackro Mackro, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 15:52 (6 years ago) Permalink

Any links to stuff on all this would be most welcome.

― Jamie T Smith, Wednesday, September 17, 2008 11:43 AM (20 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

I suggest the Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations, which will answer all of your questions as well as many questions you didn't even think about. Depends on how long you want to spend reading about this:
http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/beatles/

One thing about the Love album was that it showed how good they could make some of this stuff sound!

Adam Bruneau, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 17:04 (6 years ago) Permalink

'a day in the life' (which I think is the only 'non-edited, non mashup') piece on there) sounds absolutely incredible on Love.

from what I've gathered, there are going to be up to three versions of the albums made available, stereo, mono, and stereo remixes. but that mojo article is a little unclear

akm, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 17:08 (6 years ago) Permalink

So the initial pressings were all mono up to a point, which was when?
Up to Sgt Pepper. Actually, the first couple were mono first, then stereo alongside the mono, but the mono ones had more work done on the mixing. That's because mixing for mono is more difficult.

And all the later stereo vinyl pressings are from the same masters as the first, or not? Yes, pretty much. I believe the 2LP "Rock and Roll" set had remixes for better stereo. But later issues went back to the 'voices on one, band on the other' 2 channel mixes...

So should my rubbish floppy 80s vinyl Revolver sound better than my badly mastered 90s CD Revolver? Possibly, yes.

What about the 60s issue Sgt Pepper that I stole off my parents with the red and white inner sleeve? Worth at least £150 if it's top notch condition and mono.

And I recently got a nice UK White Album, but I'm not sure exactly when its from. In summary: are all the stereo versions the same? Yes.

Have there been mono represses?
Yes there have, mid eighties I believe.

Were any of the albums never issued in stereo on vinyl? No. Let it be and Abbey road were never issued in Mono, except for a Reel-to-reel tape issue of both.

Mark G, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 17:13 (6 years ago) Permalink

just listened to one of those sgt. peppers multitrack bootlegs -- fun stuff! both demystifying and mystifying. as for other bootlegs, that Get Back (Final Glyn Johns Mix) thing that emerged is really enjoyable, much much much better than the Let It Be Naked thingamajig. I got it here: http://theheatwarps.blogspot.com/2008/06/beatles.html

tylerw, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 17:24 (6 years ago) Permalink

Listening to Ringo's solo vocal track on "With a Little Help From My Friends" is sort of a painful experience!

I think as far as bootlegs go "From Kinfauns to Chaos"/"Unsurpassed Masters 4"/whatever White Album demos you can get your hands on is pretty solid. They really were having alot of fun taping all of those acoustic demos in George's house and it's a shame there are only a handful of the pristine quality ones on the Anthology. They should just put out a disc of those!

Lately I've been a sucker for early live stuff. Purple Chick has some awesome releases in the 2CD "Live Before America" and "Star Club" releases.

Adam Bruneau, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 19:30 (6 years ago) Permalink

haha, yeah that's sort of what i like about these multitracks. makes them sound all the more human. and then you go back and listen to actual released track and you wonder how it could end up sounding so good!
so that early live stuff is worth tracking down? i've always been a little disappointed by the Star Club things I've heard, since they're sort of presented as this "When the Beatles Were RAW & NASTY" kinda thing. And they don't sound all that raw and nasty.

tylerw, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 20:00 (6 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I was kidding. But that's the thing with remasters - do they sound better even half the time?

My experience with recent 60s remasters is they tend to sound rather OK. Maybe the need the extra beef, dunno. But like, for instance, Bee Gees and The Monkees have sounded fantastic. And it looks like the Beatles remasters are planned in roughly the same format (CD1: mono + bonus, CD2: stereo + bonus) as the Bee Gees ones.
They should of course involve Rhino somewhat (like EMI/Virgin have done with the Genesis remasters) to ensure the job is being done in a good way.

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 21:36 (6 years ago) Permalink

So should my rubbish floppy 80s vinyl Revolver sound better than my badly mastered 90s CD Revolver?

Actually there is no 90s "Revolver". "Revolver" was issued on CD in early 1987 and that version is still the one that can be bought in shops today. I don't even think they remastered anything from before "Sgt. Pepper" (which was remastered and released exactly 20 years after its first 1. June release date)

Considering remastering technology has developed a lot since then, chances are they will sound better, yes.
For me, the most important thing will still be the ability to have "proper" stereo versions of the first four albums, not burned CDs like now. Although it must be added that those Purple Chick "Deluxe Editions" are rather amazing.

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 21:41 (6 years ago) Permalink

Considering remastering technology has developed a lot since then, chances are they will sound better, yes.

They couldn't sound a great deal worse.

If you have doubts, listen to 'Love', that newly-remastered Cirque du Soleil/Beatles tie-in album that was released last year. Gorgeous sound.

ŒƔƛƺȸɚɮʥᶄⱤstⱥ അുൠᚥ௸௵ⵞৠﬗѬ҈҉Ԋੴߥᚔଫ (Autumn Almanac), Wednesday, 17 September 2008 21:43 (6 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I was kidding. But that's the thing with remasters - do they sound better even half the time?

― Mark, Wednesday, September 17, 2008 2:47 AM (14 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

the cirque du soleil "love" CD that came out last year or two years ago was sort of ... revelatory in how much better it sounded than the other CDs

gr8080 (max), Wednesday, 17 September 2008 21:46 (6 years ago) Permalink

I remember everyone thought that "Sgt. Pepper" sounded absolutely fantastic. But this was in 1987 and people still didn't realise how much better remastering technology would become from the late 90s onwards in particular.
I believe it is those Jimi Hendrix remasters that really opened up people's eyes to how great remasters could sound with the right technology and the right tape sources. That being said, I believe the back catalogues by Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd haven't been remastered since 1994 or something, and those remasters still sound great.

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 21:47 (6 years ago) Permalink

it absolutely depends on who is remastering and how it's remastered. there is no across-the-board rule that remastering is bad or good. and even then it's ultimately up to your ears. for instance: I personally think the new versions of the Genesis albums sound like shit. Some of this is due to mastering, most of it has to do with stuff done while they were being remixed though (compression and level adjustments happened at the remix stage and not the remastering stage). Those Bee Gees albums, which are remastered, sound amazing though.

We are talking about the Beatles here and this is probably the most valuable and historically important music catalogue in existence. I have confidence they are doing this correctly and they'll sound great, but you know, they could always fuck it up.

I know everyone hates the 87 cds but I think pretty much all of them from Rubber Soul on sound fine.

Love is a remix (even the bits that aren't mashups) and yeah those do sound amazing. I think the Yellow Submaring Songtrack release (also a remix) sounds pretty excellent too. This is why, I think, they are doing both stereo remixes for everything, and also re-releasing the 87-era mixes but remastered.

akm, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 21:47 (6 years ago) Permalink

As for the Genesis mixes, I agree they didn't do a good job with the first batch, but the batch released last autumn sounded not at all bad. "Genesis" sounds a lot better than the older version. Just hopefully they have learned from the mistakes done on the first batch when the new ones are being released now, because fucking up dynamic range would be a bad idea with early Genesis.

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 21:50 (6 years ago) Permalink

god yeah those Bee Gees remasters are fucking amazing

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 21:51 (6 years ago) Permalink

Listen to the Sgt. Pepper stuff on Disc 02 of the Anthology 02, it sounds AWESOME compared to the released tracks. Not sure if that's just because it's so stripped down or the remastering... Hope it's the later...

Adam Bruneau, Thursday, 18 September 2008 00:45 (6 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

Well here comes Carnival of Light! http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/nov/16/paul-mccartney-carnival-of-light

Gets the hype for the '09 ITunes release/ Catalogue remaster started early.
Fine by me!

piscesx, Sunday, 16 November 2008 04:07 (6 years ago) Permalink

I'm a huge beatles fan but i couldn't give a flying fuck about carnival of light. does anyone really want to hear the beatles "jam"? no.

ILX MOD (musically), Sunday, 16 November 2008 04:14 (6 years ago) Permalink

BARCELONA!

piscesx, Sunday, 16 November 2008 04:27 (6 years ago) Permalink

Oh and some genius has uploaded the entire uncut/ director's cut version of ANTHOLOGY off the bootleg dvds =
http://uk.youtube.com/results?search_query=The+Beatles+Anthology+Director%27s+Cut&search_type=

piscesx, Monday, 17 November 2008 02:05 (6 years ago) Permalink

I'm a huge beatles fan but i couldn't give a flying fuck about carnival of light. does anyone really want to hear the beatles "jam"?

yes

what U cry 4 (jim), Monday, 17 November 2008 02:08 (6 years ago) Permalink

The Beatles have such a place in history that anything unreleased has historic interest. Even if it's some useless "Revolution #9"-like crap.

Geir Hongro, Monday, 17 November 2008 02:56 (6 years ago) Permalink

Once released it should offer proof that the Fab Four, and McCartney in particular, were much more avant-garde in their tastes than many gave them credit for.

What a strawman. Would newly released tapes of Nixon acting paranoid prove that he was "not the kind-hearted idealist some charge him to be"?

Cunga, Monday, 17 November 2008 03:36 (6 years ago) Permalink

He isn't?!?!?

Abbott of the Trapezoid Monks (Abbott), Monday, 17 November 2008 04:07 (6 years ago) Permalink

if the Beatles jam is anything like that awesomely awkward Dirty Mac thing from RocknLol Circus, then i am all for it.

the table is the table, Monday, 17 November 2008 04:09 (6 years ago) Permalink

let's face it, if it were any good it would have been released by now. they haven't been shy about releasing outtakes and demos. they're just looking for SOMETHING new to release to justify the ridiculous amount of time it took to release a remastered catalog.

miss precious perfect (musically), Monday, 17 November 2008 04:17 (6 years ago) Permalink

nonsense, Thumbs tried to get it on Anthology (where it would have belonged) and grumbles in an interview every 11 months about Harrison blocking it, "they're" not looking for anything at this point.

numismatic factory (sic), Monday, 17 November 2008 05:56 (6 years ago) Permalink

some useless "Revolution #9"-like crap.

DOES NOT COMPUTE

Sara Sara Sara, Monday, 17 November 2008 06:56 (6 years ago) Permalink

There are whole bunches of outtakes that would have been better ones than the ones they released on "Anthology", only one or other Beatle said no as they were particularly crap on that one.

"Yes it is" take one, for instance.

Often, if George's first take guitar solo was somewhat wonky because he hadn't figured it out, he wouldn't want that one on the anth, because people would laugh and say he was a crap soloist. Which would hardly be fair. Still, that take one version of "Hard days night" is more interesting than the one they mangled together for the anthology.

Mark G, Monday, 17 November 2008 08:08 (6 years ago) Permalink

After being sorely disappointed by the outtake "Helter Skelter" on Anth 3(?), I'm never approaching a Beatles rarity ever again with anything other than despair.

HI, YOUR BAND! (Mackro Mackro), Monday, 17 November 2008 17:24 (6 years ago) Permalink

Anthology series didn't premiere anything that hadn't already been bootlegged hundreds of times over. But I don't know anyone who's ever heard 'Carnival of Light', it's been pretty closely guarded.

Even if it's just a lot of tape echo, I'll probably love it:

1001 What's The New Mary Jane - RS4 6:38 White Album - The Beatles Go Too Far 7 11/17/08
1002 What's The New Mary Jane - RS5 7:05 White Album - The Beatles Go Too Far 7 11/17/08
1003 What's The New Mary Jane - RS6 2:28 White Album - The Beatles Go Too Far 7 11/17/08
1004 What's The New Mary Jane 5:43 White Album - The Beatles Go Too Far 7 11/17/08
1005 What's The New Mary Jane 6:40 White Album - The Beatles Go Too Far 6 11/17/08

Milton Parker, Monday, 17 November 2008 19:51 (6 years ago) Permalink

mccartney says this every year or so, i'll believe it when I see it. they say LOTS of things (like yearly claiming the remasters are coming out...which I'm sure they will at some point, but it's beyond me what the actual hold up is since they're obviously done if that mojo article was to be believed). this is probably just incidental to the mccartney album that just came out.

akm, Monday, 17 November 2008 19:57 (6 years ago) Permalink

yeah this'll be rad what are you people talking about

tylerw, Monday, 17 November 2008 20:04 (6 years ago) Permalink

i mean whatever, it won't change your life, but i'd like to hear it. there's plenty of crappy beatles shit out there, why not some more crappy beatles shit? funny that it's never been bootlegged before? hasn't everything been bootlegged? is the master tape kept in a vault in switzerland?

tylerw, Monday, 17 November 2008 20:06 (6 years ago) Permalink

Milton brings up "What's the New Mary Jane?"

In theory, I should love this piece, but I've listened to it over a dozen times, and it just isn't memorable at all.

I know "Carnival" is over twice as long, so the idea of it fitting probably figured most into its exclusion from the Anth series, but if the not that great "WTNMJ?" was accepted and "Carnival of Light" was vetoed, this doesn't really bode well, does it?... especially given that, if the piece were that great, it could have been released on an exclusive Anth bonus disc (alongside the now officially gone 27+ minute "Helter Skelter")

I'd rather hear the still-not-officially-released extended version of "Something" out of all of this.

HI, YOUR BAND! (Mackro Mackro), Monday, 17 November 2008 20:09 (6 years ago) Permalink

I'd rather hear rad 14-minute crazy Beatles pretending to be Stockhausen than the 5,000th Mono closet mix of "And Your Bird Can Sing"

Whiney G. Weingarten, Monday, 17 November 2008 20:21 (6 years ago) Permalink

it would have been rad had it been released on Magical Mystery Tour as a bonus 12" disc back in 1967 (alongside the studio tracks that would end up on Yellow Submarine)

HI, YOUR BAND! (Mackro Mackro), Monday, 17 November 2008 20:25 (6 years ago) Permalink

if they need a gimmick to sell the remasters i like this gimmick more than LOVE ... but yeah, sir paul should just put this out on 12". biggest selling avant-garde track EVER.

tylerw, Monday, 17 November 2008 20:43 (6 years ago) Permalink

the anthology version of Something is slightly > the final version

I'd rather hear the still-not-officially-released extended version of "Something" out of all of this.

i have a 9min version of it...it must be the early stages because the guys were just making up lyrics as they went along, I can email it to you if you'd like.

miss precious perfect (musically), Monday, 17 November 2008 20:51 (6 years ago) Permalink

I have the one on the "Abbey Road Anthology" CD. I don't think it's 9 minutes, but the missing "Something" coda kinda reminds me of that excellent coda on the single version of the Monkees' "Porpoise Song"

HI, YOUR BAND! (Mackro Mackro), Monday, 17 November 2008 20:54 (6 years ago) Permalink

i heard a minute of what is supposedly carnival of light (just google) and it was pretty good.
apparently that's all there is out there. so i was pleased by this news.

Shacknasty (Frogman Henry), Monday, 17 November 2008 21:00 (6 years ago) Permalink

if the not that great "WTNMJ?" was accepted and "Carnival of Light" was vetoed, this doesn't really bode well, does it?

Well, Harrison was the one who vetoed it -- Wonderwall Music aside, he's always been disdainful of the avant-garde. It wasn't vetoed because it didn't meet the standard set by WTNMJ.

Sara Sara Sara, Monday, 17 November 2008 21:08 (6 years ago) Permalink

Harrison had no problem with Electronic Sound being released - or contributing mucho babbled nonsense to "Revolution #9"

Myonga Vön Bontee, Monday, 17 November 2008 21:20 (6 years ago) Permalink

True, but 25-30 years on he apparently revised his view of their avant-garde leanings somewhat.

Sara Sara Sara, Monday, 17 November 2008 21:33 (6 years ago) Permalink

BUT WHAT DOES RINGO THINK

tylerw, Monday, 17 November 2008 21:54 (6 years ago) Permalink

"PS - in England we do have amusement parks, but we call them carnivals!"

HI, YOUR BAND! (Mackro Mackro), Monday, 17 November 2008 22:27 (6 years ago) Permalink

ringo probably only cares if he's going to make some money off it

akm, Monday, 17 November 2008 22:28 (6 years ago) Permalink

sir paul should just put this out on 12". biggest selling avant-garde track EVER.

― tylerw, Monday, November 17, 2008 3:43 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Suggest

HELL YES. I would totally buy this. Otherwise it's looking the other way...

And Electronic Sounds sucks because it is insanely boring. Maybe I need to re-listen to it with minimalism in mind, but it's really a horrible song.

Adam Bruneau, Monday, 17 November 2008 22:58 (6 years ago) Permalink


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