Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Digitally remastered 17 disc box set (16 CDs + DVD) containing all 14 original Beatles albums released between 1963 and 1970 plus the two CD Past Masters collection of non-album tracks and a bonus DVD containing all the mini documentaries that can be found as enhanced tracks on each of the individual CD releases. The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-heard studio chat from The Beatles, offering a unique and very personal insight into the studio atmosphere. The albums have been remastered at Abbey Road Studios in London utilizing state of the art recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. Within the CDs' new packaging, the booklet includes detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes. Capitol.
The Beatles Stereo Box Set is a box set compilation comprising all of the remastered stereo recordings by The Beatles. The set was released on September 9, 2009, the same day both The Beatle: Rock Band and the remastered mono recordings were released (see The Beatles in Mono). The remastering project for both mono and stereo versions was led by EMI senior studio engineers Allan Rouse and Guy Massey.
This is the fourth complete box set collection of original Beatles albums after The Beatles Collection, The Collection and The Beatles Box Set.
"As you probably know by now, the remastering of the Beatles catalog was carried out with the caution of translating the Dead Sea Scrolls. Happily, the results justify the obsessive care. These 14 stereo remasters - from Please Please Me (1963) to Let It Be (1970), witha two-disc Past Masters added for good measure - make the original recordings sound newly invigorated and alive, whether you're listening on standard earbuds or a high-end system.
An enormous effort was made tostay true to the original mixes, so there aren't going to be any easyrevelations for Beatles fans. Instead, these albums sound deeper, richer and fleshed-out. The buoyancy of "Something" becomes more comprehensible when you hear clearly Paul McCartney's nimble bass line. You knew that "Twist and Shout" featured one of John Lennon's most visceral performances, but here you can feel his vocal cords shred. The horns on"Good Morning Good Morning" roar, driving the song in a way you may not have noticed before. Lennon and George Harrison's guitars on "You Can't Do That" sharpen to a gleaming edge.
One tip for deep-pocketed fans: The12-CD The Beatles in Mono box set is more than a collector's indulgence.The warmth and punch of early albums sWith the Beatles and Beatles for Sale evoke the experience of first hearing songs like "All My Loving" onthe original vinyl. But in stereo or mono, these albums have finally received the treatment they deserve." -RollingStone
Composers: John Lennon; Paul McCartney.
Personnel: George Harrison (guitar); Alan Civil (horns); Paul McCartney (bass guitar); Ringo Starr (drums); Anvil Bhagwat (tabla).
Audio Mixer: Peter Bown.
Audio Remasterers: Sean Magee; Sam O'Kell; Steve Rooke; Guy Massey; Paul Hicks.
Liner Note Authors: Dan Davis; Derek Taylor; Mark Lewisohn; Alan Rouse; Dan Davis; Kevin Howlett; Tony Barrow; Peter Blake.
Author: Paul McCartney.
Director: Bob Smeaton.
Editor: Julian Caidan.
Photographers: Iain Macmillan; Bruce a. Karsh; Ethan Russell; Robert Freeman; Ian MacMillan; Michael Cooper.
The Beatles always stood apart from their peers, a self-evident statement that sadly extended to the treatment of their catalog in the digital age. Where all their contemporaries from the Byrds to the Who have had their catalogs remastered and reissued in deluxe editions, sometimes several times, the Beatles remained stuck in the early days of digital, their 14 albums plus PAST MASTERS singles collections remaining untouched since 1987. The 2009 reissue campaign corrects almost all the problems of the original 1987 CDs: the sound and artwork are improved, and all the original mono and stereo mixes finally see the light of day. Naturally, it's possible to quibble about some details of the presentation, particularly the decision to split the reissue into two separate box sets, one covering the stereo mixes and one the mono mixes, with only the stereo mixes available as individual discs but both boxes still constitute the best Beatles by far. Crucially, it's also inarguably the best-sounding Beatles music ever released, robust and rich even on the earliest rock & roll. None of the albums have been remixed--although HELP! and RUBBER SOUL retain George Martin's 1987 mixes, the original stereo mixes being bonuses on the mono set--so this doesn't shock the way the YELLOW SUBMARINE soundtrack did with its reimagined stereo mix. Nevertheless, these remasters surely do surprise with their clarity and depth, with each album feeling bigger and fuller than the previous CD incarnation, but not artificially so. It's not that these are pumped up on digital steroids; it's that the veil has been lifted, so everything seems full and fresh. Appropriately, there's more to savor from HELP! onward, as the Beatles' productions grew ambitious, but PLEASE PLEASE ME, WITH THE BEATLES, and A HARD DAY'S NIGHT all have a strong punch, while BEATLES FOR SALE is warmer than the previous disc.
As a package, the stereo box is slightly unwieldy--it's a large, vertical set with two stacks of discs in slick cardboard sleeves piled on top of each other. No extra book is included with the set, but each disc has its own booklet with dry, straightforward liner notes detailing the recording process instead of analyzing the music. Nevertheless, these do offer annotation, something sorely lacking from the first CDs, and they do replicate the original notes--in the case of MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, including the entire storybook; in the case of SGT. PEPPER'S, all the 20th anniversary annotation is added-- finally bringing the Beatles to the same standard for reissues that every other major (and most minor) bands have had for years now. And the story, at least for the stereo box, is not the packaging --it's the glorious sound that makes this such a treat. There's also no question that those who waited 22 years to hear a better version of the Beatles will not be disappointed (although they may still wonder why it took so long for the Fabs to be treated as they deserve).
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