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Past Masters, Vols. 1 & 2 [Vinyl]

4.6 out of 5 stars 138 customer reviews

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Vinyl, October 17, 1990
$103.62 $75.90
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Editorial Reviews

EU 2 LP set. EMI. 2005.
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Disc 2
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (October 17, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1988
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00004WNTE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,750 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It took me a while to get used to this version. I expected to be blown away with the sound as I was when I first heard Beatles Love. While I'm not sure exactly of how the project was handled, here is my synopsis. It quickly became apparent to me that these new remasters are just that. A remaster of the existing master tapes. They added more bottom end and clarity without the digital harshness of the previous CD releases. In Love they 'remixed' and 'remastered' the songs thus a much better sound. In a remix, they can adust each track separately and re-arrange it in the mix to make it more effective than was originally done. Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick provides details of how the original tracks were mixed in his book. I would imagine that remixing was not done due to the fact that many die-hard fans would resist hearing it mixed differently. They wanted to keep it somewhat historically correct. That's why a mono version of the original masters was also released. For the sake of the purists. I've read that the Beatles themselves preferred the mono versions. In the recent Capital records mono releases that I've purchased, I much prefer stereo. A total remix would have been welcomed by me, and I'm sure a much more massive undertaking. Don't be suprised if there are remixes (not remasters) like Love released in later years, where they may i.e., take a previously right panned vocal and put it upfront and center in the mix and pan the background vocals right and left.

In this Past Masters there a bright spots. Much more bass. I was disappointed with the muddy mix of 'She loves you' (which is panned mostly right and sounds mono), but quite impressed with the awesome version of 'this boy' and 'I call your name'. Naturally the newer the song the better the sound.
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4 Comments 23 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
In 1988, Capitol/Parlophone rereleased The Beatles' entire catalogue (well, the British albums anyway) onto CD. At the time of their releases onto compact disc, people loved them. They all sounded great, they thought. 'What a vast improvement this is to my vinyl' all were comments made at the time.

As the times changed, technology changed and vastly improved. Sound quality on Beatles issues started becoming vastly inferior to other reissues, and it began to irritate Beatles fans and music critics that The Beatles were not getting CD remasters, unlike many other artists of that era.

Finally, in 2009, 21 years after the first CD reissues of The Beatles' catalogue came out, The Beatles' finally got the treatment they have deserved. Their entire catalogue was remastered on compact disc. And, although I must admit, I only have but one remaster (as of February 18, 2010, that being 'Sgt. Pepper'), I have heard most of them, and let me tell you, they sound INCREDIBLE. Forget the 1980s CD reissues. THESE 2009 remasters are the ones to get if you are a new Beatles fan.

Now, enough with me boasting about the CD remasters. It's time for me to review to product on hand.

It was nice to have all of the original British records in on CD, but part of what made The Beatles great were their non-album singles. Many of their essential songs did not appear on any of their records, and it was quite nice to have them on CD again. They were not included on the albums as bonus tracks. Instead, Parlophone released 'Past Masters, Vol. 1,' collecting their first three years on Capitol (1962-1965) and 'Past Masters, Vol. 2,' which collects their latter day singles (1966-1969).

I have always thought that these should be reissued as one little package together as a two CD set.
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7 Comments 11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Many of you are "of a certain age" and grew up with The Beatles. I was in elementary school when the British Invasion of pop/rock music started. It stayed with me throughout my childhood.

I confess to never being a huge Beatles fan. I was more into the Rolling Stones and Hendrix. But I always appreciated the groundbreaking work of the Beatles as each new album expanded the horizons of rock music.

Recently the entire Beatles catalog was released on remastered CD's, individually and in both stereo and mono boxed sets. Since the Beatles music is not available digitally (at least not through legitimate channels), I made an exception to my rule of buying only vinyl LP's or digital downloads and ordered two of the remastered CD's. I started with the White Album and Past Masters (a collection on non-album tracks, most of which were big hits). My order from Amazon arrived on Thursday. I have been listening non-stop since then.

John Lennon was always my favorite Beatle. I felt he was 80% of the Lennon/McCartney songwriting team, which in turn was at least 80% of the Beatles. But the clarity of the reissued CD's brings out Paul McCartney's bass lines in a way not previously possible. His work is skilled, melodic, and imaginative. As a bass player myself, I can truly appreciate how much McCartney's bass lines contributed to the overall impact of this music. I am not a fan of McCartney's post-Beatles work, but his contributions to these albums alone are enough to make him one of the great bassists in rock history.

If you are a music fan, or if the Beatles were a large part of the soundtrack of your childhood, these reissued CD's are highly recommended. I've been carrying mine with me as I move from my audio system to my computer to my car.
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Past Masters (Remastered) [ENHANCED]
I believe it's an error, as there is no Past Masters mini doc.
Sep 22, 2009 by Parrot Monkey |  See all 4 posts
The Single Version of "Help!"
No, you are wrong. The mono album version is the same as the stereo version. There is a different single version. I have it on a 3" CD3 single. It also has the "B" side, I'm Down on it also in mono. The John Lennon vocal on the single version of Help is different- most noticeable... Read More
May 11, 2009 by Ernesto Amore |  See all 12 posts
Past Masters-An Utterly Unnecessary Release
"Past Masters" makes no sense? What you're proposing is what makes no sense.

All of the songs on Past Masters were officially released as non-album singles (or as part of a compilation, e.g. the alternate version of "Across The Universe"). The Beatles regularly released... Read More
Sep 4, 2009 by C. Gadbois |  See all 15 posts
Past Masters vs. Mono Masters
You need Past Masters for the singles that were released in stereo only that aren't included: The Ballad of John and Yoko, Old Brown Shoe, Let It Be (single version).

If you want the four YS songs in stereo, you need Yellow Submarine. If you don't care, then skip it.

Mono Masters is similar to... Read More
Sep 16, 2009 by Chris McKenzie |  See all 7 posts
"From Me To You"
The version on "1" is in mono, which was how the song was originally released, as a single in 1963. The version on Past masters is in stereo, but the edit for the harmonica was not inserted into the stereo mix when it was originally made. Although it would be possible to fix that today,... Read More
Sep 21, 2009 by N. Parkinson |  See all 4 posts
testing - ignore, please Be the first to reply
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