I couldn't be happier with the release of "The Beatles American Albums" but I hope it is not all they're going to put out. There are at least eight more albums, excluding the redundant compilations like "Love Songs" and "Rock and Roll", etc. These are, of course "SPLHCB"/"Magical Mystery Tour"/"The Beatles"/"Yellow Submarine"/"Abbey Road"/"Let It Be"/"Rarities" and "Live At The Hollywood Bowl". As far as I'm concerned, they can forgo everything from "SPLHCB" through "Let It Be" but I will NOT rest until "Rarities" and "Live At The Hollywood Bowl" see the light of day! If they would have just included those two albums in this new "American Albums" boxset, I and every other American Beatles fan would shut up - at least I know I would. Hopefully, though, Capitol will money-grab again, in the not too distant future! Then even the fans, waiting for the duophonic mixes from "Magical Mystery Tour" and the "SPLHCB", sans the "inner groove", will be happy.
Only side two of MMT uses a faux stereo mix. Side two were all singles that Capitol cobbled together to flesh out the album, and just used the same tapes used for the singles as a source. MMT was released in England initially as a 2-EP set with book, (I have it). The LP was pure Capitol records, and EMI gives a nod in the Stereo Box version, in that the artwork on the disc is the Capitol rainbow LP label. While the 2-EP set is still around, EMI made the MMT LP part of the official canon with the first CD release in 1987. Sgt. Pepper was true stereo from the outset on Capitol. I have both the Capitol and Parlophone versions. I'd like to clear one thing that Beatle fans have mistakenly used for years now; All record companies had camp names for their stereo processes. RCA was Living Stereo, just for example. Capitol's 'Duo-Sonic' process was just the name for their stereo mixes, to make it sound more advanced. The fake stereo mixes really have no name, other than the one given by Beatle fans themselves. There are lots of other discussions about the hard pan stereo technique employed on all Beatle albums so i won't dive into that can of worms here. But I am with you on getting the original Capitol fake stereo mixes, as that's the way we first heard them. One faux stereo mix, which was actually done by George Martin was on Only A Northern Song on Yellow Submarine. I wonder to this day what necessitated mixing the flat master in mono. George Harrison remixed it in full glorious stereo for the Songtrack album. I'm partial to this mix in that Ringo's drums are out front and center stage for once. Rarities and Hollywood Bowl are the two i am holding out for too. i remastered my copy of Rarities into hi res digital, matched the EQ to the 2009 Box set, and it is nothing short of breath taking. I can only imagine the result directly from the master source tapes!
Only a Northern Song like all the other Yellow Submarine songs was originally mixed in mono primarily for the movie which was also in mono. Whoever did the stereo mix for the Yellow Submarine album (it was done on October 29, 1968, 3 months after the movie came out and with no producer credited but Geoff Emerick credited as engineer) apparently decided the recording was too complicated as it involved two four track tapes having to play in perfect synchronization (this had also made the original mono mix a difficult task) and thus created the fake stereo mix (I would also say he did an overall shabby job, particularly on Hey Bulldog and All You Need Is Love). George Harrison did not do the Songtrack remix. Those were done by Peter Cobbin. I agree it is an excellent stereo remix.
Slight correction on MMT (sorry for being so technical): the original capitol release for side two has the original 1967 stereo mix of hello goodbye and strawberry fields. the rest of the tracks (penny lane, baby you're a rich man, and all you need is love) are in "duophonic" stereo (reprocessed stereo) from the mono. all you need is love was mixed in stereo the next year (1968) for the yellow submarine album. the first time the entire side two was mixed into stereo was in 1971 for the release in germany (hor-zu label)
Of course any Beatles fan yearns for "Hollywood Bowl" to be released on CD, preferably restored and remastered using 21st century technology and including the complete '64 and '65 concerts. There's not the same need for US "Rarities" since 12 of the 15 tracks are no longer rare, while 2 of the 3 remaining tracks ('Penny Lane' and 'I am the Walrus') are, in fact, "out-fakes" . Which is not to say I wouldn't like to see those tracks, plus the German mix of 'And I Love Her' on CD, but they would fit more nicely on a 'Rare or Odd Mixes' collection. In my opinion, a much more worthy, and unjustly ignored, candidate for release is [the US version] of "The Beatles Christmas Album".
Hi, You say that you have the 2-EP set of MMT, are you aware that it was issued in stereo as well as mono in the UK. The E.P has been issued in CD as part of a UK box set containing all their UK EP's. It has both stereo & mono versions on it.
The complete Hollywood Bowl concerts can be fairly easily found on unofficial releases. But I totally agree that the Capitol version should be part of a set like this.
Yes, the cuts on Rarities are pretty tame, as there is just tons of Beatles outtakes & alternate versions available. We used to be able to get all that stuff on vinyl in the 70s on Swinging Pig records. But-- it was still exciting when Rarities came out --- much more so that Reel Music, Love Songs, etc. That was just thematic rehash. Boring.
I only ever saw the Christmas Album as a bootleg. It was never a Capitol release. If anything, it was a private release to Beatles Fan Club members only. That is another one that is easily obtained, though, on unofficial release. It's amusing and entertaining to hear a couple of times. They start out as simple impromptu chats around the microphone and get more involved, complex, and strange as the years go by.
My basic stand on this release is that using the 2009 remasters to make up the bulk of the songs is a mistake, and it is not going to be the genuine sound we heard in the USA on Capitol. THAT is what we got on Capitol Albums vol. 1 and 2. The 2009 remasters sound great, but that is not what we heard on those "butchered" collections. No No No!!! Whatever that Vine St. Voodoo was that Capitol sonically slathered onto those discs, it sounds different than what was released on Parlophone. Same great performances and arrangements, but with some added reverb, compression, and EQ tweaking, or some such thing. I love the way they sound!!!
I am bummed that they decided to assemble the package in the manner that they are doing it. I will probably pass on this one. I have the two Capitol boxes and also a bootleg set that uses needle-drop versions of the records, both mono and stereo, with really excellent sound. They did a really great job on the covers, rainbow labels, AND original inner sleeves. I have a butcher cover Y & T, and a steamer trunk version, and a UA Hard Day's Night; also, Beatles Story and Hey Jude. Lucked out on eBay many years ago.
Another correction to your post: Capitol did not use the term "Duophonic" for their stereo mixes. That would "Full Dimension Stereo." They only used the term Duophonic when it was a mono mix "electronically altered to give a stereo effect." Usually that meant most of the bass on one side, and most of the treble on the other. Honestly, that may be the way we first heard them, but when I finally received a decent stereo to play them on (in 1968), I realized how badly they really sounded. I have no desire to hear them again. I faithfully bought the two Capital "boxes" that came out almost 10 years ago, so I think I'm just going to pass this time around.
George Martin later made true stereo mixes of the side two tracks which were issued on the German MMT LP. The German tracks were made BEFORE EMI decided to release MMT in England using the Capitol masters instead of the German masters. Thank goodness the German masters were used for the CD issues of the MMT LP as well as the remastered LPs with the original 1967 booklet included.
Hi Harvey, Never been to the US, but I have all the original US albums on vinyl & CD inc the three Capitol box sets Vol 1 & the two Vol 2 sets. The packaging is just like the mono 2009 box set with all the discs having the rainbow label except Hey Jude that has the Apple one. The inner sleeves are replicas of the 1960's L.P sleeves. As a Beatles fan & collector I like to hear all the different versions. I prefer to hear the songs in stereo but with this set we have the choice of mono as well.
Hi Harvey, Yes hey Jude came out as a single on Apple, if I remember correctly it was the first stereo single by the Beatles here in the UK. The Hey Jude album was released in the UK in 1979, better late than never. I've been collecting them long enough, got the Please Please Me album as an xmas prez in 1963 & been a fan ever since.
I thought the "Hey Jude" album came out in 1970, not 1979. Roy and S.G. above claimed that that LP came out in 1979, but I've always read that it came out in Feb. 1970, after "Abbey Road" but before "Let It Be."
"Hey Jude vinyl had a red Apple on it as I recall, even though it was a Capitol record."
"Hey Jude" aka "The Beatles Again" had the standard green Apple label. It was the US "Let It Be" LP that had a red apple label, putatively because it was distributed by United Artists, not Capitol/EMI.
Correction, Roy. This from Billboard back in 1970 which you can read directly at ( http://books.google.com/books?id=dCkEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA8&dq=billboard+%2B+1970+%2B+%22hey+jude%22+%2B+beatles+%2B+apple+%2B+capitol+%2B+%22united+artists%22+%2B+klein&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NK3fUr3iAfPgsATAv4GICg&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=billboard%20%2B%201970%20%2B%20%22hey%20jude%22%20%2B%20beatles%20%2B%20apple%20%2B%20capitol%20%2B%20%22united%20artists%22%20%2B%20klein&f=false ) which shows that Apple Records directly, under Allen Klein, marketed the Let It Be LP utilitizing United Artists Records distributing the album and Capitol Records manufacturing it. The reason Capitol took over distribution of the UA AHDN album was because EMI bought UA Records.