Limited digitally remastered thirteen CD box set that contains the 10 albums originally released by The Beatles in mono (1963's Please Please Me up through 1968's The White Album) plus two further discs of mono singles masters. As an added bonus, the mono Help! and Rubber Soul discs also include the original 1965 stereo mixes, which have not been previously released on CD. These albums will be packaged in mini-vinyl CD replicas of the original sleeves with all original inserts and label designs retained. At the beginning of the '60s, stereophonic recordings were just coming into their own but many households didn't own stereophonic record players. In most cases, an album would originally be mixed in mono for mass consumption and then separately mixed in stereo for those with modern equipment. As the '60s wore on, mono mixes became secondary over stereo and then were eventually abandoned altogether. The Beatles' first 10 albums were mixed twice: once in mono and then in stereo. The mono mixes were sometimes strikingly different to the stereo mixes, which has ensured their collectability over the years. This box contains all the officially released Beatles mono mixes in one limited edition box set. Capitol.
The Beatles Mono Box Set was compiled as a special interest package for the hard-core fan. It presents the first ten albums in re-mastered mono (the final 3 albums made their debuts in stereo only), and a double album of singles and EPs, called "Mono Masters". At the time of writing, the mono albums are not available individually. Why would anyone want a newly minted mono collection? The final mono songs were sometimes different. Stereo mixes were usually done days, if not weeks after the original mono mix, and could include different takes when the engineers made the overdubs. Stereo mixes, particularly for the first five albums, did not include as much critical listening from George Martin, and almost none from the Fab' Four. Also, stereo in early 60's England was not broadcast over the air, and the format was largely the preserve of the hi-fi snob. For more than half The Beatles recorded repertoire, the most affordable "weapon of choice" for the twisting, shouting teenage market was the mono mix. Ironically - this box set is the best The Beatles have ever sounded. Like the stereo sibling these are re-mastered, not re-mixed, but unlike the stereo, they have not been clipped or limited to push levels closer to current music ingested through our MP3 players. These albums are cleaner than ever before and compared to the 1980s CD editions you're taken aback by how much dynamic range is on those original tapes. Nothing in this box sounds like a 45 year old recording. Each disc is presented as if it were a miniature "33", replete with plastic anti-scratch sleeve, inner paper sleeve, original album cover, inserts and all original text rendered frustratingly small for anyone old enough to have bought the LPs the first time around. -- Hugo Munday