There are a few albums from the rock era that I feel I've been in a relationship with since the first day I got them. "The Beatles" is one of those albums. I found it under my Christmas tree in 1968, and I've been engaged with it at some level ever since. It is not the best Beatles album, objectively; nor is it my favorite. But it has always compelled my attention. At the time it came out, I was 12, but even then it was clear that we were no longer in Pepperland or on a Magical Mystery Tour. This album wasn't yet more "progress" toward some new musical form. Musically, it embraced values never before associated with the Beatles as I understood them: Parody, pastiche, rock and roll revivalism, music-hall nostalgia, avant-garde experimentation, political agitation, intimate confession, trivial nonsense. It is, simply, a series of highly personal statements from the three songwriters, coalescing around no particular theme other than the right to personal expression. "The Beatles" is not, to me, "the sound of the Beatles breaking up." That's the storyline a lot of Beatle historians apply to this album. If they're basing this judgement on the fact that the individual songwriters' imprints are on each song, you'd have to argue that the breakup began much earlier, around the time of "Beatles for Sale" or "Help!" Lennon-McCartney were rarely a songwriting "team" in the sense of George and Ira Gershwin. Their partnership was always about strategy, i.e. how to ensure that third-rate songs would not be included on albums just for the sake of fairness. "The Beatles" instead simply shows the evolution of each of the three songwriters (on this album, George emerges dramatically) as they each embraced new musical ideas and applied their life experiences to their art.Read more ›
To all the golden eared audiophiles who can hear all the differences in this 30th Anniversery reissue, I say, what a bunch of whooee. This is the EXACT SAME MASTER as the 1987 release. No difference...NADA. Please notice, the Amazon listing has been changed from "remastered" to "original recording." It's amazing how much psycology is at work when people listen. If they believe it's remastered, their ear will trick them into believing it sounds different. Don't believe it. So, that means all of us Beatle fans have forked over thiry-some odd dollars for the exact same product that we had. The question is, Capital/EMI, why the H didn't you remaster this? The white album is one of the most poorly remastered discs in the Beatles catalog (but it's got some stiff competition, the first four albums for starters). It's unfathomable to me that Capital/EMI would ask Beatles fans to shell out that kind of money for an unimproved product, and a product that sorely needed improvement. What, we're supposed to be happy to pay over thirty dollars for ridiculous miniture artwork which you need a magnifying glass to read and see? Come on, Capital/EMI! That's highway robbery, and you know it! With all the money you've already made on the Beatles' catalog, this is a particular heinous crime. So, Capital/EMI, what about actually remastering the Beatles catalog? They are only considered the greatest musical force of the last half of the 20th century. The Who's catalog has been remastered; the Byrds catalog has been remastered, even the Hollies catalog was wonderfully remastered for their box set (by YOU EMI! ). It seems a tragic, bitter irony that perhaps the most musical of all the artists of the 60s gets the shoddiest of digital remastering.Read more ›
I tried to get a handle on what to expect with the remastered BEATLES songs, by comparing the old remastered CDs from the 80s, with BEATLES ONE (the red CD with the yellow "1", that had 24 bit remastered versions of their number one hits, that came out in 2000.) You can get a ballpark idea about the new remasters, using this method. But of course, NOTHING from the white album is one BEATLES ONE. I expected at least some increased clarity, and increased volumn from the added compression. Yes, its all that and more. Right off the bat, you start hearing sounds you have NEVER heard (or noticed?) before. This isnt from equalization popping up the top end of the sound. There's improved sonic clarity across the HERTZ spectrum. Its as tho you were sonically nearsighted, and someone just put glasses on you for the first time. EVERYTHING just STANDS OUT with such clarity and force. YOU get this effect on ALL the songs. If you listen to JULIA, the acoustic guitars just BLOW YOUR MIND! You can hear John's fingers scrape across the strings. His vocals are rich, full, and the bottom end is....well, altho there is NO bass guitar on JULIA, the bottom end is so full and rich, you would think there WAS bass. Naturally, the BIG TEST for the white album, is listening to REVOLUTION #9. For some reason, deciphering REVOLUTION #9 thru headphones, penetrating the incomprehensible density of tape loops, has been a favorite pass time for some mega-fans for decades. (I'm one.) And you know what? For the first time EVER, I was able to hear more of Ringo's and John's bizarre mumbling jokes, and nonsense verbage. Again, the CLARITY! the DEPTH OF SONIC PERCEPTION! Honestly, its about as much as anyone can hope for.Read more ›
Of all the Beatles' remastered CDs, I feel that the clearest difference from the earlier CD release is shown with the 'White Album'. The sound simply shines, and makes a great record sound more full, dramatic and stunning than ever.
To enumerate all the differences between the mono & stereo versions of the first 10 albums would make for too long of a reply. Let me simplify it this way - if you want to hear the mix of the Beatles' albums the way the Beatles intended them to sound, you'll listen to the mono mixes. This is... Read More
The recent rerelease of Yellow Submarine previewed the remastered sound, including selections from Sgt. Pepper, Revolver, and the original movie songs (not the orchestral interludes.) It's pretty different. Some weird choices emerge, like the bassline seeming to get mixed way down in A Little... Read More
Love it, but it is a few minutes too long. I think it would have had more of a shock factor if it was a little shorter. Pretty far from the worst song on a Beatles record, far too interesting and unique. It is also one of the more mysterious and sinister momements on the album and essential to... Read More