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Customer Review

28 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great collection that misses the target!, October 20, 2010
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This review is from: The Beatles: 1962-1966 (Audio CD)
A little over a year has passed since the release of the remastered stereo and mono box sets of the Beatles core studio catalog. We are now greeted with the reissue of the Beatles original compilation collections entitled 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 or the red and blue albums. While both collections feature a wonderful wealth of material from this incredible band, the release slightly misses the target.

Purists rejoice! Included are the original track listings from the original red and blue albums from 1973 including lyrics as original included in the vinyl jackets. Artwork is also restored along with new liner notes and photos. If you have not picked up any of the 2009 discs, this collection is for you. For those of us who own both the stereo and mono box sets will feel they are returning to familiar ground as these remasters are the same from 2009. Nothing new here except for the packaging.

Sound wise, these collections are identical to the previous 2009 remasters and this is where this release shows its limitation. My biggest problem with those remasters was the decisions by apple to use the original master tapes and not the original multi-track recordings. Results are the best we've ever heard of the final master tapes but not the best of what those individual songs could sound like. Master tapes can often be second, third even forth generations old from the original multi-track recordings. Resulting in tape hiss and overall loss in quality. Also limiting are the way these records were mixed. Almost all of these original masters were mixed in a way where drums, bass and guitar appear only on the left speaker, while vocals and lead guitar appear on the right speaker. This can be a nightmare when listening to with headphones. My biggest complaint has to be the recording of Please Please Me (which is presented in this collection in mono). On my second pressing of the 1973 vinyl pressing of this release, the song is presented in stereo and while it uses the same "ping png" stereo mix as described earlier, it sounds incredibly better then what we get here.

Having bought both the stereo and mono box sets, the John Lennon signature box sets and these two new releases, I am both pleased and appalled by the re-releases. After the 1999 release of the Yellow Submarine Songtrack and the 2000-2004 remix remasters of John Lennon's core colo catalog, I feel the Beatles music is taking a step back rather then forward. We live in the 21st century where we have the technology to really showcase this music. Why limit what can be done. Look at the 1996 remix of the Beach Boys Pet Sounds release and you will understand what I mean.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 21, 2010 8:40:09 PM PDT
PAC MAN says:
How could everyone over see this. All My Loving is mono on the older version of the cd red album. Compare the vocals for yourself.

Posted on Oct 22, 2010 11:48:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 22, 2010 11:51:45 AM PDT
spammythepig says:
"Look at the 1996 remix of the Beach Boys Pet Sounds release and you will understand what I mean. "

I agree that the Beatles stuff could be much improved sound-wise if the whole catalog up through '67 was remixed. I hate the hard-panning, although I know people who grew up with the stereo records sounding that way and don't want that changed. And the Beatles stuff doesn't sound that good in mono, either, IMO. Particularly Sgt. Pepper mono, which is just too one-dimensional for my ears. But who's going to do it? Who's going to make those decisions? Paul & Ringo? Yoko and Olivia? With Pet Sounds, Brian was still here to supervise the stereo remix, which was all that was required.

With Lennon and Harrison gone, no one is ever going to remix the Beatles. We're stuck with what we have.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2010 5:36:03 PM PDT
I think you're forgetting about the 1998 Yellow Submarine Songtrack release and the recent LOVE release. These were both remixed. John was not alive for either and George was not alive for the second. Further, the stereo releases of Rubber Soul and Help! were remixed by George Martin for the 1987 CD releases.

The point should be made that the Beatles themselves were often not involved with the mixing process even back in the 60's. This job was left to George Martin and the engineers, with the Beatles having input and approving the final mix. Since Giles Martin (George Martin's son) did most of the remixing for the LOVE release, under George Martin's supervision, it stands to reason that he could remix the Beatles songs if such a release were desired. But Apple Records (Paul, Ringo, Yoko, and Olivia), and EMI, who owns the actual recordings, would have to approve this and provide the tapes.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2010 10:11:38 PM PDT
Matt says:
I definitely have not forgotten both the Yellow Submarine, Love nor Let It Be... Naked releases. I favor them over ever release before and after. The remixes of Rubber Soul and Help are nice improvements over the original mixes but still have those hard left and right pans. Listen to Nowhere Man on either Rubber Soul CD releases and compare the same track to the version on the Yellow Submarine Songtrack. The latter version rocks in comparison.

It's a real damn shame the direction the Beatles and post-Beatles music is being "remastered". Outdated masters can only be cleaned up so much (Paul Hicks even admitted this in several interviews). I just wish we could hear the entire catalog the way they COULD sound. I suppose we will have to wait another 20 years for that to happen :-(

Posted on Aug 17, 2011 2:50:05 PM PDT
Scott the dj says:
You also have to realize that the beatles recordings in the early to mid 60's were only recorded on two track tape before multi track recording came about in the late 60's and up to today and multitrack recordings still wasn't like it is today.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2011 3:16:53 PM PDT
Only the first two albums, "Please Please Me" and "With The Beatles", were recorded on two-track tape. Starting with the song "I Want To Hold Your Hand", they used four-track.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2011 4:58:17 PM PDT
Matt says:
Joseph, you are very right. Virtually every track after Please Please Me and With The Beatles took advantage of four-track recording. By the time the band got to the white album, they were up to eight-track. I just feel there's so much potential for cleaner sounding mixes. I guess in 20 years time we'll see them if the tapes are still in good condition by then.

Posted on Nov 16, 2011 10:51:30 PM PST
The reason for using the original masters is quite simple, to present the music as it was originally created and mixed by The Beatles and George Martin. I would far prefer this over someone unaffiliated with the Beatles messing around with the source tapes and creating new mixes. This is what happened with the 1998 Yellow Submarine "Songtrack" release. Although one might argue that these songs sound good, they are in fact new mixes created for the DVD release of the movie, mixes that The Beatles had nothing to do with. If you want authenticity, the original masters are the way to go.
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