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The Beatles in Mono The Complete Mono Recordings
Limited Edition, Ltd Rmst Mlps ed.
Box Set, Remastered
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Vinyl, Box set, September 9, 2014
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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
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Language : English
- Product Dimensions : 6.1 x 6.1 x 2.83 inches; 1.83 Pounds
- Manufacturer : EMI
- Date First Available : July 9, 2009
- Label : EMI
- ASIN : B002BSHXJA
- Number of discs : 10
- Best Sellers Rank: #43,017 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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My vinyl experience and circumstances: 55+ years, owner of all first edition mono and stereo Beatles LP and 45 recordings, owner of many multiple copies of subsequently-released Beatles material. When testing audio equipment, I use first edition Revolver and Please Please Me (and Brian's Pet Sounds) as reference disks.
Reaction to this purchase: These albums provided the perfect synergy for my system/setup. I felt as though I was transported back in time to when I first heard these recordings broadcast. It was a remarkable stop-dead-in-your-tracks experience. When compared to the original first pressings, The Beatles in Mono vinyl set sounds clearer with better-defined and articulated vocals and instrumentation. You can tell that the frequency response has been widened but not in any way that alters or diminishes the musical performances. There's no hint of subjectively-introduced equalization.
I approached these LPs with some trepidation given my experience listening to the previously-released Mono Box set on CD. That box set, while clean and quiet, messed too much with the Beatles "sound" (for example, I found that McCartney's bass lines were overdone and seemed to dominate certain performances which consequently diminished the other instrumental, as well as vocal, elements). Also, I did not agree with the many other equalization choices -- it's entirely subjective of course but had I been the one making those decisions I would have placed greater emphasis on Lennon's rhythm guitar, among other things. In short, the CD set left me feeling as though I was listening to someone else's interpretation, not that of the original artists, of previously-recorded material. That set should have been more accurately (and honestly) titled as: The Beatles in Mono as Interpreted by Rouse, Massey et al.
Here, for this vinyl box set (each album now available separately), Sean Magee and Steve Berkowitz did exactly what was needed -- nothing more, nothing less. This presentation is what I have been waiting a long, long time for. I had the feeling during playback that I was sitting at the REDD 51 mixing console, in Studio Two Control Room, at Abbey Road Studios, during each Beatles recording session. That's the magical, Holy Grail, vintage experience I chase and that this set delivered on my gear.
Posted on September 20, 2018 by beatlefanmagazine
A report on what the upcoming 50th anniversary White Album reissue …
Two media listening parties for the 50th anniversary reissue of The Beatles’ White Album are set for Sept. 26 in New York City. And sources tell Beatlefan that the various configurations of the White Album reissues look like this:
A 4-LP set (2 discs of the new stereo remix + 2 discs of Esher demos)
A 3-CD set (same material as above). Apparently two of the CDs are the new remix and the third CD is the Esher demos.
And a Super Deluxe CD Box (3 CDs as above + 3 CDs of outtakes). Plus the box will include a Blu-ray disc that will be audio only. There will be no video.
The outtakes include “Hey Jude,” “Revolution,” “Inner Light,” “Across the Universe,” “Lady Madonna,” and nonalbum tracks/jams/improvisations. Of the latter, Beatlefan has been told that at least a couple are previously unknown. There also are some rehearsals.
Included will be the 12-minute version of “Helter Skelter” that previously was boiled down to about 5 minutes for the “Anthology,” but the legendary 27-minute version of “Helter Skelter” will NOT be included.
We’re told that the new remix of the album by Giles Martin has “incredible clarity and more bass and drums present.”
An official announcement of the releases is expected soon. The release date is expected to be Nov. 9.
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Some of the tabs on two of the sleeves were coming apart when new, but not a major issue.
Overall these are probably the best new versions of the LPs I will see/hear in my life (!).
Having been weaned on original copies of Help and Hard Days Night, I can attest that the versions of those included in this set are totally faithful to their ancestors in sound to the extent that you think you are listening to (perfect copies of) the originals. Not something you could have said about any previous reissue.
From the moment the needle dropped onto Please Please Me I knew I had attained Beatles Nirvana.
Worth the money? I sold some collectable books in order to raise the cash for these, and three years on I still don't regret it.
Seven and a half years ago when the remastered back catalogue was released, I recall driving to every supermarket and music retailer in town (there were still several of those in 2009) to find a stereo box set. I hadn't pre-ordered but I had to have it. Ending up in Borders (happy memories), they were sold out. The sales assistant offered me the smaller, white Mono box behind the counter. More expensive than the stereo set and two albums short, I naively declined and ordered in the stereo set. It arrived and I loved it, albeit I haven't listened to Please Please Me or With The Beatles on headphones for seven and a half years due to the extreme panning on the stereo release rendering them almost unlistenable.
Fast forward to 2017 and now decidedly less naïve regarding the consensus in Beatle circles that the mono mixes are far superior, I could wait no longer. Lacking sufficient funding or hi-fi equipment to justify purchasing the now-wonderfully tempting Beatles In Mono vinyl, analogue remasters, I opted to buy the CD set. The original limited edition run has been indefinitely extended and it's still relatively easy to find on Amazon (beware of counterfeit copies from third party sellers and Ebay). Although the noble compact disc is maligned as a dying format in the wake of online streaming and vinyl's resurgence, it cannot be disputed the package is a beautiful thing to behold. There are no jewel cases and folded lyric sheets here: 10 albums and the singles/b-sides collection each in a miniature reproduction of the original vinyl sleeve complete with protective covers in an attractive gloss card box. I was a CD hold out until relatively recently but even I now consume most of my music via streaming services and second hand vinyl; this may prove to be my big last hurrah CD purchase and if it is, it's certainly going out with a bang.
There is nothing I can say about the music that hasn't been said a thousand times already, other than to say if I listened to each song a thousand times, it couldn't be enough. But I'm hearing new things here. Songs I've consumed obsessively since I was in single figures sound different. Immediately gone is the notion that I have re-bought albums that I already owned. I've only listened to Please Please Me and With The Beatles once apiece and even compared to the stereo remasters, on first listen I can draw up a list of killer moments that sound like I've never heard them before. George's guitar chops on Boys, every Lennon 'come on' in Please Please Me's title track. McCartney's bass throughout. This is just the Hofner. I'm literally wetting myself excited to get to the Rickenbacker 4001 in the mid-sixties.
The only negative feedback I have seen relates to the fact that it's a cash in by Apple. Of course it is! Haven't we all been Beatles fans long enough to know that Apple knows how high demand still is for their product and that they charge accordingly? That's capitalism Beatle fans; they don't owe you a cheap mono remasters set because you bought the cassettes legally in the 80s. But had each stereo remaster included a mono bonus disc as some suggest it should have, the quality of this package should still tempt a lot of purchasers despite the price. This is the greatest pop music ever made, the way the band wanted it to be heard and sounding better than ever before. Don't resist it if you're at all tempted. These are not the albums you own already, they are better. And I haven't even listed to Revolver or Pepper yet.
Visiting a record shop in HK I purchased (I was a Cassette Boy in those days) A Hard Day's Night and Help! Later, in PNG I bought the red and the blue albums. When I got back home I listened to my Mother's vinyl first pressing of With the Beatles (and which I still play to this day).
And so began one of my greatest love affairs. I had bought up most of the studio albuns by 1983, then aquired all the albums on CD (1987 release) and then the "Black Box" stereo remasters (2009). I had expected a huge improvement to the first 4 albums; surely these remasters would add depth to the sound expetience. I'd only ever heard Please, With, Day's Night and For Sale in mono up until then.
And....what a shock! With the Beatles sounded dreadful: hard panned to the 2 channels. Above all they sounded so THIN.
Then I listened to the Mono Box and the early albums sounded STUNNING. The remastering had worked a treat but the Mono albums, particularly the first four, were a revelation.
As for the packaging: well I think it's first rate. The attention to detail seems first class to me. The repro covers and inner sleeves, the outer plastic protective sleeves, a thorough book on high quality paper and the solid box make listening to these albums a great tactile experience, as well an outstanding listening one. You'll still need Let it Be and Abbey Road, as they were never mixed in mono, and I would also recommend Pepper, the White Album and perhaps Revolver, too, in stereo as well. But if you are a Beatles fan this box should be considered essential.
For more information on Beatles albums and related artists I wound not hesitate to recommend Mean Mr Meyo's UTube channel. He's hugely knowledgeable and his enthusiasm for all things Mop Top is infectious.