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Help! Original recording remastered

4.5 out of 5 stars 505 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Beatles' acclaimed original studio album remasters, released on CD in 2009, make their long-awaited stereo vinyl debut

Manufactured on 180-gram, audiophile quality vinyl with replicated artwork, the 14 albums return to their original glory with details including the poster in The Beatles (The White Album), the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band's cut-outs, and special inner bags for some of the titles

The titles include The Beatles' 12 original UK albums, first released between 1963 and 1970, the US-originated Magical Mystery Tour, now part of the group's core catalogue, and Past Masters, Volumes One & Two, first released individually in 1988, featuring non-album A-sides and B-sides, EP tracks and rarities. With this release, The Beatles' first four albums make their North American stereo vinyl debuts

Help! features George Martin's 1986 stereo remix

There has always been demand for The Beatles' albums on vinyl. Indeed, 2011's best-selling vinyl LP in the United States was Abbey Road. Following the success of The Beatles' acclaimed, GRAMMY Award-winning 2009 CD remasters, it was decided that the sound experts at EMI's Abbey Road Studios should create new versions of The Beatles' vinyl LPs. The project demanded the same meticulous approach taken for the CD releases, and the brief was a simple one: cut the digital remasters to vinyl with an absolute minimum of compromise to the sound. However, the process involved to do that was far from simple

The first stage in transferring the sound of a master recording to vinyl is the creation of a disc to be used during vinyl manufacture. There were two options to consider. A Direct Metal Master (DMM), developed in the late seventies, allows sound to be cut directly into a stainless steel disc coated with a hard copper alloy. The older, alternative method is to cut the sound into the soft lacquer coating on a nickel disc - the first of several steps leading to the production of a stamper to press the vinyl

A 'blind' listening test was arranged to choose between a 'lacquer' or 'copper' cut. Using both methods, A Hard Day's Night was pressed with ten seconds of silence at the beginning and end of each side. This allowed not only the reproduction of the music to be assessed, but also the noise made by the vinyl itself. After much discussion, two factors swung the decision towards using the lacquer process. First, it was judged to create a warmer sound than a DMM. Secondly, there was a practical advantage of having 'blank' discs of a consistent quality when cutting lacquers

The next step was to use the Neumann VMS80 cutting lathe at Abbey Road. Following thorough mechanical and electrical tests to ensure it was operating in peak condition, engineer Sean Magee cut the LPs in chronological release order. He used the original 24-bit remasters rather than the 16-bit versions that were required for CD production. It was also decided to use the remasters that had not undergone 'limiting' - a procedure to increase the sound level, which is deemed necessary for most current pop CDs

Having made initial test cuts, Magee pinpointed any sound problems that can occur during playback of vinyl records. To rectify them, changes were made to the remasters with a Digital Audio Workstation. For example, each vinyl album was listened to for any 'sibilant episodes' - vocal distortion that can occur on consonant sounds such as S and T. These were corrected by reducing the level in the very small portion of sound causing the undesired effect. Similarly, any likelihood of 'inner-groove distortion' was addressed. As the stylus approaches the centre of the record, it is liable to track the groove less accurately. This can affect the high-middle frequencies, producing a 'mushy' sound particularly noticeable on vocals. Using what Magee has described as 'surgical EQ,' problem frequencies were identified and reduced in level to compensate for this

The last phase of the vinyl mastering process began with the arrival of the first batches of test pressings made from master lacquers that had been sent to the two pressing plant factories. Stringent quality tests identified any noise or click appearing on more than one test pressing in the same place. If this happened, it was clear that the undesired sounds had been introduced either during the cutting or the pressing stage and so the test records were rejected. In the quest to achieve the highest quality possible, the Abbey Road team worked closely with the pressing factories and the manufacturers of the lacquer and cutting styli

An additional and unusual challenge was to ensure the proper playback of the sounds embedded in the 'lock-groove' at the end of side two of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Requiring a combination of good timing and luck, it had always been a lengthy and costly process to make it work properly. In fact, it was so tricky, it had never been attempted for American pressings of the LP. Naturally, Sean Magee and the team perfected this and the garbled message is heard as originally intended on the remastered Sgt. Pepper LP.

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (November 13, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B0041KVV8A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (505 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,746 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 18, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Beatles for Sale and Help! are considered "holding pattern" works and are less revered by critics because they didn't introduce any great innovations or ground-breaking ideas. But I don't think that does these albums justice. Sure, most of the lyrical concerns are still love-oriented, but many of the lyrics are becoming increasing complex. Even a song like Yesterday shows a real maturity in the lyrics.
The songs offered here are the Beatles at the top of their game, in my opinion. Gorgeous melodies, catchy hooks, great harmony singing and sharp musicianship abound. The Beatles were becoming increasing facile in the studio, and it shows. The strength of songs like Help, Ticket to Ride and Yesterday are legend, but there are many other real gems on this album. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away, It's Only Love and Your Going to Lose That Girl are classic mid-period Lennon; McCartney answers with the rocking Another Girl and The Night Before, not to mention the beautiful, folky I've Just Seen a Face, all extremely underrated.
Harrison gets two songs on this album, and asserts himself well with the lovely pop of I Need You and You Like Me Too Much. Maybe not up to the dizzying heights of Lennon & McCartney songsmithing, but getter closer.
This leaves "filler" like Act Naturally, Tell Me What You See and Dizzy Miss Lizzy. Just listen to Lennon's vocal performance on Dizzy Miss Lizzy and try calling it filler...though admittedly, the guitar riff grates on one after a while. Ringo's "aw, shucks" reading of Act Naturally is PERFECT (and SO appropriate) and Lennon & McCartney's magical harmonies lift Tell Me What You See well above the pedestrian.
That's it. Overwhelming evidence, well presented, that this is not just a mediocre holding pattern album, but classic mid-period Beatles. It's now up to you, members of the juke-box jury.
I'll say no more.
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Format: Audio CD
Greetings Beatles Fans ....

This CD is literally the best of both worlds. This has the complete Parlophone UK version of Help, which has tracks not on the US version. And it also has the complete Capitol US version of Help, which has tracks not on the UK version.

The US version of Help includes the short James Bond Theme lead-in to the title track "Help!", plus some instrumental music that is in the movie itself. The UK version doesn't have these, but it does have "Yesterday" and "Act Naturally" which US fans would get only on singles or on the Capitol US-release-only album "Yesterday ... and Today".

It's worth the investment. Thanx-A-Lot and Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD
Things got a little more upbeat following the downbeat For Sale. Also, the Beatles songcrafting improved and would set the pace for things to come. The title track has the same frantic quick-paced sound that made the title track to their first movie a hit. The theme of age reducing the cocksure assertive of one's younger years and the need for that helping hand is universal. And who can forget these lyrics: "Help me if you can--I'm feeling down/cause I do appreciate you being around/Help me get my feet back on the ground/Won't you pleeeeaaaase please help me?" John gets good backing vocal help from Paul and George.
"The Night Before" has a faint Chuck Berry influence. Paul sings here and it's a song of puzzlement, concerning a girl's nice and sincere behaviour and why she has done an about-face in attitude. That's John on electric piano.
John sports a strained and sometimes roughened voice in the acoustic ballad "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away". There's a flute solo by session musician Johnnie Scott in two places.
The distorted pedal guitar is cool in George Harrison's "I Need You". A similar effect was used in the song "Yes It Is", which is on Past Masters Volume 1. The theme of mistreatment explored in "The Night Before" is revisited here as well. He also sings the engaging "You Like Me Too Much", the first time he sings two songs on one album. This was a nominee for the movie, and understandbly so. He gets piano help from Paul, John, and producer George Martin.
The engaging "Another Girl" has Paul on lead vocals and lead guitar and might be a response to either of the two mistreatment songs: "I have got another girl who will love me to the end, through thick and thin/She will always be my friend." Well, that's a relief.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
This review applies to Sept 9, 2104 vinyl mono releases only. I've waited 35 years or more for new issues of pure analog Beatles on vinyl. No digital manipulation, or any manipulation, just music from original analog tapes to LP's. After years and years of disappointing digital releases and digitally modified vinyl, I thought this day would never come. I actually gave up buying music for a 20 year span. Based on listening to these new all analog mono LP's, I have found these Lp's have very little noise, if any, sound fantastic, and the pure analog sound is as good or better sounding than original Capital/EMI/Apple releases, in my opinion. No harsh compressed sound, no 2 dimensional sound, no digitally remastered sound transferred to vinyl, and no more dashed hopes in DVD Audio and SACD. These LP's sound fantastic.

Like many Beatles fans, I grew up listening to them in the 60's. They made a violent and polarizing time in America more bearable. In the 60's, I bought and played their LP's until they were damaged beyond repair. I bought into digital music in the 80's only to find that it paled in comparison to pure analog. I should have bought more pure analog LP's while I had the chance, but, thought the medium was gone, whether I liked it or not. Finally I found vintage equipment (Sansui 6700 Receiver, Marantz Model 6300 Turntable, and JBL S312BE Speakers) and set out to spend mega money on EBAY for sealed analog LP's from the 60's and 70's. Unfortunately, many albums made in the 70's were made of cheap thin vinyl and were often warped or had defects/noise when new and right out of the package, but, I persevered and have a good collection of Beatles and other pure Analog LP's and some 45's.
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