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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
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The classic original Beatles studio albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London over a four year period utilising state of the art recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The result of this painstaking process is the highest fidelity the Beatles catalogue has seen since its original release.
Within each CD's new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. The newly produced mini-documentaries on the making of each album, directed by Bob Smeaton, are included as QuickTime files on each album. The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-heard studio chat from The Beatles, offering a unique and very personal insight into the studio atmosphere.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Language: : English
- Product Dimensions : 5.55 x 4.92 x 0.31 inches; 3.53 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Capitol
- Item model number : 5317019
- Original Release Date : 2009
- SPARS Code : DDD
- Date First Available : April 8, 2009
- Label : Capitol
- ASIN : B0025KVLTM
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,861 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This 2017 deluxe version sounds so incredibly good I'm finding it hard to listen to my older Beatles recordings. Revolver now sounds horribly flat in comparison. A remix for all Beatles recordings from Help/Rubber Soul to Let it Be/Abby Road should seriously be considered.
When the album was released in 1967, most people still had mono systems, not stereo, so the most care was taken in mixing the mono version of the album. The band themselves were involved in the mixing process, and altogether it took three weeks to get the mix as they wanted it. George Martin then spent three days (without the band) throwing together a stereo mix for those lucky enough to have a stereo sound system. But things changed very quickly, and stereo became more prominent (and dominant) just a year later. The mono version of the album eventually disappeared and it's the stereo version that most people who've listened to this album have heard.
As Giles Martin (son of late Beatles producer Sir George Martin) says in the liner notes: “Why even attempt it? The original Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was primarily mixed as a mono album. All care and attention to detail were applied to the mono LP, with The Beatles present for all the mixes…Almost as an afterthought, the stereo album was mixed very quickly without The Beatles at the sessions. Yet it is the stereo album that most people listen to today.”
The thing is, the original stereo mix sucked. Seriously. Anyone who's compared the stereo mix to the original UK mono mix will tell you the stereo mix is flat and lifeless. There have been other attempts to re-mix the album (in 2009 and again in 2012), and they were improvements to be sure, but nothing like what we got this week with the 50th anniversary edition. Quite literally, you've never heard this album like this before.
The new mix was done by Giles Martin and Sam Okell. What makes this mix special is they used the original analog tapes for every instrument, voice, and sound. When the album was recorded, they used a 4-track tape recorder. When the four tracks were filled up, they would mix them down to a single track on a new tape, and use the additional three tracks for additional sounds. They would repeat this process several times for each song, with each mix-down losing a little bit of audio fidelity along the way. For this new mix, Giles and Sam used the original tapes, the ones as they were recorded, before being mixed down, so that there was no loss in fidelity.
Giles and Sam used the original mono mix as a template when re-mixing the new stereo version, so that they'd stay true to what the band (and George Martin) originally intended, paying homage to its balance and imaging. The end result is stunning.
The first thing I noticed when listening to the new mix is there's finally a sound stage. The various instruments and voices are separate and distinct instead of muddled together. It's also a lot ballsier. The original stereo mix was flat and lifeless. This mix jumps out of the speakers. The drums have never sounded better (and, in fact, you can hardly hear them in the original mix), the bass is strong and clear, the guitar is bright, the vocals clear. I have the original stereo mix as well, and have done some A/B testing between the two. The difference is night and day. It's like watching the standard definition (SD) feed of a television channel on your fancy HDTV, then switching to the high definition (HD) feed. Boom. That's how it's supposed to be! Giles and Sam did such a good job with the mix that the new sound stage and fidelity doesn't sound jarring or out of place. It sounds like it meant to sound all along, but with a clarity that was technologically impossible at the time due to the limitations of the recording equipment.
Top reviews from other countries
Well that was back then - AND now we finally have a new stereo mix, where you definitely can tell that all possible effort was put into as well - and by no other that George Martin's son Giles Martin. The result: couldn't be better if you ask me - just absolutely great!
I only have one little "complaint" and that is the final mastering (not done by Martin) - well, is sounds great and all that, but a little less compression would had been nice for my taste... High volume shouldn't be the goal, it is very easy instead, just to turn up the volume knob on your stereo equipment. Less compression mean more dynamics. Luckily it seems as this trend of high volume mastering is on its way out again.
But I can still highly recommend this new mix - absolutely great.
The music - well what can be said other than great timeless music - absolutely one of a kind - I love the variety of the songs, but even so it still feels like a continuos "story" - just amazing!
But to be honest every single offering I’ve heard so far has suffered from poor sound quality. Yes, I know it was recorded in 1967, yes I know technology has moved on and yes I maybe expecting a bit too much.
This even applied, albeit to a lesser extent to the 2009 remaster, which was certainly a step up from the 1987 version.
Roll on 2017.
Unbeknown to me there were preparations to release a 50th Anniversary edition which included remastering, new tracks, demos and and unreleased/rare info and photos. The majority of times such things are of little or no interest to me at all. But there was a rumour that something fundamentally different had happened to the sound, And after a little bit of nosiness, yes it looked as if things had changed. Which was good enough for me. And off went my order.
Well I was absolutely blown away with this.
This version is unlike others not just a remaster but also a remix. Apparently the team responsible worked off the original mono source tapes as their reference point, using the latest remixing technology and acquiring some previously thought lost source material (sadly not all the source material has survived!) for it has been brought to bear. And it has made Sgt Pepper sound like it was recorded yesterday !
Absolutely AMAZING sound quality. Crystal clear guitars, nice bass thump, nice subtle details released on the drums which sound natural..not just a big splodge coming out of each speaker.
I know many people will have owned Sgt Pepper in the past, perhaps from the vinyl days and may need convincing as to why they should stump up for yet another version.
The album is still pure genius of course. But for me the sound quality has at last started to approach the quality of the music.
And that’s reason enough for me.
The two CD's come in a colourful and picturesque box, with a 60 page booklet full of the group's personal or collective pictures, production scenes, words of songs, personal minutia, etc. Very generous. And, of course, there is the music, which one critic considered was "world-changing" and that "the sum is greater than the whole". And what did the whole contain? The cover song itself, as well as "With a little help from my friends", "Lucy in the sky with diamonds", "She's leaving home", "When I'm sixty-four", "A day in the life" - and more!
This was music that was topical, full of impression and expression, singable and warm, and it became familiar - expressions of dissatisfaction with suburban living in the 1960's, the failings of parenthood, misgivings about the Establishment, and nostalgia for a previous age. It had little of the militancy and violence that sprung up across the Atlantic during the same era, but it was no less effective, and never anything other than the fullest expression of the British music of that generation.
The discs on this 2CD Anniversary Edition are crystal clear, yet not too bright, enabling every word and musical nuance to be heard and appreciated. Certainly a production for the annals as well as the enthusiast's shelf. Go on and buy it, enjoy it... and remember!
I went through the whole Beatles Rock Band thing on PS3 when Giles Martin worked with getting the Beatles tracks engineered for use on the game. I loved what he did with the tracks, as they sounded fantastic through 96kHz audio. But for whatever reason, I didn't hear much about the successive remaster from him until the White album remaster a couple of years ago, when my daughter bought it for me for Christmas. I was blown away with how perfect it sounded. White album was always a messy affair, but he'd polished it up to perfection.
This year I got the Abbey Road remaster for Christmas too, and again, I was blown away with how good it sounds.
So I got to searching what else was out there, and learned that Giles had also done the "1" album (which I then bought) and Sgt Pepper (amongst the obvious "Love" album and Hollywood Bowl stuff which I had already known about).
Sgt Pepper for whatever reason has never been my favourite album. I didn't hate it at all, it just never fully resonated with me.
In much the same way that Giles' remaster of the White album made it sound cohesive and tracks well matched with each other, he's REALLY improved this album. With the wide range in musical styles on offer, that's no mean feat. Every track sounds far more detailed and open right from the opener of Sgt Pepper. Listening through either my Primare stereo or on Grado headphones it sounds warm, detailed and has so much more space to breathe.
Giles is also a master of understanding the subject and he's managed to correct small errors in the originals - from tweaking the mix of various instruments to removing the odd bit of leakage - whilst remaining absolutely true to the Beatles' spirit.
So, Sgt Pepper has now become one of my favourite albums and I can't thank him enough for that.
the additional tracks are also well chosen for the most part, and treated with similar care. This is unsual because demos and early mixed are usually just bunged out as they are without much care or treatment. Not so with Giles Martin.
So for me, this is a perfect collection. Unless some much better media comes out in the future, I can't see me getting another release of this, as this is as close to perfection as one can get. Along with the additional tracks, well, they're just the cherry on top.
If you've bought rematsered albums in the past and been disappointed that you can't really tell much different, you could do worse than go for this.