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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
LP (12" album, 33 rpm), Mono, Gatefold
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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Super Deluxe Edition)
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Audio CD, Enhanced, Limited Edition, September 8, 2009
Vinyl, Original recording remastered, November 13, 2012
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The Beatles in mono: This is how most listeners first heard the group in the 1960s, when mono was the predominant audio format. Up until 1968, each Beatles album was given a unique mono and stereo mix, but the group always regarded the mono as primary. SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND is released in mono on 180-gram vinyl with faithfully replicated artwork, newly mastered from the analogue master tapes.
In an audiophile-minded undertaking, The Beatles' acclaimed mono albums have been newly mastered for vinyl from quarter-inch master tapes at Abbey Road Studios by GRAMMY®-winning engineer Sean Magee and GRAMMY®-winning mastering supervisor Steve Berkowitz. While THE BEATLES IN MONO CD boxed set released in 2009 was created from digital remasters, for this new vinyl project, Magee and Berkowitz cut the records without using any digital technology. Instead, they employed the same procedures used in the 1960s, guided by the original albums and by detailed transfer notes made by the original cutting engineers.
Working in the same room at Abbey Road where most of The Beatles' albums were initially cut, the pair first dedicated weeks to concentrated listening, fastidiously comparing the master tapes with first pressings of the mono records made in the 1960s. Using a rigorously tested Studer A80 machine to play back the precious tapes, the new vinyl was cut on a 1980s-era VMS80 lathe.
Manufactured for the world at Optimal Media in Germany, The Beatles' albums are presented in their original glory, both sonically and in their packaging.
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All around, the sound is perfectly centered and absolutely dead quiet. This is most evident in the rhythm sounding tighter and all around much fuller. The drumming sounds punchier and truly pounces out of the speakers. Even the crowd from the beginning of the record sounds more detailed. Every new small detail that I notice adds up to produce the best reissue I have ever heard of any record.
The jacket has been flawlessly reproduced. It is made thicker to withstand the weight of a 180 gram record (something that MANY reissues seem to lack.) The most surprising point is not just that it includes a replica of the original paper cut-outs and original psychedelic inner sleeve, but that the gatefold is made with the same fold-over tabs.
All around, this reissue was painstakingly reproduced down to the smallest detail. Every ounce of effort and special care put into it truly lifts it to the highest quality I have ever seen on a vinyl reissue. If you want to go above and beyond the sound quality of an original pressing, I highly recommended buying this reissue.
BTW, if you want to rip these to your MP3 player, just use the Windows Media player that came with Windows. Be sure to check the rip format and rip settings to get the format (mp3) and quality (I suggest the highest setting for this CD) to get what you want.
Sit back and enjoy some music that really was revolutionary when it was new.