Thread: The BEATLES have been remastered

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Post by pelley April 7, 2009 (1 of 15)
No word on SACD or BD, but here's the press release:


THE BEATLES' ENTIRE ORIGINAL RECORDED CATALOGUE REMASTERED BY APPLE CORPS LTD. AND EMI MUSIC FOR WORLDWIDE RELEASE ON SEPTEMBER 9, 2009 (9-9-09)

London, England April 7, 2009 Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music are delighted to announce the release of the original Beatles catalogue, which has been digitally re-mastered for the first time, for worldwide CD release on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 (9-9-09), the same date as the release of the widely anticipated "The Beatles: Rock Band" video game. Each of the CDs is packaged with replicated original UK album art, including expanded booklets containing original and newly written liner notes and rare photos. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. On the same date, two new Beatles boxed CD collections will also be released.

The albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at EMI's 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 catalogue has seen since its original release.

The collection comprises all 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in the UK, and 'Magical Mystery Tour,' which became part of The Beatles' core catalogue when the CDs were first released in 1987. In addition, the collections 'Past Masters Vol. I and II' are now combined as one title, for a total of 14 titles over 16 discs. This will mark the first time that the first four Beatles albums will be available in stereo in their entirety on compact disc. These 14 albums, along with a DVD collection of the documentaries, will also be available for purchase together in a stereo boxed set.

Within each CD's new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes. With the exception of the 'Past Masters' set, 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.

A second boxed set has been created with the collector in mind. 'The Beatles in Mono' gathers together, in one place, all of the Beatles recordings that were mixed for a mono release. It will contain 10 of the albums with their original mono mixes, plus two further discs of mono masters (covering similar ground to the stereo tracks on 'Past 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.

Discussions regarding the digital distribution of the catalogue will continue. There is no further information available at this time.

Post by Edvin April 7, 2009 (2 of 15)
Good news? Not if they are remastered by Peter Mew.

Post by pelley April 7, 2009 (3 of 15)
Edvin said:

Good news? Not if they are remastered by Peter Mew.

Hey, at least he fixed the mastering error in Day Tripper on the "1" album.

Post by Edvin April 7, 2009 (4 of 15)
True. But he made a mess of the remasters of The Hollies. There was even a fade in in Dear Eloise from Butterfly. The bass came in eventually.

Post by hiredfox April 7, 2009 (5 of 15)
Probably best not to hold your breath on either it happening in SACD or on good enough quality if it is. I have not been convinced by re-mastering efforts in the past

Post by tommwi April 7, 2009 (6 of 15)
hiredfox said:

Probably best not to hold your breath on either it happening in SACD or on good enough quality if it is. I have not been convinced by re-mastering efforts in the past

I agree. Especially in pop and rock most re-masters take it to the worse. I would subscribe to a view that most often the earliest release on CD is the best (on CD). Most following re-masters are inferior. Or is it just me who has gotten something wrong here?

The first CD release of Beatles was poor and vinyl is still the format for Beatles! My guess is not much will be changed for the better with these upcoming releases. But I confess I hope to be wrong :-)

Post by ~~Phil~~ April 7, 2009 (7 of 15)
hiredfox said:

Probably best not to hold your breath on either it happening in SACD or on good enough quality if it is. I have not been convinced by re-mastering efforts in the past

This re-mastering process has been done at one of the finest recording facilities in the world (Abbey Road) - I'm sure it will sound fantastic...Let's just hope they offer it in something greater then a standard 16-bit/44.1 CD...I think BD would be a possible choice given where things are going, but I wouldn't count on it...

Post by LivyII April 7, 2009 (8 of 15)
If this were any other group or anyone else, I might tend to agree - many remastering efforts fall short of expectations, in rock/pop titles. Plenty of original first-edition CD's are good, but some are also very poor.

But this is the Beatles - the number of sets offered, with both mono and stereo mixes, are clearly designed to play to both a general audience and audiophiles. The latter know that the mono mixes are likely to be superior in some ways a la Frank Sinatra's Only The Lonely mono remaster from MFSL.

If sound quality is poor, if the release is "Death Magnetic'd" in any way, the outrage will be tremendous. Given that many professional reputations will be ruined in that event, I think we are justified in looking forward to this release. I doubt there will be an SACD or BD version; EMI doesn't do MVI (Warner Atlantic). I'm guessing plain-old RBCD, but even that will be enough for me if the package and sound are done correctly. (It always makes me laugh to see people complain about RBCD, while embracing the format when it comes from MFSL.)

Post by RWetmore April 7, 2009 (9 of 15)
tommwi said:

I agree. Especially in pop and rock most re-masters take it to the worse. I would subscribe to a view that most often the earliest release on CD is the best (on CD). Most following re-masters are inferior. Or is it just me who has gotten something wrong here?

No, modern remastering are usually worse because their dynamic ranges are heavily compressed. Hello loudness war. I bet these will sound terrible...loud with no dynamic contrast like the recent Sinatra remasters from Reprise, which are an abomination.

Post by rammiepie April 7, 2009 (10 of 15)
There is a lot riding on these much-delayed remasters since Capitol/EMI are now owned by a large corporation and money seems to matter over all else. The reluctance to release in Hi-Def (if that IS the case) would only be an indication that they will NEVER release what's on the Master Tapes because no one would ever have a need to buy and re-buy them again and again and again. I wonder if they'll utilize the new HQ process (or will that be left to the Japanese?). Tis a shame that Sir George Martin and son Giles weren't involved since their DVD-A of LOVE still remains a benchmark in Hi-Rez surround encoding!

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