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 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 5:23 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

I don't know if this has already been posted, but looking around Amazon I see that the American versions of the LP's have been released on CD, & the CD's contain both the mono versions & the re-mastered stereo versions. So A Hard Days Night & Help now have the instrumental tracks in both mono & stereo. I might have to double dip on A Hard Days Night as it was always my favourite Beatles album.

Also, for Christmas, I got Mark Lewisohn's HUGE biography of The Beatles (Tune In). It's massive, & it only takes you up to the release of their first single in 1962. It's the first of three volumes.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 5:43 AM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

Yes. And if you're into collecting such things (like me), the "Yesterday And Today" album comes with both the infamous banned "butcher" cover and the trunk cover.

If you want to get all of the early American albums in one pop, they are also available in a 13-disc box set, which comes with "The Beatles Story" exclusively (in stereo only)...


ADDED: Regarding the 'A Hard Day's Night' soundtrack - Was the instrumental of "And I Love Her" actually used in the film? I think the others were, but I'm not sure about that one.

 
 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 8:14 AM   
 By:   jackfu   (Member)

CS, thanks for the update! I noticed many of the reviews on Amazon are critical about how the sound is not what listeners got with the original Capitol releases with their compression, fake stereo, reverb, etc. For some it’s obviously a contentious issue. I guess with any song, film score, etc., the first version you hear is the “right” one, especially if you were very young when you first heard it. Definitely true in my case. I assume this is the case with some of the reviewers.
I was eight when The Beatles hit in the USA and bought all of their Capitol releases. In my early teens when I learned of the superiority of the UK releases, I felt betrayed by and furious at Capitol, so I’m a little reluctant to fork over $170 for this set; guess I still carry a grudge.
On the other hand, the idea of having “The Beatles’ Story” and the soundtracks of “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!” with those awesome instrumentals (I think I was the only one of any of my friends who liked those) certainly is enticing. I’d love to hear from folks on this forum who have the new box set. Anyone?

 
 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 10:27 AM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

CS, thanks for the update! I noticed many of the reviews on Amazon are critical about how the sound is not what listeners got with the original Capitol releases with their compression, fake stereo, reverb, etc. For some it’s obviously a contentious issue. I guess with any song, film score, etc., the first version you hear is the “right” one, especially if you were very young when you first heard it. Definitely true in my case. I assume this is the case with some of the reviewers.
I was eight when The Beatles hit in the USA and bought all of their Capitol releases. In my early teens when I learned of the superiority of the UK releases, I felt betrayed by and furious at Capitol, so I’m a little reluctant to fork over $170 for this set; guess I still carry a grudge.
On the other hand, the idea of having “The Beatles’ Story” and the soundtracks of “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!” with those awesome instrumentals (I think I was the only one of any of my friends who liked those) certainly is enticing. I’d love to hear from folks on this forum who have the new box set. Anyone?


I have the new Beatles American releases set and have no problem with the sound quality of any I've listened to so far. (IMO, no matter what was released, some anal consumer/reviewer would have found fault with it!) "The Beatles' Story" (unavailable separately) and the UA version of the HARD DAY'S NIGHT soundtrack were the items that finally persuaded me to take the plunge, and somewhat to my surprise, "buyer's remorse" has not set in, as it so often does after an expensive purchase. As a die-hard Beatles fan, there was just simply no way I wasn't buying this set, despite the fact that I sunk more than $200 into the British remasters. I grew up on the albums as they were released in the USA, listening to the more-reverby mixes and track lists as we got them, and as much as I love the clean sound on the British albums, they frankly sound a little sterile in comparison to the American albums. They may not be for everyone, maybe a sort of "you had to be there" experience, but I'm thrilled to have them.

 
 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 10:46 AM   
 By:   jackfu   (Member)

Thanks, Dana! You helped clear that up for me. I gather that from most of the criticisms I read, it was basically the UK sound of which you spoke; i.e., the songs were in the Capitol LP release sequential order but were the UK sound whereas they desired the Capitol sound. I hadn’t thought of your perspective; that is, being a sterile sound.
Like you I was a devoted Beatles fan, having collected all their LPs, bubblegum cards, wigs, bobbleheads, even the “Flip Your Wig” board game, all of which somehow vanished during the course of a couple of moves when in my teens. Thanks again for your input!

 
 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 11:16 AM   
 By:   JeffM   (Member)

I am fairly unknowledgeable about the specifics of The Beatles releases.

Were the US versions different mixes than the UK versions?

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 12:55 PM   
 By:   El Goodo   (Member)

I am fairly unknowledgeable about the specifics of The Beatles releases.

Were the US versions different mixes than the UK versions?


Sometimes, but the real difference is one Dave Dexter at Capitol Records added extra compression, cavernous echo, different EQ, etc. to the Beatles' masters. That and the American LPs only had 11 songs to the UK's 14, so they'd take things off, resequence them, add the singles, etc., then create new albums from all the leftovers. A lot of American fans have emotional attachments to these albums they grew up listening to, despite their dubious nature. A good argument can be made, however, for the US Rubber Soul being a better album than the UK one. But that's another story.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 1:01 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

When the US Albums box was announced, I was thrilled. Instead of snatching it up sight unseen upon it's release (like I usually do with all things Beatley) I decided to wait a bit and see what consumer response was going to be. It has not been too encouraging.

It has been discovered that EMI/Universal used the 2009 remasters for the majority of the albums, rather than the genuine American Capitol tapes. The American tapes were unique in sound quality, ie. reverb, equalization, different takes used and so on. When I learned that in many cases the 2009 UK's would be used to simulate and reconstruct the US versions, it was enough for me to decide to pass on the whole thing.

So for any of you fellow fans who haven't yet plunged in, read all you can about it and make sure you are not setting yourself up for disappointment. The IMWAN board is a good starting place for information, as is (though I am loathe to say it) the Hoffman board.

frown

 
 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 1:16 PM   
 By:   Stefan Huber   (Member)

Same here - will pass on the box set and get "A Hard Day's Night" instead.

The Beatles on Capitol and me - a love story: when Vol. 1 with the first four albums was released it had copy protection - it took me hours and hours to figure out how to rip it to my hard drive. Vol. 2 was no better - I got the version with the foldies instead of the true mono mixes - and when I contacted EMI about the problem they refused to replace the disks - saying that they were unaware of any problem with the disks. I thought all this would be over with the new set - finally having all in one place. Yet, another disappointment. I'll "waste" my money on the stereo remasters I do not yet own. As a casual listener I have enough with four copies of each song - no way I'm spending money for the fifth time if it isn't the "real" deal...

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 2:01 PM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

It's interesting to read what the Americans think. I'm English so bought the UK LP's (the "real" thing), & didn't know anything about the different (& different sounding) US versions. The 2009 re-masters do sound amazing, but I suppose if you grew up listing to a different sound, then that's what you got used to & what you want. The ironic thing is, the album most Beatles fans really want is the mono Sgt. Pepper, & that's the one where it's stereo only unless you buy the really expensive mono box.

 
 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 2:13 PM   
 By:   Stefan Huber   (Member)

I am not sure if people think the Capitol disks sound better - just different (worse, in fact wink ). It just makes no sense to issue the whole thing over again just for different track order and artwork. People are expecting the "real deal"...

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 2:34 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

I am not sure if people think the Capitol disks sound better - just different (worse, in fact wink ). It just makes no sense to issue the whole thing over again just for different track order and artwork. People are expecting the "real deal"...


Damn straight.
What EMI did with the new box, I could probably have done at home on my PC with Audacity.
(By all accounts the packaging is lovely, though.)

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 4:09 PM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

I also grew up with the American versions, and yet I have no problem with this new box set and Capitol/Apple cleaning up the audio on these releases to make them actually sound listenable. Those early U.S. Capitol albums, I'm sorry to say, sounded like crap. (Like they were recorded underwater.) All that murky echo and "duophonic" tinkering left much to be desired. Once I learned about the difference between the two countries' pressings of the albums on vinyl, I quickly sought out the British versions, and was a much happier Beatle listener for it, and also had a much better understanding of how the Beatles' songwriting and recording techniques, etc. really evolved...



 
 
 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 4:25 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

I also grew up with the American versions, and yet I have no problem with this new box set and Capitol/Apple cleaning up the audio on these releases to make them actually sound listenable. Those early U.S. Capitol albums, I'm sorry to say, sounded like crap. (Like they were recorded underwater.) All that murky echo and "duophonic" tinkering left much to be desired. Once I learned about the difference between the two countries' pressings of the albums on vinyl, I quickly sought out the British versions, and was a much happier Beatle listener for it, and also had a much better understanding of how the Beatles' songwriting and recording techniques, etc. really evolved...


You mean that they sound like crap to you. big grin
But to many ears, including mine, the US versions were perfectly listenable and enjoyable. They sounded no better or worse than any other pop albums from that era. And in the mid-1960's, the concept of a Beatles audiophile was almost unheard of.

EDITED TO ADD: But to address the first part of your post; Apple's mandate should not have been merely to make the US albums "listenable" by using the remastered UK tracks. Those same tracks were already in the 2009 boxes. Their mandate SHOULD have been to take the US tapes and make them listenable and not just repackage the 2009's in an unethical effort to get us to buy what we've already bought. Why they did this, I don't think anyone can truly say with authority. I think as the months go on more facts will be found out. Apologists can justify any way they want, but it's still a form of fraud.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 27, 2014 - 6:13 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

I don't know if this has already been posted, but looking around Amazon I see that the American versions of the LP's have been released on CD, & the CD's contain both the mono versions & the re-mastered stereo versions. So A Hard Days Night & Help now have the instrumental tracks in both mono & stereo. I might have to double dip on A Hard Days Night as it was always my favourite Beatles album.

Also, for Christmas, I got Mark Lewisohn's HUGE biography of The Beatles (Tune In). It's massive, & it only takes you up to the release of their first single in 1962. It's the first of three volumes.


The exception being "The Beatles Live At The Hollywood Bowl". The Beatles' album albums were already released as part of the 4 C.D. set (save for the "A Hard Day's Night" and "The Beatles Again" albums) in 2006.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 28, 2014 - 12:42 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Mark Lewisohn is amazing. It makes one wish that any Beatles reissue program was under his complete supervision, rather than being merely a consultant. Just put him in a room with all the tapes and a good mastering engineer and stand back.

When I bought "The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions" I was dumbstruck at how much info it contained. It's still my basic go-to book for anything I want to know. I'm glad I had the foresight to shell out for the hardcover--but I'm a hardcover fetishist anyway.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 28, 2014 - 3:51 AM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

Mark Lewisohn is amazing. It makes one wish that any Beatles reissue program was under his complete supervision, rather than being merely a consultant. Just put him in a room with all the tapes and a good mastering engineer and stand back.

When I bought "The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions" I was dumbstruck at how much info it contained. It's still my basic go-to book for anything I want to know. I'm glad I had the foresight to shell out for the hardcover--but I'm a hardcover fetishist anyway.



Yes. I met him at a Beatlefest in the late eighties, when that book first came out and he signed my copy of the hardcover. Seemed like a really nice guy too...



 
 
 Posted:   Jan 28, 2014 - 4:03 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Yes. I met him at a Beatlefest in the late eighties, when that book first came out and he signed my copy of the hardcover. Seemed like a really nice guy too...


Oh, you lucky bugger.
smile

 
 Posted:   Jan 28, 2014 - 5:50 AM   
 By:   jackfu   (Member)

Sometimes, but the real difference is one Dave Dexter at Capitol Records added extra compression, cavernous echo, different EQ, etc. to the Beatles' masters. That and the American LPs only had 11 songs to the UK's 14, so they'd take things off, resequence them, add the singles, etc., then create new albums from all the leftovers. A lot of American fans have emotional attachments to these albums they grew up listening to, despite their dubious nature. A good argument can be made, however, for the US Rubber Soul being a better album than the UK one. But that's another story.

Thanks, I think you put that very well! Do I recall correctly that The Beatles themselves, particularly John, disliked the way Capitol released their LP’s? I seem to recall that he felt that Capitol’s shuffling of the play order and number of tracks per LP often caused one author or another to get shorted on the total number of their compositions on an LP (especially as their writing became more independent and divergent). I haven’t listened to the Capitol and UK versions side by side in a long time, so I don’t have a frame of reference as to which I prefer sonically. I would tend to go with the recordings as the band preferred them, both from the play order and the sound reproduction.
I know I said this before but I think a key element in this is how you listened to The Beatles music when you first discovered them. If, like me you started with the Capitol releases as a child, you likely listened to them, memorized them, etc., in that sequential order for several years and that can be hard to get past. Even now when I listen to the UK versions, somewhere in the deep recesses my brain still wants to anticipate the Capitol sequential order, even though I’ve trained myself to listen to the UK versions. Am I alone in this?

 
 Posted:   Jan 28, 2014 - 6:04 AM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

For more information about the mixes, go here:

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/the-beatles-u-s-albums-box-set-your-impressions.341207/#post-9962553

 
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