The long-awaited mono vinyl box set of The Beatles' albums has been released worldwide.
Newly mastered from the analogue master tapes, the 180-gram vinyl albums come with replica artwork and a lavish, limited 14-LP box containing a 108-page hardbound book.
The box set contains nine original UK albums, the US compilation Magical Mystery Tour, and the triple-disc Mono Masters compilation of non-album tracks.
The albums have been remastered for vinyl straight from quarter-inch master tapes at Abbey Road Studios, London. The 2009 box set The Beatles In Mono was pressed from digital remasters, whereas the new versions were cut without any digital technology.
The albums Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road and Let It Be are not included. Although Yellow Submarine was released in mono in January 1969, it featured a fold-down mix of the stereo version and not a true mono mix. Mono mixes of Abbey Road and Let It Be were never released.
The set was released on 8 September 2014 in the United Kingdom, and 9 September worldwide - five years to the day after the CD collection The Beatles in Mono was issued. The mono vinyl albums are also available individually.
Each record was remastered for vinyl by Grammy-winning engineer Sean Magee and Grammy-winning mastering supervisor Steve Berkowitz, in the same room at Abbey Road Studios where most of the group's albums were recorded, using quarter-inch master tapes without the help of any digital technology.
The pair opted for the mastering procedures used in the Sixties, even consulting notes used by the original engineers who cut the vinyl. Magee and Berkowitz spent weeks listening to the recordings, comparing the masters with first pressings of the vinyl albums from the 1960s.
Here's the press release from Apple:
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. On September 8 (September 9 in North America), The Beatles’ nine U.K. albums, the American-compiled Magical Mystery Tour, and the Mono Masters collection of non-album tracks is released in mono on 180-gram vinyl LPs with faithfully replicated artwork. Newly mastered from the analogue master tapes, each album is available both individually and within a lavish, limited 14-LP boxed edition, The Beatles In Mono, which also includes a 108-page hardbound book.
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. The boxed collection’s exclusive 12-inch by 12-inch hardbound book features new essays and a detailed history of the mastering process by award-winning radio producer and author Kevin Howlett. The book is illustrated with many rare studio photos of The Beatles, fascinating archive documents, and articles and advertisements sourced from 1960s publications.
The Beatles In Mono: Available individually and collected in a limited 14-LP boxed edition, accompanied by an exclusive 108-page hardbound book.
Also on this day...
- 2016: Album release: Live At The Hollywood Bowl
- 2014: The Art Of Paul McCartney tribute album announced
- 2009: The Beatles’ mono and stereo remasters are released
- 1971: US album release: Imagine by John Lennon
- 1968: Recording: Helter Skelter
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1961: Live: Aintree Institute, Liverpool
- 1960: Live: Indra Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.