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Sound quality of the 2009 remasters
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23 December 2009
1.11pm
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Joe
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It's worth remembering that the much-mentioned claim that Sgt Pepper was recorded on four-track isn't entirely true. As I mentioned before, all but one of the songs used reduction mixes, meaning that dozens of layers of sound were used on some of the songs. Strawberry Fields Forever, too, wouldn't have been possible without freeing up many extra tracks and adding new instruments.

Also, by the end of recording A Day In The Life there were two four-track machines running simltaneously - one with The Beatles' music, the other with the orchestra, recorded four times on each of the available tracks. Although the Abbey Road staff had trouble syncing the two machines, essentially they were working with eight tracks.

When The Beatles tried to 'get back' to their roots in 1969, it was really a continuation of a process begun with Lady Madonna and Hey Bulldog in early 1968, and continued on the White Album, where they rejected fancy trickery and went for fairly straightforward recording. There are exceptions such as Revolution 9, but essentially they continued working in this way right up until Abbey Road (which was more complex but nowhere near as much as Pepper or Magical Mystery Tour). It's almost as if they burnt themselves out creating very ornate and intricate recordings in 1967, and couldn't face doing it all over again.

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23 December 2009
2.14pm
Amphion
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But as innovators, we can forgive them their excess. They used a limited format (By todays standards) and experimented with it, so as to see what was possible. There are many songs from various groups during that period (Psychadelia) which I like. Love's 'Forever Changes,' being a particular favorite. However, all things considered, it was The Beatles who created this particular blue print before they threw it to the four winds.

7 February 2010
9.08pm
Elsewhere Man
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Amphion said:

 In 1999, revelation. Yellow Submarine was released, and the sound quality was dripping with citric fruitfullness. 'Hey Bulldog' for example, just danced its way around the room rearranging the ornaments.  so far, I have bought Please Please Me, With The Beatles and A Hard Days Night.  I wanted to only buy each album one at a time, so as to spend some quality time with each one. Today I plan to get Beatles For Sale.  So far, I am quite happy with the quality of each album. But, I still plan to buy the mono box set also. I just want to hear these tracks like they used to sound. Technology hasn't always been a good thing!


Yeah, I wish every album got the re-mix treatment that the Yellow Submarine Songtrack received instead of just being remastered. The remixed version of Eleanor Rigby, for instance, is far superior to the original remastered version on Revolver.

I understand some people are purists and prefer the original mixes. I, however, am not. Just because the music was recorded in the sixties doesn't mean we have to be slaves to the limitations of sixties technology...

9 February 2010
11.53am
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mjb
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I'm a big fan of remixing purely for the fact we get to hear things we might not have heard before. Some of the songs on the Yellow Submarine songbook CD are stunning and far outstrip the originals - Nowhere Man and Think For Yourself to name but two.

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"

9 February 2010
1.25pm
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PeterWeatherby
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I first listened to the stereo remasters in early November, and I was just blown away.  I think I listened to probably 85% of the catalog in one sitting.  The thing that sticks out the most for me is the sheer number of times I exclaimed "I'd never heard that before!", referring to a piano line, or a drum hit, or a particular guitar chord, etc.

Some examples that have stuck with me:

* The unexpected change in the drum pattern on "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" during the line "I still love her"; there's a heavy bass drum riff going on there, and I'd never heard it prior to the remasters

* George's low-register guitar line in "Please Please Me" that parallels John's raspy vocal, "Come on ... come on" - had no idea that was there

* The bass-y piano chords in "No Reply" on the lines "I saw the light" and "I nearly died", as well as the staccato piano chords that punctuate the bridge ("If I were you, I'd realize ...") - this was actually the first time I realized that there was a piano even in this song

Other things were more general.  George's guitar solo on "Nowhere Man" was so incredibly crisp, I could practically hear his pick clipping against the nickel-plated strings.  During "I'm Looking Through You" I could actually hear the acoustic guitar (in voicings I hadn't heard before) running throughout the song.  The background vocals sounded so much fuller and rich, finally sounding like a part of the songs and not just a distant echo (this was especially the case for "Nowhere Man").

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8 March 2010
5.12pm
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skye
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I bought a stereo version of the White Album and now I'm doomed. I need to buy them all.

 

Quick question: was there always a crackling noise in Revolution 9? Or are my headphones unable to handle the awesome? I'm not talking about the fire sounds around 5:45(ish), but earlier. It doesn't happen throughout the song, so I think that's the way it's supposed to be.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!

8 March 2010
7.09pm
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Joe
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Can you give us times? I've got the 80s CD but not an original vinyl. Happy to check.

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8 March 2010
9.23pm
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skye
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It starts at 1:37 and stops at 1:57.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!

14 June 2010
2.36am
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HammerDealer
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I have all the 2009 remastered version, I finished my collection when I bought The White Album, and A Hard Day's Night two days ago. I love the sound of them, they're damn near perfect, if not. I am very proud of my collection.

 

P.S. Well said. 😉

When I Twish And Shout, it makes the Girl say "What Goes On?", and than I say, "I do this Here, There and Everywhere", and than she finishes by saying "Honey Don't".

14 June 2010
2.52am
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MrBig
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I bought the Stereo Box Set when it came out. First, and sadly, last one in line. While My Guitar Gently Weeps is the most changed out of all of them.

"The best band? The Beatles. The most overrated band? The Beatles."

30 March 2014
5.47pm
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Bongo
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And now we have the 2012 stereo LP reissues, and looking forward to the 2014 mono LP reissues!!!

stay-on-topic

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12 May 2014
1.48am
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IveJustSeenAFaceo
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So I got the stereo box, and it is fantastic. Just incredible, I never thought it could sound this good. Great job by all the guys who did this.

I couldn't find the mono box anywhere though.

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12 May 2014
1.54am
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Mr. Kite
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12 May 2014
2.02am
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IveJustSeenAFaceo
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Mr. Kite said
@IveJustSeenAFaceo http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/.....ot_redir=1

Woah money. Guess I should hold off. 

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18 February 2018
3.37pm
Ludwig
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Hi all. I have all of the albums when they out in the 1980s for the first time on cd. I also have the Mono box set. I haven't bought any of the 2009 stereo remasters and am wondering whether I should or not. I have read mixed reviews for the stereo remasters (largely via Amazon) where some peeps they're great, others say they're too loud and have lost their dynamics. Some have said if you've got the original CDs don't bother upgrading as theirs not much in it.

So my question to the forum, what do you think of the remastered stereo CDs and are they worth getting? Or should I stay away?

18 February 2018
4.11pm
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meanmistermustard
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@ludvig, I have moved your post to this thread which discusses the sound of the remasters.

Other threads similar in nature include

2009 Remasters - Vinyl v CD

How Different Are the 2009 Remasters from the Originals?

 

Enjoy the forum.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

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18 February 2018
4.54pm
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sir walter raleigh
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I've personally never been a fan of 2009 remasters as I always notice minor changes in the mix, which sometimes completely changes the way I hear the song

I'm pretty sure Spotify uses the 2009 masters and I'm always frustrated with the mix.

"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"

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20 February 2018
7.16am
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Zig
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PeterWeatherby said
I first listened to the stereo remasters in early November, and I was just blown away.  I think I listened to probably 85% of the catalog in one sitting.  The thing that sticks out the most for me is the sheer number of times I exclaimed "I'd never heard that before!", referring to a piano line, or a drum hit, or a particular guitar chord, etc.

Yeah...that.

To my ears, the songs have never sounded better. Especially the earliest ones. The Please Please Me album sounds as if they are playing in my living room. I loved (and still do love) the '09 remasters so much, I gave my '87's away to my brother and my nephew without a second thought. 

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, let it roll for all its worth. And all the children boogie.

20 February 2018
10.47am
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I also got rid of the 87s.

"Stop throwing jelly beans at me." --George Harrison

20 February 2018
10.57am
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Reklo87
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I have most of the 87 CDs.

I have the stereo and mono CD box set from 2009.

I keep the 87 CDs for comparing and for studying purposes and I listen to the mono box set the most.  I listen to both the stereo and mono CDs often and I like them through and through.  My ears have no complaints about the 2009 remasters and I have a system in my living room of $150ish bookshelf speakers.  With all that said I would buy either the mono or stereo CD set if you find a deal on it or just don't even have it yet.  Man, time is moving... they are almost 10 years old already!!!

"No Beatles collection is too big or age restricted!"

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