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What is the first true stereo album?
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Ron Nasty
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11 February 2013 - 2.52am

I noticed in the "Ranking Past Masters" a discussion emerging about Beatles mono and Beatles stereo. We all know there are differences. I do not understand those who say they only went stereo in 1969 though. If I had to name the first true stereo Beatles, as they intended it to be heard, it would have to be The White Album. Much as I love the mono, it was largely rough mono mixes made as they went along. The twenty-four hour session at the end of the recordings was used on perfecting the stereo mix. When you go through the log, it was the stereo mixes that were worked on and the mono mixes that early rough mixes were used. That would make, much as I love the mono White Album, THEIR first stereo album. What do you think?

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Egroeg Evoli
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11 February 2013 - 3.01am

I agree with you, but right now, the only thing that comes to mind is Revolution 9, with the noise switching from left to right etc. And if I'm way off, I'm sorry, I'm not good with techinical recording stuff.

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Ron Nasty
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11 February 2013 - 3.10am

The difference between the mono (earlier mix) and stereo (later mix) of Helter Skelter would be an obvious difference between the two. Mono about a minute shorter and no blisters on fingers!

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vonbontee
Inside an Apple Orchard in a Letterbox
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11 February 2013 - 5.08pm

I've always been of the opinion that, regardless what they say, SPLHCB was the first sign that they were looking ahead to the possibilities offered by stereophonic sound - specifically, the full-spectrum panning of the "infamous" section of "A Day In The Life" and of the animals in"Good Morning Good Morning".

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Egroeg Evoli
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11 February 2013 - 7.21pm

a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Oh, that's a good point, too.

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Ron Nasty
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11 February 2013 - 8.42pm

vonbontee said
I've always been of the opinion that, regardless what they say, SPLHCB was the first sign that they were looking ahead to the possibilities offered by stereophonic sound - specifically, the full-spectrum panning of the "infamous" section of "A Day In The Life" and of the animals in"Good Morning Good Morning".

I love the stereo Pepper. Prefer it to the mono. The trouble with claiming it as the first album where their attention was on the stereo mix, rather than the mono, is that they were not there for the stereo mix sessions. Paul left the country the day before the first stereo mix session, and didn't return until after the master had been delivered to EMI. I think the stereo Pepper showed them the possibilities, but it was not until the White Album that their energy switched from mono being the album and stereo an afterthought, to stereo being the album and mono the afterthought.

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Gerard
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12 February 2013 - 1.25am

The early stereo mixes in my opinion were badly panned. The White Album sounds bearable in Stereo . Although Abbey Road and Let it Be can be considered as the same calibre as today's stereo mixes nowadays (in terms of mixing and not music)

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DrBeatle
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25 February 2013 - 1.27pm

Gerell said
The early stereo mixes in my opinion were badly panned. The White Album sounds bearable in Stereo . Although Abbey Road and Let it Be can be considered as the same calibre as today's stereo mixes nowadays (in terms of mixing and not music)

This is my opinion as well. Not only do I prefer the mono mixes of all of the albums, but I prefer Sgt. Pepper and the White Album in mono.

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Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
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3 July 2014 - 4.59pm

Ron Nasty said

vonbontee said
I've always been of the opinion that, regardless what they say, SPLHCB was the first sign that they were looking ahead to the possibilities offered by stereophonic sound - specifically, the full-spectrum panning of the "infamous" section of "A Day In The Life" and of the animals in"Good Morning Good Morning".

I love the stereo Pepper. Prefer it to the mono. The trouble with claiming it as the first album where their attention was on the stereo mix, rather than the mono, is that they were not there for the stereo mix sessions. Paul left the country the day before the first stereo mix session, and didn't return until after the master had been delivered to EMI. I think the stereo Pepper showed them the possibilities.

That's interesting, their absence during the stereo "Pepper" mixing. I wonder whose idea it ultimately was to do the animal-panning that way: George Martin or Geoff Emerick taking a bit of creative liberty? Or was it suggested beforehand by John along with the ordering of the animals in the sound-collage?

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unclequentin
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6 February 2015 - 4.58pm

The first true stereo album on Parlophone was 'A Hard Day's Night'. I bought it on vinyl at the time and of course still have it. It was available in mono or stereo.

I also own a vinyl stereo copy of 'The Beatles First' album on Poydor.

The first true stereo song recorded on Parlophone was Money, the last track on 'With The Beatles'. John's voice is placed in the centre of the sound stage with the instruments split into the left and right channels. 

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Bongo
Somewhere In Time
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7 February 2015 - 12.59am

I thought "Yellow Submarine" was the first true Stereo LP ???  No mono mix was ever made, just a fold down stereo!

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Reklo87
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29 April 2016 - 2.34pm

Do a agree that 1968 is home to the first stereo mixes that The Beatles put working into themselves... but I also think that they had some input on what that they were dreaming up in their heads for the SPLHCB stereo mixes too.  I not trying to say your thought is wrong @Ron Nasty by any means, but I think SPLHCB is the first stereo mix with heart put into it.  I just can't believe that The Beatles didn't talk to George Martin about some of the mixing to be done on this album.  George Martin was there and knew what John and Paul had been saying and thinking in the studio and I would say he took some of thoughts with him into the mixing room.  Everyone put a lot of work into this creation!

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Reklo87
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29 April 2016 - 3.49pm

Although... I do not have the studio log in front of me to see the amount of time spent on the SPLHCB stereo mixes to see if they were last minute or not.  I can't remember and might render my previous post invalid.

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Ron Nasty
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29 April 2016 - 4.28pm

Richard Lush, the 2nd Engineer, says this in Mark Lewisohn's The Complete Recording Sessions:

The only real version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the mono version. The Beatles were there for all the mono mixes. Then, after the album was finished, George Martin, Geoff [Emerick] and I did the stereo in a few days, just the three of us, without a Beatle in sight. There are all sorts of things on the mono, little effects here and there, which the stereo doesn't have.

Geoff Emerick points out that they were only allowed to use one speaker to listen to playbacks in the monitor room, and so were listening to it in mono as they were working on it. And then they were in on all the mixes.

This is where The White Album reverses things, in that there are all sorts of things on the stereo that the mono doesn't have. Between the two albums they have switched from great hands-on care and attention on the mono mix to great hands-on care and attention on the stereo mix.

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Reklo87
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29 April 2016 - 4.45pm

Cool Cool. Good to know. I stand corrected.

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Bongo
Somewhere In Time
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29 April 2016 - 5.38pm

It’s funny how the Help! LP has good stereo separation with centered vocals, then almost a 1/2 year later they made Rubber Soul, but the vocals are on 1 channel, not centered!   WTF????  george-martin

I’m hoping what Gilles Martin did on Beatles 1 with some of those Rubber Soul era songs, like “We Can Work It Out” having moved the vocals to the centre will be an indication that a Rubber Soul LP will be re-issued.  heartapple02apple01

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

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Reklo87
112 Posts
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5 May 2016 - 4.18pm

Remixed (different than remastered) album(s) with the vocals moved to the center would be a different kind of collection to own and listen to.  I would buy it, but I would still call them not official in the sense that SPLHCB (see above posts) was not the first stereo album (as per this thread) even though it is a great sounded album.  I get you are not claiming that at all, but is this just more mixes by someone without The Beatles in the room having true input?  The same as the stereo Help! was mixed back then?

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

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sgtpepper63
On a boat on a river with tangering trees and marmalade skies
226 Posts
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7 July 2016 - 2.34pm

There are a few simple answers to this question:

1. Please Please Me (the first album released in true stereo (not duophonic, except for Love Me Do and P.S. I Love You))

2. Yellow Submarine (the first album not released in proper mono (although there were proper mono versions made))

3. Let It Be (the first album recorded with intention of stereo (although I Me Mine, the solo to Let It Be, and a couple of various overdubs were recorded after the release of Abbey Road))

4. Abbey Road (the first album released with intention of stereo (although Revolution 9 and Helter Skelter were intended for stereo, the rest of the album was intended for mono))

I personally think Please Please Me was their first true stereo album, but what you think is up to you.

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