It’s been impossible to avoid the news of the Beatles remasters and much debate has ensued within the office. Primarily, why the mono boxset has less content, no DVD, but costs £30 pounds more than the stereo boxset and which individual albums would we be buying (White Album most popular so far, followed by Abbey Road).
Although you can buy individual albums remastered in stereo, the mono ones are only available as a set which is clearly aimed at completists. This is a shame as for the most authentic listening experience you would arguably want the albums up to Revolver in mono and the following albums in stereo.
Page after page of glowing, swooning purple prose has already been written by writers who’ve experienced epiphany after epiphany whilst reviewing the complete works of the world’s most famous band. Almost unanimously they feel as if they are hearing the music as if for the first time which is unasailable evidence of how good a job has been done given the ubiquitousness of the music and the usual cyncism with which music jouralists often greet music.
One of the most enjoyable reviews is David Cavanagh’s 3 page epic in this month’s Uncut magazine which at the same time has to be discounted due to his review being based on a 14 hour session at Abbey Road listening to the newly revealed masterpieces (through our speakers I can only assume) as this sadly won’t be the listening experience of everyone else.
I am not going to attempt a review here, there is no need as Bob Gendron’s exhaustive review for Tone Audio tells you all you need to know. It’s particularly good on the stereo vs mono debate for the earlier albums (coming clearly down on the side of mono) and as he says:
“If the Beatles remasters signify the last great hurrah of the compact disc, at least the format is going out in style.”
We’d love to know if any of you have already bought one or both of the boxsets and what your thoughts are…