Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Beatles, Remastered...
Is it really necessary, if you already have everything?

Come This September, more specifically, the day of, 9/09/09 (oooh, shades of 'number nine, number nine, number nine...'), a whole new slew of Beatles albums is supposed to hit the market, and Paul McCartney will be adding to his Millions by doing nothing whatsoever, and Ringo will get a fresh cash injection so he won't end up losing his mansion or jetsetting lifestyle. "The Beatles Remastered". Lately, I've read various writings about this, in which an audio expert decries the Beatles' recording output as currently behind the times, because it hasn't been remastered. In short, the currently available CDs of the original Beatles' studio albums are out-of-date. Neanderthal, even.

Look, I collect Beatles' records. But beginning with the two CD sets of 'The Capitol Albums' which came out 2 or 3 years ago, I Stopped Buying Beatles' reissues, no matter how essential I'm supposed to be led to believe they are. The Capitol Beatles' albums featured different song lineups than their original U.K. albums, and it was thought that American Consumers Want CD's of the Beatles' Albums They Grew Up With, with the song orders that they were used to hearing when they played their old vinyl LP's. That was the first Beatles' re-issue that I didn't give a second thought to. Nope, don't need 'em, sorry. After all, not only do I have 2 or 3 copies of each U.S. Beatles album, I have all of their English LP's. Oh, yeah, and I have CD's of all their English Albums; you know, those non-remastered CD's that all of a sudden have become so technologically obsolete because they don't have that re-mastered sound, whatever that is...

I've bought newer Beatles' CD's, and hard-to get vinyl of the "Yellow Submarine Songtrack", and "Let It Be (Naked)", the updated version of the 'Let It Be' album which has all of those sugary violins and other post-production flourishes taken off the album, so as to present it in the raw, as was originally conceived All Those Years Ago. I also bought "1", the multi-million-selling Beatles Album that came out in 2001. These albums either featured Different Song Lineups or Drastically re-produced material. After that, though, Apple (The Beatles' Organization) has tried to get me to buy The Same Albums I Already Have. It didn't work with 'The Capitol Albums', and it's sure not gonna work with 'The Beatles Remastered'. I've already got the old, soon-to-be-outdated Beatles' CDs of their U.K. albums, and they sound clear, crisp, and fresh. As far as I'm concerned, you've got to have the ears of a Bat to detect the small, insignificant differences that a Re-Master provides. Maybe the bass is a little louder, maybe there's a bit more treble or equalization present in the songs, but the differences are MINIMAL.

The Last Newer Beatles' Album I got really excited about was "Beatles at the BBC", which featured tons of tracks, about 2/3's of which The Beatles Never Formally Issued On Record 'till then (it came out in 1994). I was really disappointed with all of the "Beatles Anthology" albums, mainly because I'd already heard some of the previously unavailable tracks on bootlegs, and because, the albums were obviously padded with unnecessary stuff like the instrumental versions of "Eleanor Rigby" and "Within You, Without You" along with inferior early takes of songs The Beatles Had Formally Released. I think I've played the "Anthology" albums all the way through no more than TWICE in all the years I've had them in my collection.

I really hate to say it, but The Beatles and their "Apple" organization are really beginning to look like Hucksters here. They've gotta come up with all kinds of groovy new ways of re-marketing Product so they can keep on sellin', sellin', sellin'. The Currently Available Beatles' CD's Stand On Their Own. The original mixes, the original production, the original renderings. I can imagine that if Leonardo Da Vinci were alive in this day and age, he'd perhaps try to photoshop the Mona Lisa? So this is my way of protesting...I will buy no more New Beatles Product unless it consists of Beatles' songs I've never heard before. It's gotta stop somewhere, right? Thing is, when you re-produce something, when you adjust something, it's never quite the same. It's not quite what we heard in the '60s. It's kinda like the Mona Lisa being replicated with random sampling consisting of bits, bytes and nibbles, all spiffy and DIGITAL. Adjusted versions of the originals. Does that make the originals "not originals"? Makes me wonder.

I'll bet the Beatles old vinyl singles and albums sounded mighty fine on the little unit you see pictured below. It's not high-tech, but it commands a current collectors' value of at least One Thousand Dollars, if not more. To quote the 'White Album', "take me back, where are people, can you take me back..."

yeah, yeah, yeah.................................................


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually it's shades of "One after 909" rather than "Number 9" :-)

1:10 PM  
Blogger some guy who blogs said...

Hi, Anon...I actually thought that myself during posting, but the thought didn't stick, obviously. Yep, 'One after 909', for sure. You're right on the money, kind sir...

8:36 PM  

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