Wednesday, September 23, 2009

But I had to do it or it would've tormented me forever...
Let me set this post in motion by describing all the stuff that led up to it. First of all, my car fell out of alignment, and because of that, one of my tires got really worn-down, so I paid for two new tires and an alignment fix. And then I had to go get the drivers' side window repaired 'cos the brackets that move the window up and down were busted, leaving me to drive for a week in the driving, pouring rain, forcing me to leave a giant plastic bag over the open window so I wouldn't short out the control panel, the one that controls the up-and-down Car-Window mechanism buttons. Which proves that everything, somehow, is inter-connected. It was after I did all that when I noticed the little sticker the car-lube business puts on the inside corner of the front window, which let me know that it had been almost 5,ooo miles since the last time my buggy had fresh oil installed. Along with a new oil filter. So now my car is ready to go anywhere at anytime (in theory, anyway). I'm sure doing all of this stuff would've made my dearly-departed Dad proud of me, wherever he may be.
So, if Dad was smiling down on me from above because I spent money on my car, he sure as shootin' ain't doing that anymore. Because...I spent a bunch of money on some items that wouldn't merit his approval at all. Not that I care, 'cos I don't. But I must say this about myself at this point: I AM A BIG PHONY. And I'll tell ya why. Remember, a few posts back, when I said I wouldn't buy the new Beatles' re-mastered CD's, not when I have their Original albums and CD's at home? I was prepared to stick to my guns concerning this. Except, it seems that everywhere I go, there they are! There are a half-dozen convenience stores down here that stock the Beatles Remasters right by their cash registers. I'm hearing Beatles Remastered Songs on the oldies radio station every time I switch it on. I read about them every time I go to a musical website, and even the Rolling Stone magazine I bought a couple of weeks back had the Beatles on the front cover. Talk about sensory saturation!
After going to the cash machine and finding out what I had left in the bank after my car once again gobbled up hundreds and hundreds of my dollars, I found out there was more cash left in there than I thot there'd be. I guess that's what folks call "discretionary" income; the money that's left over when the bills get paid and expenses are met and for which services are rendered. So I went and bought all the Beatles' Remastered Discs even though I said I never would, because (1) I'm a collector, and (2) I managed to find them at a pretty good prices. List price for these CD's is $17.99 for the 'single' albums, and 22.99 for the 2 Double Albums ("The White Album" and the "Past Masters" set which consists of songs which weren't on the Beatles' British Albums. I'll explain that closer to the end of this post...) I found eleven of the remastered Discs at Fred Meyer's down here for $12.99 and one double album for $17.99. Freddie's didn't have the complete set available, so I went to Wal-Mart, where I found the one single-DVD I needed for $13.99 and one 'double' I still needed for $19.99. So I saved over $60 over the Regular List Prices for the Remastered Beatles' CDs. How about that! Fred Meyer's actually Undersold Wal-Mart! Which I think is cool. These CD's may never again priced so low once the 'initial push' is over, so if yer gonna buy 'em at a big-box store, do it soon!
Normally, I don't give Wal-Mart the time of day, but since this music duplicates music I already have, and that none of the Beatles or their heirs need any more of my money than I elect to send their way, I'm all for saving a lot of cash in a case like this, so I broke down and bought 'em. I'll probably never find 'em as cheap again, so it was a case of 'do it, and do it now', and I did. I did! I willy, willy did it! You know, for years, I'd see the Same Old Beatles CD's in the racks, year after year after year, and I couldn't help but think, "perhaps these things aren't selling as well as they once were", and with the Remastered CD's, "" came up with a stroke of genius: "Let's make them all Sound Slightly Different and Everyone Will Buy Them All Over Again!" I guess the strategy's working. And I have Words Of Wisdom for you all: Don't buy the Beatles Remasters at the Convenience Stores; in those establishments, you're paying the full price.
Finally, let me explain something I referred to here earlier: The Beatles' albums you see in the CD stores today are the BRITISH albums, which feature 14 songs each instead of the 11 songs-per-album you'd find on U.S. LP's long ago. In other words, "Meet The Beatles", "The Beatles' Second Album", "Beatles '65" and others are not being issued anymore. "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver" were both issued in the States and in England, but the U.S. versions featured less songs. In the '60s, Capitol Records, USA, shaved off songs from the British versions of those and other Beatles Albums to make "new" albums, such as "The Early Beatles", "Yesterday And Today" and the "Hey Jude" album. Each of those albums featured Singles, B-Sides and Album tracks Never Before Issued In America! Back in the '60s, All British and USA albums were different, until "Sgt. Pepper" came along in 1967. In short, Capitol, the Fabs' USA label, issued more different albums, thus selling more records and making more money. Follow the money.
All of the songs on those old USA albums are now, and have always been, on the Beatles' British Albums. In England, some of the Beatles' Tunes never did appear on an album; those tunes have been issued on the "Past Masters" double-CD. I've read that the British record companies didn't want to issue singles on albums, not wanting the consumer to have to pay for a song they already had on 45's. Ha! Singles actually Sold More Albums in the U.S.! We'd go buy the single the first time we heard it on the radio, and then later on, we'd get the albums too! Now, just as I've clarified things, in the interest of completeness, I must confuse you further. Capitol Records issued all of the USA '60s LPs on Compact Disc 2 or 3 years ago, the theory being that U.S. fans would want CD's of the old Capitol albums they'd grown up with. I'm still not going to buy those CD's. At least, I don't think so. Of course, with me, ya never know, I guess...
So I caved in. I did something that I wasn't gonna do. Trouble is, I knew I'd always want these remasters and I'd be endlessly tormented until I got them. A guy I know who owns a record shop says "record collecting is a disease". He's right. But, I'm not sure if I trust meself anymore. I Now Have all the Beatles' Remastered CD's. I know Beatle Music the way a Good Preacher knows his Bible. So this oughta be an interesting listening experience, and quite possibly, the fodder for upcoming blog posts. And in the end...the love you equal to the make...


Blogger Idaho Dad said...

I'm no audiophile, but even I can tell that these remasters simply sound better. I was always happy with my old circa 1988 Beatles CDs, but after listening to these new ones, those old muddy-sounding discs are going in the trash. Every sound is so clear. This must be as close as it gets to actually being live in the studio with them.

8:26 PM  
Blogger some guy who blogs said...

Don't throw them in the trash! They still sound good! The one thing that bums me out about the re-masters is that none of the original production people (George Martin, Producer; Geoff Emerick, Engineer) never got to analyze them before they were released. So it looks like I'll have to listen to them to see how different they are, and then I'll have to listen to them in a sort-of side-by-side comparison with the original CD's. This oughta be fun...

9:03 PM  

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