Monday, 16 June 2014

The Beatles: Mono vinyls press release

The vinyl mono boxed set  © Apple Corps Ltd.

With an audiophile audience in mind, The Beatles’ mono albums have been newly mastered for vinyl from quarter-inch master tapes at Abbey Road Studios. While the corresponding CD boxed set from 2009 was created from digital remasters, these new vinyl versions have been cut without the use of any digital technology.  Manufactured for the world at Optimal Media in Germany, The Beatles’ albums are presented in their original glory, both sonically and in their packaging

London – June 16, 2014 – The Beatles in mono

This is how most listeners first heard the group in the 1960s, when mono was the predominant audio format. Up until 1968, each Beatles album was given a unique mono and stereo mix, but the group always regarded the mono as primary. On September 8 (September 9 in North America), The Beatles’ nine U.K. albums, the American-compiled Magical Mystery Tour, and the Mono Masters collection of non-album tracks will be released in mono on 180-gram vinyl LPs with faithfully replicated artwork. Newly mastered from the analogue master tapes, each album will be available both individually and within a lavish, limited 14-LP boxed edition, The Beatles In Mono, which also includes a 108-page hardbound book.
The Beatles, 1968. © Apple Corps. Ltd.

In an audiophile-minded undertaking, The Beatles’ acclaimed mono albums have been newly mastered for vinyl from quarter-inch master tapes at Abbey Road Studios by GRAMMY®-winning engineer Sean Magee and GRAMMY®-winning mastering supervisor Steve Berkowitz. While The Beatles In Mono CD boxed set released in 2009 was created from digital remasters, for this new vinyl project, Magee and Berkowitz cut the records without using any digital technology. Instead, they employed the same procedures used in the 1960s, guided by the original albums and by detailed transfer notes made by the original cutting engineers.

Working in the same room at Abbey Road where most of The Beatles’ albums were initially cut, the pair first dedicated weeks to concentrated listening, fastidiously comparing the master tapes with first pressings of the mono records made in the 1960s. Using a rigorously tested Studer A80 machine to play back the precious tapes, the new vinyl was cut on a 1980s-era VMS80 lathe.

Manufactured for the world at Optimal Media in Germany, The Beatles’ albums are presented in their original glory, both sonically and in their packaging. The boxed collection’s exclusive 12-inch by 12-inch hardbound book features new essays and a detailed history of the mastering process by award-winning radio producer and author Kevin Howlett. The book is illustrated with many rare studio photos of The Beatles, fascinating archive documents, and articles and advertisements sourced from 1960s publications.

Available now for preorder at www.thebeatles.com.

The Beatles In Mono
* Available individually and collected in a limited 14-LP boxed edition, accompanied by an exclusive 108-page hardbound book.
  • Please Please Me
  • With The Beatles
  • A Hard Day's Night
  • Beatles For Sale
  • Help!
  • Rubber Soul
  • Revolver
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • Magical Mystery Tour
  • The Beatles (2-LP)
  • Mono Masters (3-LP)

"The Beatles", affectionally known as "the White album". © Apple Corps Ltd.




Official promotional film for the mono vinyl releases.

The prices from Amazon in USA for the boxed set is $409.26, single-LPs are $26.60, the 2LP "The Beatles" $43.97 and the 3LP "Mono Masters" $77.52.

Official press release.

12 comments:

Internotional Tomes said...

Egad. Just when the credit card seemed safe to put away, they pull a fast one with a (universally?) unexpected 'Direct from the Analogue Masters' set.

And is that numbering on the White Album an additional feature???

faithcohen said...

Can anyone tell me if this would sound different from the Moblile Fidelity Lab mastering- direct to disc- from the eighties? Or would it sound similar?

Unknown said...

"Can anyone tell me if this would sound different from the Moblile Fidelity Lab mastering- direct to disc- from the eighties? Or would it sound similar?"

Well, the first three MoFi releases used the Capitol sub-master tapes, and all of these use EMI's quarter-inch masters. It's up to you and your ears whether or not this makes a difference.

Jim Parrett said...

There is no such word as "vinyls". It is "vinyl."

Cathy Leroy said...

Just a question:
Did the recent stereo vinyl box set edition use the equivalent analog sources or do they come from the 2009 digital mastering?

Donny said...

"Did the recent stereo vinyl box set edition use the equivalent analog sources or do they come from the 2009 digital mastering?"

the stereo LPs used the 2009 digital remasters. 24bit/44.1KHz to be exact.

georgefromhenley said...

The cover look strange as if they have a white boarder around...

DukeViking said...

I definitely applaud the Apple team on actually releasing this vinyl set via analog remastering. It was a head scratcher to see them in 2012 release the stereo vinyl box set from the digital remasters.

As hardcore of a fan that I am of this band I don't really buy vinyl new or even collect vinyl beyond the mass of the one's I already own; even then I haven't played a record in ages on the entertainment center.

This will once again peak my interest on spinning the Mono cd box set I bought on 9.9.09.

This box set actually is more exciting than the repackaged '09 remasters with the American album covers from earlier this year.

This is THE closet way you will get to hear the albums as intended by the Beatles - mono mixes remastered from analog. The way I am assuming the British market heard them back in the 60's up until the White Album.

Mark said...

I'm impressed that EMI are finally staying exclusively in the analog domain with these reissues (unlike the rip-off stereo releases).

However, the whole "this is exactly how you would have heard them in the 60's" spiel is utter nonsense! NOTHING you can play these records on today would sound even remotely close to how the average fan would have experienced them back in the 60's- especially the ultra high-end systems the modern vinyl enthusiasts slaver over- unless you hook them up to a Dansette!

If you could get access to one, just don't play these records too loud, or they might skip! (actually, wasn't that why everything up to '66 featured such poor bass?)

It's also probably best for the uninitiated to approach the mono mixes as sounding "different" as opposed to "better". Some mono mixes are punchier than their stereo counterparts; others are so dated they make you eternally grateful for George Martin's clean and timeless "rushed" mixes. It was a real shock to hear how bad the mono versions of Tomorrow Never Knows or A Day The Life were to their stereo counterparts, for instance...

Internotional Tomes said...

Given that the guys working on this are serious dudes, that the whole decision to do the remasters took so long and that Apple and The Beatles were 'advised' by 'experts' throughout, I think that a logic now emerges with kneejerk commentators should consider:

Namely, that the priority items for the band and the producer, as we know, were the mono productions, because there were NO stereo singles and LP's were, courtesy of The Beatles themselves, only beginning to sell in quantity thanks to a newly "affluent" teenage demographic.

The stereo releases while not eaxctly 'afterthoughts' as some have characterised them, were not priority in the same way that a release of DVD-A wouldn't typically be in an artist's thought today during the process of making the records.
Stereo had been for hifi classical buffs and it was some time before it reached the stores frequented my typical families an individuals.


Of course, since then stereo has become so standard that mono now seems 'exotic' or even 'new' to kids.

But the stereo releases had many many anomalies and no matter the arguments for 'reissue them as they were', nobody reviewing their own catalogue and discovering drop-outs, fake stereo, inverted phase, and other errors of varying 'visibility' could possibly contemplate a remastering without also cleaning up. (Seriously...try that!)


So....
Mono digitised for the first time. Hardly any element of remastering because the original master tape received so much attention and sign-off by band and producer (2009 box)
Stereo cleaned up, errors corrected, more of a new master than a remaster.
Immortalised on CD and vinyl.

Mono vinyl.
Well let's get those original items in their original format back in people's houses. Why analogue? Because they did it right first time. Modest tweaks and compensations for not being done output from the original equipment.

mholicus said...

Are there differences between capitol(US) version and apple(UK) version?

Sushmita Mustafi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.