Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Beatles in Mono is out

Original photo for the Revolver back cover. © Copyright Robert Whitaker.
The Beatles in Mono is out, and I had the privilege of attending a small launch party at the appropriately named Mono Café in Oslo on Sunday to have a look and listen to the new pressings.
What was apparent about the new editions was that even though they had gone to great lengths of reproducing the original packaging, there are some tell-tale signs which makes one able to ditinguish an original from a reissued mono album. One of which, surprisingly, was that the back cover of Revolver was considerably darker than it used to be on the old Ernest J Day and Garrod & Lofthouse covers. Of course, even back then, the full clarity of the original photo (depicted above) was not reproduced on the cover (below).

Original back cover from 1966 (Garrod & Lofthouse edition)
You can clearly see where George's head ends and the dark background begins. This is more difficult on the new edition.

2014 edition
Of course, the quality of said photo has continued to deteriorate on subsequent reprints in the past, but I thought they would have taken more care to preserve the original quality on this particular reproduction of the album cover.

The label is also easy to verify as a new edition.

Original 1966 label
The new label omits the legend "Sold in U.K. Subject to resale price conditions, see price lists" and features a new matrix number (XEX 605 is now LCO1846). Also, below the record number (in this case PMC 7009) on the right is a new Apple Records catalogue number (in this case 509993380415). This is all very well, because I'd like to be able to distinguish between an oldie and a newie.
2014 mono Revolver label
For the sake of comparison, here's the label from the 1982 mono albums re-release.

The 1982 mono label also omitted the "Sold in U.K." text, but kept the original matrix number, since they used the old stampers.

For the vinyl itself, the weight is a giveaway. I had the opportunity to weigh an original "A Hard Day's Night", and it weighed in at 149 grams. The new edition of the same record clocked up an impressive 194 grams. Of course, if you bring a scale to the record fair it's very likely you'll be branded an idiot.

As for the sound, his was a little more difficult to compare in a noisy club, but I did think that the EQ has been adjusted a tad, I thought I heard more presence in the bass department on the new pressings. And for the record, "Tomorrow Never Knows" is RM8 and not the much rarer RM11, which was placed by mistake on the very first pressing of "Revolver".

Meanwhile, you can listen for yourself on the new official site.

3 comments:

georgefromhenley said...

They should have recreated the cover by using the original photo and the artwork owned by Joe Walsh... It is not usefull when the new edition looks not as good as 70ies reprints of both versions of Revolver.

Mark said...

I've had the box set for almost a week now, and it is a thing of beauty.

The new catalogue number is below the original number on the label. It is odd that the "Sold in UK..." text is not on the various labels, since this was included on the reissue Magical Mystery Tour E.P's of a couple of years ago.

Text near the bottom of the labels state that these were "Made in the E.U" as opposed to "Made in Gt. Britain" as on the originals. So, it's easy way to distinguish these pressings from the originals.

Magical Mystery Tour is on the U.S. Capitol label and includes the booklet inside the jacket.

The playback of these LP's is the best yet. Incredibly quiet. The only problem with my set is that the Sgt. Pepper LP has a slight warp. I will replace this LP sometime in the future.

Overall, this is a set that every fan or collector should invest in. I doubt that we will ever see a better sounding version of any of these LP's.

Cas said...

Wasn't the back cover of the original American Capitol Revolver also not darker, and quite similar to this edition?