In dealing with their catalogue, did you ever feel overwhelmed? Like working on music that is revered the world over...
- Yes and no is the answer. If you ask Paul McCartney whether it's sacred or not, he'll say that he wouldn't want their work to be 'covered in dust'. If there are ways to improve things technically, we should do it. And I think with these new mixes on 1, they just sound more powerful because they are a throwback to the mono mixes. And obviously, we have surround sound we well. It is sacred in the sense that it means so much to so many people and the music is so important to the world. At the same time, you can't be frozen in your actions. You can't not walk on holy ground, if that makes sense.
Are they best listened to in mono or stereo?
- Some of it was created for mono. But you create a song as a 'song' and not as mono or stereo. The Beatles spent way more time mixing their mono versions than stereo. On Strawberry Fields Forever, there's a mellotron pulse that works so well with John's voice. On the stereo version, that mellotron is on the right speaker and so it doesn't work as well. These new mixes are actually mono on stereo, so to speak. Taxman and Paperback Writer are such great tracks. The new mixes, called 1, are sort of like mono, but in stereo. So, it sounds very powerful.
What's your favourite Beatles track from a producer's standpoint?
- A Day In The Life. I love the bass playing, I love Ringo's drumming and John Lennon's voice. And added to that, the fact that it has such a lovely orchestral score. The band recorded a rhythm track — John on guitar, Paul on piano, Ringo playing maracas and George on congas. That's the bedrock of the whole song. Paul and Ringo played bass and drums later together. Ringo's drums are almost backwards drumming. Ringo's a drummer who plays songs, as opposed to just beats.