Friday, 31 March 2017

Ringo listens to remastered Sgt Pepper album

From the photo session: The Beatles with Adam, the son of photographer Michael Cooper.
If you're looking for news about the upcoming anniversary edition of "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", here's a story which guitarist/bassist/vocalist Keith Allison posted on his Facebook page yesterday:

"A couple months ago I was at Ringo's home. We were in his man cave watching tv, when a delivery from England came in. It's was from Giles Martin, George Martins son. What's this? It's the Sgt. Pepper album remastered. I said, "I haven't listened to this in I don't know how long." Ringo exclaimed, "You haven't heard it in a long time? I haven't listened to it in decades." So we decide to listen to it on his high def top of the line system. So here we are sitting on the sofa, facing the Tv, muted, but with soap operas playing. We listened to every track together. I thought, this is a historically great moment. Sitting here with my friend, listening to Sgt. Pepper, that he's on as a Beatle, and that he hasn't listen to track by track, since it came out".

"Only two copies of the remastered Sgt. Pepper album were sent out, one to McCartney and one to Ringo, to be approved by them both. So what did Ringo think? He thought it was great! Why? Because it originally was recorded on a 4-track with a lot of over dubs, which buried the drums. Now, the drums have been lifted and come through as they should. He was pleased. You'll be glad to know it was remastered at EMI Studios where it was originally recorded."

So, I guess Allison confuses remastering with remixing. This probably means that Giles Martin has gone back to the original session tapes of the takes that were used and transferred them to multitracks, remixed them anew using the original overdubs, only no "bouncing down" this time. The sixties "bounce down" technique was to combine two or more tracks and transfer to one new track, thus freeing up space for three more tracks on a four track tape. This method would mean degrading the sound somewhat, due to tape noise.
Using the original session tapes to recreate the mix would then be a way to avoid that "dulling down" of the audio. Then of course, it's the placement in the stereo picture as well as the volume of each instrument or vocal which we don't know will be the same as the sixties mix. Several of the Sgt Pepper songs were successfully remixed with a new stereo image for the 1999 album "Yellow Submarine Songtrack". We hope the full album has gotten this treatment this time. It seems that the official word is on it's way, if this image posted on The Beatles' website and social media today is anything to go by:
Sgt Pepper uniform colours, posted by official Beatles accounts.

33 comments:

wardo said...

Cool story, but no mention of extra tracks. Maybe he wouldn't know them if he heard them?

Martin said...

Sounds very promising... Was always annoyed they missed 'A Day In The Life' off the excellently done Yellow Submarine Songtrack. Hope all the other 67 output (including Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane, Walrus etc) gets this remix treatment too.

David Bailey said...

Keith Allison was the bassist in Paul Revere and the Raiders who looked a bit like Paul McCartney. A fine musician!

Joe Ciorciari said...

It was remastered in 2009. No extra tracks. I don't believe this makes reference to anything new.

Martin said...

I think it is referring to a new mix of Pepper: because Giles Martin had nothing to do with the 2009 remasters. The article said Ringo and Paul have been given a version done by Giles Martin, so it must be the 50th anniversary version ready to go...

Rascals drummer, Dino Danelli, also looked a lot like Macca....

Jhu262 said...

I wonder if they are really adding Strawberry fields and Penny lane to the album as the rumors are suggesting.

Edward Russell said...

Do Yoko and Olivia not get a say?

Debjorgo said...

I'm sure Yoko just said "Whatever Paul thinks, is fine."

gregbeatle said...

Why would they? They have absolutely no right

DrBOP said...

Get set for some blasphemy:
1) gregwhatevs The Harrison and Lennon estates have ALL KINDS OF LEGAL RIGHTS of which you have NO idea.

2) debsumthin Yoko would NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER EVER EVER say that.

3) Most re-mixed discs SUCK......ESPECIALLY DRUM RE-MIXES!!!
They are not the original mixes, which means, LITERALLY, they are NOT the original "sounds" that we know as the music....THEY ARE NOT THE ORIGINAL ALBUM dammmiiiittttt. They are a RE-RE-RE-INTERPRETATION by someone NOT OF THE GROUP (usually some digital board nerd) as to what the music SHOULD sound like. Even when some or all of the original group is involved, like here where Ringo wanted it to sound DIFFERENT than it ORIGINALLY did....all fine and good for HIS wishes....while my wish is LEAVE THE DAMN MUSIC ALONE!!!
CLEAN IT UP, don't fuck it up.

4) This WILL be nice for my cousin Wally, because I can remember him RIPPING OFF his earphones in TOTAL DISGUST after listening to SP when it first came out......said it was mixed SOOOOO BADLY that he would NEVER LISTEN to the lp again UNTIL THEY DID A REMIX. He's lived up on a hill for 49 years......all alone.....I'll take a trek up there and let him know the "GREAT" news.....that he can spend a WHOLE WACK'O'MONEY......AGAIN....and 4ever amen.

5) They ALREADY passed the audition.

Keep On Chooglin'! ;^)

John Sanchez said...

đź‘Źđź‘Źđź‘Źđź‘Ź

Martin said...

A 'Yellow Sub'style mix of the 'White Album' would be great too... Imagine a 'songtrack' 'Back In The USSR' or 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'.

I only hope Giles hasn't messed with any of the tracks on Pepper too much.
Like on 1+: when he cut off the final seconds and the 'fancy bass run' fade out of 'Hey Jude'. Hope he doesn't 'trim' the final chord on 'A Day In The Life' or anything like that...

Foxx said...

I hope this will be done better than the YS Songtrack album, nice remixes, but heavily clipped, seriously damaging the dynamics.

Debjorgo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EJ said...

@DrBOP if indeed it has been re-mixed, and the concept troubles you, you don't *have* to buy it. Be happy with the '09 remasters or invest in one of the fine vinyl remasters from years past. For myself, I don't have the "it's-gotta-be-the-same-mix" mentality that many seem to have, so a well-done remix is intriguing to me. And for the record, I was 13 years-old when Pepper originally hit the street, so it's in my musical DNA.

Debjorgo said...

Of course I'm just kidding with the Yoko quote.

Sgt Pepper was recorded on a four track. One four track tape was dubbed on to a track of another four track tape. It is said Giles went back to the original four tracks and put them on the mixing board with the other tracks, in affect, giving him seven tracks to work with.

He maybe has "used the original mix". This could make the album sound the same but with crisper sounding drums.

I said in the earlier thread, I think the original mix for Pepper sounds great, no need to change it. It sounds modern to me. The White Album, however....

Sirron Nitram said...

Wow, I wish Ringo was my friend. How lucky

The Butobi Brothers said...

I'm all for the entire Beatles catalog to be remixed. The original mixes will always be the standard but there is room for remixing and offering them for sale. Many older artists are now offering original mono, original stereo and remixed. As a fan of The Doors I love the remixed albums, they sound great. I kept the originals but I pretty much exclusively listen to the remixed albums. In my opinion, they are superior.

As for the extras, I wouldn't mind a disc 2 with a remix of Penny Lane with the outtakes, remix of Strawberry Fields with outtakes and of course Carnival of Light. Now that would be something worth waiting in line at midnight for!

Unknown said...

I really hope Keith Allison is confusing "remaster" with "remix," though as a musician he should know better.

In case it's a full-blown remix, and I really hope it is, if someone doesn't like it, you have access to the original mix that will never go away.

Martin said...

Would love (no pun intended) to hear a remix of 'Forever Changes'....

Foxx said...

Newly remixed Pepper sounds promising to me. However, I don't like extra tracks on the same disc. They sort of spoil the listening experience for me. Like adding Power to the People and do the Oz to John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band on the 2000 re-issue did. That album should finish with My Mummy's Dead. Pepper ends with A Day in the Life. So make that an extra disc please. And if it is "only" Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, well, that would be a great bonus single then. Just like 1967. Hoping for Carnival of Light....

irgendwas said...

The Beatles.com now has a 10 sec audio clip of an obviously remixed first track.

Martin said...

Thanks for the tip, irgendwas.
Those drums do sound great....

Westfield said...

I just cannot wait.

Hugh Nique said...

With the Yellow Submarine Songtrack album in mind, I don't think the album will be fully remixed from the original multi-tracks. I think Martin toyed a bit with the EQ to lift the drums and that's about it, just like was done with the 2009 stereo remasters.

Colin Fletcher said...

Not true. Listen to the clip posted and compare it to the original. The stereo placement is different. Definitely a remix.

spenner72 said...

Video on Amazon reveals all: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WGVMLJY?tag=mfconvert-20

spenner72 said...

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/D1SlZaoXPGS.mp4

John Sanchez said...

Looking forward to the first complains about not releasing EVERYTHING!!!!!

Foxx said...

To John Sanchez. According to http://www.aaronkrerowicz.com/beatles-blog/did-it-really-take-700-studio-hours-to-create-sgt-peppers-lonely-hearts-club-band it took some 333 hours to record the album. 6 discs is the tip of the iceberg. I'll skip this and wait for the 300 disc edition. :-)

John Sanchez said...

From both them Georges

Harrison: "What never came out was stuff that wasn't supposed to be a record. That is to say if we were rehearsing things and someone happened to leave the tape running. It's not supposed to represent The Beatles or the music but people want to scrape the barrel for anything they can find" 1987

Martin: "I've listened to all the tapes. There are one or two interesting variations, but otherwise it's all junkm. Couldn't possibly release it". 1993

Bonus from The Good Guys The Rolling Stones: "You Can't Always Get What You Want".

Dante Casora said...

To me, the only beatles songs need to be remixed are: "It's all too much" (George sings too loud and in front, covering the astonishing guitar pads); "Helter Skelter" (once more, George solo is dull and too loud); "All you need is love" (smooth the brass ensemble another little bit, please).
Speaking about the "twin track machine" albums (Please, Please me and With the Beatles)i hope they will not touched. Any manipulation should a fake contemporary stereo rendition. Beatles are now an historical monument and also a precise documentation concerning the evolving of recording techniques and the popular musical tastes of 60' till 70'.

Craig Smith said...

Never mind Yellow Submarine remixes, you're forgetting that a load of material has already been remixed and appears on the 1+ boxset, including A Day In A Life!! So if you want to get a feel for how Giles has probably remixed Sgt Pepper, go listen to that first.