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Beatles in Mono.


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#1 of 539 Ockeghem

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Posted April 17 2009 - 03:46 AM

Here is an interesting article concerning the Beatles in mono.

Gizmodo - Sorry Stereo, But Beatles in Mono Rocks a Lot More - Beatles

Personally, I prefer SPLHCB and a few of their very earliest albums in mono. Sometimes the stereo recordings, while fun to listen to, give an 'unreal' performance of a track. Sometimes I find myself putting on a different set of ears when listening to various of their tracks in stereo or mono.
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#2 of 539 lukejosephchung

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Posted April 17 2009 - 10:12 AM

This subject has been discussed by Beatle fans for over 40 years...opinions vary in amount by as many listeners!Posted Image If you want a legitimate copy on CD, ALL of the Fab Four's dedicated mono mixes are being released on September 9th as a separate collector's box edition, complete with a bonus 2-cd set of the dedicated mono mixes that weren't included in the original UK albums!Posted Image

#3 of 539 Brad M

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Posted April 18 2009 - 04:01 AM

I will be buying both boxsets on 9/9/09 and can't wait to compare them.

I work weekends on a classic rock station and am wondering which versions we will be playing.
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#4 of 539 John Watson

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Posted April 18 2009 - 05:35 AM

Depending on the price, I may buy a Mono edition box.

#5 of 539 Doug_H

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Posted April 18 2009 - 06:06 AM

I have the Ebbetts mono versions and they are fantastic, I will pony up for the new Mono discs for sure.
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#6 of 539 Brian Borst

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Posted April 20 2009 - 08:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukejosephchung
This subject has been discussed by Beatle fans for over 40 years...opinions vary in amount by as many listeners!Posted Image If you want a legitimate copy on CD, ALL of the Fab Four's dedicated mono mixes are being released on September 9th as a separate collector's box edition, complete with a bonus 2-cd set of the dedicated mono mixes that weren't included in the original UK albums!Posted Image

But not every album is included in the mono box, is it?
I prefer the mono versions, actually. They sound much better, and you don't have the voice coming out of just one speaker or earphone. That's annoying.
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#7 of 539 Britton

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Posted April 20 2009 - 10:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Borst
But not every album is included in the mono box, is it?
I prefer the mono versions, actually. They sound much better, and you don't have the voice coming out of just one speaker or earphone. That's annoying.

Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road, and Let It Be are not in the mono box set.

#8 of 539 angelad

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Posted April 20 2009 - 10:57 AM

I love Beatles, and this might be worth a buy depending on price.

#9 of 539 MielR

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Posted April 20 2009 - 04:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad M
I will be buying both boxsets on 9/9/09 and can't wait to compare them.
I'll be buying both too (or at least getting them for my birthday which is later in the month).

I'm really looking forward to hearing Sgt. Pepper in mono for the 1st time. Posted Image

BTW- do you happen to know if the contents of the "stereo" boxed set will be the same as the individual stereo releases?
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#10 of 539 Ockeghem

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Posted April 21 2009 - 01:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MielR
I'm really looking forward to hearing Sgt. Pepper in mono for the 1st time. Posted Image
Miel,

I wish I could have helped you with that earlier! It's an astounding sonic experience, far superior (IMO) to the stereo version.
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#11 of 539 Mark_TS

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Posted April 22 2009 - 08:08 AM

ah yes-I remember as a youngster agitating for a copy of SPLHCB as a birthday gift-ripped it open-only to find a copy of FRANK SINATRA'S GREATEST HITS-both Capitol Records artists;
There must have been a bout of dyslexia at the pressing plant ie
SPs cat # was something like SMAS 2139 ; FSGHs was SMAS 2193-after comparing the LP to the record covers ID number

Wasnt SP the first LP to be recorded in true stereo-and thus mono copies are "fake" mono-where before that they were recorded in true mono and made into "fake" stereo ? or where both done separately somehow?
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#12 of 539 Keith Paynter

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Posted April 22 2009 - 09:25 AM

'Fake' stereo is somewhat an anomaly to North America. Since US releases did not follow UK releases in dates and track listings until 'Pepper', stereo mixes were not always readily available (including singles), so Capitol doctored the mono cuts for stereo with EQ, reverb, and other little tricks for the companion stereo releases. Even to meet US release deadlines, some mixes were rushed for release, and further fine-tuned for the UK versions. Being a fan of the British releases, it's really hard for me to like the North American albums, although I will give the assembly of the 'Second Album' props for being a solid rock & roll album, from start to finish.
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#13 of 539 Ockeghem

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Posted April 22 2009 - 11:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Paynter
'Fake' stereo is somewhat an anomaly to North America. Since US releases did not follow UK releases in dates and track listings until 'Pepper', stereo mixes were not always readily available (including singles), so Capitol doctored the mono cuts for stereo with EQ, reverb, and other little tricks for the companion stereo releases. Even to meet US release deadlines, some mixes were rushed for release, and further fine-tuned for the UK versions. Being a fan of the British releases, it's really hard for me to like the North American albums, although I will give the assembly of the 'Second Album' props for being a solid rock & roll album, from start to finish.
Keith,

As a collector of Beatles LPs for nearly forty years, I do try to acquire copies of both any time I can. But the North American recordings are truly horrible compared to the British. The sibilence is very tough to get by (esp. in Ringo's drums). BTW, The Beatles Second Album is solid -- well said. I own the Canadian LP (Long Tall Sally) with the similar jacket, although I haven't compared the sonic experience of any of those tracks to either the American or British releases.
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#14 of 539 lukejosephchung

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Posted April 22 2009 - 12:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ockeghem
Keith,

As a collector of Beatles LPs for nearly forty years, I do try to acquire copies of both any time I can. But the North American recordings are truly horrible compared to the British. The sibilence is very tough to get by (esp. in Ringo's drums). BTW, The Beatles Second Album is solid -- well said. I own the Canadian LP (Long Tall Sally) with the similar jacket, although I haven't compared the sonic experience of any of those tracks to either the American or British releases.
The best route to go as far as vintage Beatles vinyl is concerned is the pre-1987 UK pressings, both in mono and stereo. EMI's engineers at Abbey Road studios weren't allowed to mess around too much at the cutting lathe stage of mastering their albums there!Posted Image
By the way, I've been collecting Beatles records since 1968!Posted Image

#15 of 539 MielR

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Posted April 22 2009 - 04:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ockeghem
Miel,

I wish I could have helped you with that earlier! It's an astounding sonic experience, far superior (IMO) to the stereo version.
I bid on several British mono LPs of Sgt. Pepper on eBay, but the price always skyrocketed and I always ended up getting outbid. I finally gave up.

Ended up being a good thing I guess! Posted Image
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#16 of 539 Brian Borst

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Posted April 22 2009 - 07:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Britton
Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road, and Let It Be are not in the mono box set.

Oh, that's too bad. From what I've heard the guys spent more time mixing the mono versions than the stereo versions. Now those three albums sound very good in stereo, but if they were releasing a mono box set it would've made sense to release every album in it.
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#17 of 539 Billy Batson

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Posted April 23 2009 - 04:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_TS
ah yes-I remember as a youngster agitating for a copy of SPLHCB as a birthday gift-ripped it open-only to find a copy of FRANK SINATRA'S GREATEST HITS-both Capitol Records artists;
There must have been a bout of dyslexia at the pressing plant ie
SPs cat # was something like SMAS 2139 ; FSGHs was SMAS 2193-after comparing the LP to the record covers ID number

Wasnt SP the first LP to be recorded in true stereo-and thus mono copies are "fake" mono-where before that they were recorded in true mono and made into "fake" stereo ? or where both done separately somehow?

I think the first album was recorded in just mono (& maybe the 2nd, I dunno), but the others were recorded in stereo, but the stereo mix was so rough & ready, I think they were mixed almost in real time (all the time & care went into the mono mix). I had the stereo LP's, & on headphones you got one instrument in one ear & another instrument in the other ear, something you can't do with fake stereo. I had the stereo A hard Days Night & Beatles For Sale, & am looking forward to the stereo CD's at long last.

#18 of 539 Keith Paynter

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Posted April 23 2009 - 04:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Borst
Oh, that's too bad. From what I've heard the guys spent more time mixing the mono versions than the stereo versions. Now those three albums sound very good in stereo, but if they were releasing a mono box set it would've made sense to release every album in it.

The last three albums were never deliberately mixed for mono, which was pretty much phased out by this time. YS was available in mono, but was simply a fold-down from stereo to mono, hence unneccessary in a mono collection, so in essence, THEY ARE putting every mono release in the box set.

Ockeghem;

I was recently able to complete my UK mono LP collection with imports (thanks to some unnamed sources), Rubber Soul being the last. I got SGT Pepper, Help!, Revolver and YS out of a 'cracked' UK vinyl Mono Red Box back in the mid-80's (I think somebody was really hardcore for the White Album, but couldn't afford the whole set). I also have a handful of Japanese import UK/US issues (not red vinyl though) that were taken off display and left in backroom storage at a favorite record store, and I can tell you, they are amazing!

That said, the later issued 'Please Please Me' LP in stereo does have some minor differences. The mono singles and b-sides for 'Love Me Do' and 'PPM' have had processing done, and the stereo version of 'PPM' is an entirely different edit, thanks to alternate takes being used to assemble the section following the 'middle eight' - Lennon sings the wrong lyric, laughs at his mistake in the first 'come on', and Martin tries to fly in the chorus tag from another take to double up the finale, but is of by a fraction of a section, causing a very noticeable delay effect.

I could go into a lot of mix difference for many of the songs in the original canon, but web research will easily do that for you.
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#19 of 539 Ockeghem

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Posted April 23 2009 - 04:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Paynter
The last three albums were never deliberately mixed for mono, which was pretty much phased out by this time. YS was available in mono, but was simply a fold-down from stereo to mono, hence unneccessary in a mono collection, so in essence, THEY ARE putting every mono release in the box set.

Ockeghem;

I was recently able to complete my UK mono LP collection with imports (thanks to some unnamed sources), Rubber Soul being the last. I got SGT Pepper, Help!, Revolver and YS out of a 'cracked' UK vinyl Mono Red Box back in the mid-80's (I think somebody was really hardcore for the White Album, but couldn't afford the whole set). I also have a handful of Japanese import UK/US issues (not red vinyl though) that were taken off display and left in backroom storage at a favorite record store, and I can tell you, they are amazing!

That said, the later issued 'Please Please Me' LP in stereo does have some minor differences. The mono singles and b-sides for 'Love Me Do' and 'PPM' have had processing done, and the stereo version of 'PPM' is an entirely different edit, thanks to alternate takes being used to assemble the section following the 'middle eight' - Lennon sings the wrong lyric, laughs at his mistake in the first 'come on', and Martin tries to fly in the chorus tag from another take to double up the finale, but is of by a fraction of a section, causing a very noticeable delay effect.

I could go into a lot of mix difference for many of the songs in the original canon, but web research will easily do that for you.
Keith,

Yes, those are some differences (the specific edits you speak of) that I've been aware of for many years. Additional to the recording variations, there are several mistakes on Beatles tracks that are quite interesting to analyze and appreciate (the piano part in Good Day Sunshine being one of the more obvious ones).

As far as Beatles research is concerned, I usually begin with W. Everett's two books on the Fabs. They're first-rate, and a joy to read. But a knowledge of music is helpful, since he goes into key relationships, Schenkerian analysis, etc. for many of the works. It's a fascinating historical account as well, and really takes you back to those days in vivid detail.

lukejosephchung,

At last count, I was up to 276 LPs and around 300 CDs, plus several 45s, EPs, green and red vinyl recordings, over 100 cassettes, etc. I believe I have recordings from twenty-one different countries. To give you a feel for the kind of Beatles collecting I do, I have eleven different recordings of Don't Bother Me -- including at least one iteration in the eerie key of E-flat minor. The ethos for that particular rendition is haunting, and it remains my favorite recording of that work. It's an enjoyable hobby. But being a musicologist, I also do it for the analytical and compositional-chronological aspects. Posted Image
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#20 of 539 Ockeghem

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Posted April 23 2009 - 04:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MielR
I bid on several British mono LPs of Sgt. Pepper on eBay, but the price always skyrocketed and I always ended up getting outbid. I finally gave up.

Ended up being a good thing I guess! Posted Image
Miel,

Sounds like being patient paid off. I've seen some of those items on eBay. I haven't bid on any yet, but that's because I have various other agencies and vendors whom I use for my Beatles collecting. Still, it's interesting to see what's out there, for sure. Posted Image
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