Wednesday, April 8, 2009

From on High

Beatles Fans Await Upgraded Re-Releases

"Apple Corps and EMI announced on Tuesday that the much-postponed remasters would be released on individual stereo CDs and in two boxed sets — one stereo, the other mono — on Sept. 9, the same day the Beatles edition of Rock Band, the music video game, is scheduled for release."

Finally some good comes of a video game, eh Little Earl(the Small Count, Mr. 01 himself)?

The article includes some possible complaints by Beatles afficianados - "Because the stereo CDs will include George Martin’s 1987 remixes of “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” — mixes that have been the subject of much criticism and debate among Beatles fanatics — the mono CDs of those albums will include both the mono and the original 1965 stereo mixes of those albums." Is this a big deal? Should the mono and stereo versions of the earlier, and shorter, albums been included on the same CD, Pet Sounds-style?

More importantly, which Beatles songs will be the most fun to play on Rock Band? Drums on Rain? Will the Abbey Road medley be included? That would be my pick.

9 comments:

Little Earl said...

Just when I was looking for the details on this as well! Nice one Yoggster. A couple of items give me pause:

"there are otherwise no bonus tracks, outtakes or extras."

Yes, that's right, there are still a select few pathologically obsessive Beatles fans out there who would want to hear more outtakes than just those that were included in the Anthology series (think today's "Deluxe Edition" CDs). Ah well, someday my friends. Still, basic reissues were definitely the main order of business, even though I can barely tell the difference between great and shitty mastering myself.

"Moreover, the group’s first seven albums (through “Revolver”) include only about 25 minutes of music. The mono and stereo versions of each — collectors prize both because of anomalies like different vocal takes, instrumental lines or effects — could have fit on a single CD with room to spare. In many cases, the contemporaneous singles could have fit as well, making the “Past Masters” set superfluous."

I think this was the right call; The albums have to stand alone. Sgt. Pepper with bonus tracks? Survey says...X!

I get neither the "Small Count" or "Mr. 01" references, I'm afraid.

yoggoth said...

I still don't understand your belief that bonus tracks somehow tarnish the sanctity of the original album. If they're at the end, what difference does it make?

You managed to completely disregard the video game portion of the article.

An earl was the English version of the continental Count. Small is a synonym for little. If you count to 01, your count is small. Seems obvious to me!

Herr Zrbo said...

I guess I'm not to up to date on the story behind Beatles album remastering. I didn't really understand the press release when I read it yesterday. Why is this a big deal, are these albums not currently available? I know they're not available on iTunes/digitially but aren't the Beatles available in stores still? And aren't remasters usually pretty bad? With the whole 'loudness war' going on you would think remastering would be a bad idea.

As for Rock Band. Yeah, I guess we'll have to see what songs are included. It does seem like it would be fun to play Sgt. Pepper's all the way through.

Little Earl said...

Yes, you're right, this is not really a big deal, and yes, the original CDs are still available in stores. It's just that when every Who, Zombies, and Monkees album has been remastered several times over with pristine packaging and detailed liner notes, the Beatles albums were rather overdue for at least the SAME treatment, if not better. I'm more excited about the packaging than the remasters, frankly. And I'm not even planning on buying any of this! I'm just curious what the CD labels, for example, will look like. They would have to look good. These are Beatles albums! Actually I will be glad to see the first four albums released in stereo; technically all these songs were finally released on CD in stereo on the Capitol Albums set, but at least now they will be in the British running order.

Herr Zrbo said...

I believe the proper quote culled from pop culture is:

"You mean I'm going to have to buy the White Album again??"

Little Earl said...

"I still don't understand your belief that bonus tracks somehow tarnish the sanctity of the original album. If they're at the end, what difference does it make?"

It just depends on the album I guess. I'll admit that sometimes bonus tracks can make an album better (such as putting the "Oh Bondage, Up Yours" single onto the end of the X-Ray Spex's Germ Free Adolescence, for example). But Beatles albums? Past Masters works just fine for me. However, if you're ripping everything into mp3s, then it really doesn't matter does it?

"You managed to completely disregard the video game portion of the article."

Well thank you. I guess I still can't get over the fact that Rock Band doesn't actually teach people to play actual instruments. Then again, maybe one day they'll change real guitars around so that you can only play them with the rules established by Rock Band!

"An earl was the English version of the continental Count. Small is a synonym for little. If you count to 01, your count is small. Seems obvious to me!"

I am forgiven for not understanding this humor.

Herr Zrbo said...

You can't get over the fact that Rock Band doesn't actually teach people to play real guitars?

I think you're missing the point of playing games LE. I don't play shoot 'em ups to learn how to shoot guns, nor do I play Tomb Raider to learn how to navigate ancient ruins. Rock Band is like karaoke for guitars. It gives you the feeling of being a rock star without having to actually go through the songwriting/finding a label/doing heroin/reunion tour part of it.

yoggoth said...

Yeah, I didn't know what to make of that comment either. It's fun to pretend to play songs with your friends.

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