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The Beatles

Beatles remastered

The fab four's entire backcatalogue is revamped
07 April 2009 - Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music have announced plans to release digitally remastered versions of The Beatles' entire back catalogue.

The joint venture will see all 13 of their original studio albums revamped in stereo and will replace their previous remastered versions, which were released in 1987.

In addition, the collection's Past Masters Vol. I and II are now combined as one title, making a total of 14 records over 16 discs.

Mogwai guitarist Barry Burns believes the new recordings are a good idea.

"I think the originals could have probably sounded better and they probably never really spent enough time on them the first time around," he said. 

"Especially when you're not actually re-recording the songs because all you're doing is fiddling about with it and there's only so much you can do with the stereo track." 

Each of the CDs is packaged with replicated original UK album art, including expanded booklets containing original and newly written liner notes and rare photos.

For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album.
Dedicated team

Each stereo album will be available to buy individually, or as a collection in a box set and a further box set of mono recordings will also be released.

The albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London over a four year period.

During that time they utilised state of the art recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings.
"It's an extraordinary thing to hear LPs you know so well and hear little nuances that you hadn't noticed before." Beatles expert Kevin Howlett

Beatles expert Kevin Howlett, who wrote the historical and recording notes on the mono recordings, told 6 Music: "You really can tell the difference.

"It's an extraordinary thing to sit there and hear LPs that you know so well and hear little nuances that you hadn't noticed before.

"They also sound louder than previous CD re-issues."

Poor quality

Sam Inglis from recording magazine Sound on Sound said the remastered copies were needed owing to the poor quality of the originals.

"The Beatles CDs that are currently available were mostly transferred to CDs in the late 80s," he said.

"Although I'm sure they were much better than the early transfers, there is a large body of opinion which believes they are still not up to scratch.

"I'd be very surprised if they did a poor job of them, I imagine they will sound great."

The collection will be released on 9 September, the same day as The Beatles: Rock Band.

The video game will feature songs by the Liverpool legends and gamers will be able to play simulated guitar, drums, bass and vocals using existing 'Rock Band' hardware.

The release will also allow gamers to buy new hardware modelled on instruments used by the band.

It is the first time The Beatles' music has been licensed for use in a video game. 

Damian Jones

Have your say

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Comments so far

Tyrone Wong, Grange Park, London
It's possible to put 79:59 of music on a cd, so why aren't the early mono mixes put on the remastered versions after the stereo mixes? I fear the answer is the same reason Apple put the old "red" and "blue" compilations on seperate cd's even though they would easily have fitted on one! The poor old Beatles fan has to suffer one more miserly stroke from Apple.

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