The Beatles in Mono

Beatles-in-mono-773

The Beatles

 

The Beatles in Mono is a box set compilation comprising the remastered monophonic recordings by The Beatles. The set was released on 9 September 2009, the same day the remastered stereo recordings and companion The Beatles Stereo Box Set were also released, along with The Beatles: Rock Band video game. The remastering project for both mono and stereo versions was led by EMI senior studio engineers Allan Rouse and Guy Massey. It was announced that the box set will be remastered (this time from the actual tapes and not the digital process) again on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl and it will be released on September 8, 2014.

The Mono Box Set was released to reflect the fact that the Beatles’ catalogue (aside from Abbey Road, Let It Be and Yellow Submarine) was originally released in mono, with the stereo versions as an addition. Many feel that these mono mixes reflect the true intention of the band. For example, in the case of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, all the mono mixes were done together with the Beatles themselves, throughout the recording of the album, whereas the stereo mixes were done in only six days by Abbey Road personnel George Martin, Geoff Emerick and Richard Lush after the album had been finished, with none of the Beatles attending. George Harrison commented:

At that time […] the console was about this big with four faders on it. And there was one speaker right in the middle […] and that was it. When they invented stereo, I remember thinking ‘Why? What do you want two speakers for?’, because it ruined the sound from our point of view. You know, we had everything coming out of one speaker; now it had to come out of two speakers. It sounded like … very … naked.”“The goal was simple: make them sound like the artist intended.”
Steve Berkowitz

The thirteen-disc collection contains the remastered mono versions of every Beatles album released in true mono. The original 1965 stereo mixes of Help! and Rubber Soul are included as bonuses on their respective albums. (In 1986 both albums had been remixed by George Martin for their CD release in 1987.) The box contains a new two-disc compilation album titled Mono Masters, which compiles all the mono mixes of singles, B-sides and EP tracks that did not originally appear on any of the United Kingdom albums or Magical Mystery Tour.

Universal and Apple’s first official unveiling of “The Beatles’ original mono studio albums on vinyl”. The more canny of you will realize that the Beatles’ original studio albums are already available on vinyl, but time and entropy hasn’t been kind to the versions released between 1963 and 1968. So, on September 8 (September 9 in the US), The Beatles’ nine UK albums, plus the American-compiled Magical Mystery Tour, and the Mono Masters collection of non-album tracks will be released in newly mastered mono versions on 180-gram vinyl LPs with lovingly replicated original artwork.

He places the specially designed Ortofon cartridge on the first track, Love Me Do. It sounds clear and beefy, but not falsely so. Instrumental fluffs and those plosive ‘p’s on “pretend” have been kept in. It’s like someone has polished the original 51-year-old pressing with the best record cleaner in the world. We hear ten tracks in full. Here are the Top 5.

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U.S. Box

U.S. Box

 

The last song, the mysteriously lovely Goodnight is played and some figures are rolled out before the next audience is ushered in. Before MOJO leaves it discovers that…

• The records will be manufactured at Optimal Media in Germany. They are planning on producing something in the region of 35-40,000 boxes.

• Those willing to immerse themselves in the complete mono experience can purchase a specially manufactured Ortofon 2M Mono Special Edition “Beatles Tribute” Cartridge. Although the LPs will sound “just fine” with an existing stereo cartridge.

• George Harrison was once ejected from New York’s Plaza Hotel for playing his McIntosh stereo too loud.

• If a meeting goes on too long at Abbey Road the Beatles track they choose to play to hurry everyone out is Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.

• The Beatles On Mono is available to pre-order at http://www.thebeatles.com/news/beatles-get-back-mono

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