The Beatles in Mono

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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

Album Review: The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, ‘Midnight Sun’

Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl

Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl

 

 

Music is one of the only fields where we hold the sins, or saintliness, of the father against the son. Sean Lennon has had it both a lot harder, and a lot easier, than most musicians over the years. His second release as the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, his group with his girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl, should lend credence to both the misgivings of critics and the joy of fans. In short, there’s a lot of Lennonesque psychedelia going on here, the “Tomorrow Never Knows”-style backward guitars and Eastern tones of “Xanadu” in particular. “Too Deep” sounds like Oasis doing their Beatles shtick. But on the title track, where Muhl takes a more prominent vocal role, the song’s sitar-funk sounds like a Mod-era soundtrack to a car chase. “Golden Earrings” is a meandering, pensive slice of cinematic psychedelia, while “Great Expectations” is a descent into the watery abyss. It’s an accomplished, enjoyable record from start to finish, regardless of references or lineage. (Out Today)

 

ESSENTIAL “Xanadu”

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger performs at Brighton Music Hall on June 7.

 

The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl – Animals

Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl

Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl

 

Following the premiere of the epic Moth To A Flame, it’s time to take another dive into The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger’s excellent forthcoming album, Midnight Sun.

Animals points to the heavier side of the band and finds Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl (these days augmented live by Jared Samuel, Tim Kuhl and Robbie Mangano) channeling the unnerving zephyrs of Tame Impala’s Lonerism alongside space-psych choruses that recall Bends-era Radiohead.

Connection to SoundCloud is not working. Click image below to listen to Animals track in SoundCloud.

animals

Midnight Sun is due for release on April 28 via Lennon’s Chimera Music label.

 

 

 

 

John Lennon: “I believe in change”

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Hey, there. We’re aware of a bug that’s preventing private tracks from playing in the Stream — sorry about this. While soundcloud work on a fix please read about the Beatle that believed in change while we try to get a hold of the interview files.

The hours-long audio tapes of this interview were acquired by Hard Rock in 1987 and with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ U.S. debut approaching, the company is releasing the tapes to the public for the first time. The full interview, alongside transcripts, analysis and a memorabilia gallery, are available on Hard Rock’s website, but to give you a sample, we’ve got two exclusive audio clips from the interviews below.

In the first, Lennon discusses how he can affect social change and references the infamous Black Dwarf letter. That letter, written by music critic John Hoyland in 1968 in the radical newspaper Black Dwarf, lambasts Lennon and the recently released track “Revolution” as being hostile to the growing disillusionment of youth toward authoritarian figures.

“I’ve changed a lot of people’s heads,” Lennon says in the clip below. “I believe in change. That’s what Yoko and my scene is, to change it like that…And you’re not preaching to the converted … Well, what are they doing? What can they do? [Referencing the Black Dwarf letter] All I’m saying is I think you should do it by changing people’s heads and they’re saying, ‘Well we should smash the system.’ Now, the system smashing scene’s been going on forever, y’know? What’s it done?”

The second clip finds Lennon discussing the growing weariness of The Beatles toward each other and asking the interviewer if he’d heard of Rolling Stone, which published its first issue only one year before. “I’ve said it all, y’know, somewhere or other,” says Lennon. “It’s just a bit of a hassle to say it…Just read the Rolling Stone article. There’s quite a lot about it in there. Cause I went through it a bit, just about the album and different things. Have you heard of it? It’s a good paper.”

Lennon notes that contrary to other publications, Rolling Stone accepted an ad for Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1968 album Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins featuring the couple standing naked. “International Times wouldn’t take the front cover photo unless we gave them an indemnity against it, y’know,” says Lennon. “They’re so established… Amazing. But [Rolling Stone] just took it, and this paper…was cooled by it, cause they’ve had the biggest circulation they ever had.”

In a 2009 interview with the Guardian, Hindle recalled traveling to Lennon’s house for the interview. “We students crammed into the back of the Mini and John drove us up the bumpy private road that led to his house, Kenwood,” said Hindle. “In a sitting room at the back of the house we sat down on thick-pile Indian carpets around a low table, cross-legged. Yoko said little, as we all knew this was primarily John’s day – and he said a lot. Apart from a short break, when Yoko fed us macrobiotic bread and jam she had made, Lennon talked continuously for six hours.”

On Sunday, CBS will air The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles, an event that took place last month and featured a rare performance from Paul McCartney and Starr (who also played together during the Grammy Awards). The program will also show tributes from Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry, Dave Grohl, Pharrell, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Gary Clark, Jr., Joe Walsh and a reunited Eurythmics.

The Beatles’ momentous trip to America was the subject of a recent Rolling Stone cover story, which details everything from the band’s early trepidation about the trip, the U.S. press’s early criticism of the group (“They look like shaggy Peter Pans,” Time initially wrote) and their generation-defining three-night stint on Sullivan.

The Day John Lennon Died 2010 (full documentary)

John Lennon on Dick Cavett (entire show) September 11, 1971 (HD)