Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Better Than The Beatles

Last night was an awakening. It was one of those moments when you think you know something, I mean honestly get it and live by it. And then something happens and bam, your life is changed for better or worse. The moment at hand is tied to the remastered collection of The Beatles. I grew up on The Beatles, like most people that can be trusted. I listened to the vinyls, cassettes, CDs, and even took a college course focused solely on them.

The conflict and history of mono and stereo gets a bit convoluted. All you really need to know is that The Beatles recorded most of their albums in mono and paid no attention to the stereo mixing. It was new, unrefined, and gimmicky technology; their musical vision was in mono. Last night, Cristina and I listened to Revolver in remastered mono. The comparison to the CD/mp3 versions is something you have to experience. Vocals, bass, piano, guitar, drums, etc. etc. are full and warm. The sounds capture real life better than ever before. You hear/feel instruments and sounds that were never accessible before. The same holds true for vinyl record holders of these albums, the mono will sound better than the stereo. [great article from Gizmodo: Sorry Stereo, But Beatles in Mono Rocks a Lot More]

The fun isn't over. There are more albums to enjoy and the stereo remastering of all their albums aims to beat out the old mono versions. Thanks to modern audio technology the stereo versions should deliver an even better sound. I'm skeptical because the mono remasters blew my head off my shoulders. I'll run another comparison and report back. Until then, do yourself a favor and get your hands on these remastered collections.


My name is Cristina said...

I think one of the greatest things I have taken away from these remastered mono recordings is more thoroughly listening to the sounds of the music. I mean, the melodies and lyrics have been ingrained in us from a young age, but not until last night have I actually sat and really, fully listened to the music. You know what I mean? Sure I knew from memory what sounds to expect, but never before had I really paid any substantial attention to them. That seems a little harsher than I mean, but you get what I'm saying right?

Mr. Philippe said...

Absolutely, you gain an appreciation for the songs in a new way. The songs are wonderfully crafted and orchestrated. There is nothing "pop-simple" about them.