20 April 2009

All You Need Is Cash

31 Farvardin - Year 1388

It was announced a couple of weeks ago that The Beatles' original catalogue has been re-mastered again and will be re-issued on September 9th of this year. I'm not sure why they chose that date - though it is a month before John Lennon's birthday, so I suspect that was a factor in it. For most of the albums, this will be the first re-release since the Capitol/EMI CD editions in the late 1980s (there was a special-edition mini-LP version of "The White Album" released to coincide with it's 30-year anniversary in 1998).

There's a little montage at the official website, showing the new packaging and a bit of the deluxe booklets, as well as the description in the 'news' section (that I linked to - you have to scroll down a bit). It appears one can buy them all at once, as a boxed set, or individually (you can pre-order them on Amazon now). The CDs are all in stereo, including the first three or four albums--which were issued only in mono on vinyl. There will be a separate "Beatles In Mono" boxed set as well. The two Past Masters CDs, first released in 1988, have been combined into a 2-disc'er - and the songs with mono mixes will be included in the boxed set, as a bonus.

There have been some complaints about EMI not including the mono mixes on the stereo discs (as there's enough room on a standard length CD). That seems a fair complaint to me. Other fans thought there should be out-takes as bonus tracks. It'd be nice, but the bootleggers have already sorted all those - check the Purple Chick releases. In my estimation, the PC versions are some of the best Fabs boots around now. Sure, EMI are grabbing the dosh from one of their most lucrative acts (along with Pink Floyd and Queen), but I can cut 'em a bit of slack for only re-issuing this stuff once so far - unlike the Floyd back catalogue, which is on it's third re-issue now. Virgin, MCA/Universal and Atlantic do the same, so it's not just one major label's habit.

Will I buy 'em? Yep. What can I say, I'm a sucker for re-issues, especially if it's the good stuff - and this, my friends, is the good stuff. I don't know if I'll go all out and buy the mono boxed set--I could ask for it as an X-Mas gift. If anyone's looking for some of the 80s Beatles CD re-masters, I'll be at the Kassam boot sale next month.

1 comment:

Singing Bear said...

Remaster - Reissue - Repackage - Reap The Readies...We can hardly blame any massive Beatles fan for wanting these new issues. My guess is that, if you have a superior hi-fi they may very well be worth the money but I do feel that the constant rehashing of old recordings has become rip-off. The companies know that there are a lot of dedicated fans (and general obessives) out there who will pay for anything.

I imagine that the two boxes of complete recordings (mono and stereo) will be very expensive. They should definitely have put them out on one disc or, at least, as double disc sets. The Kinks reissues work very well this way. I'm not so sure about reissuing classic albums with lot of out-takes, so maybe they are right to not do that with the Fab Four. If we believe that an album is a complete artistic statement, we should really accept it as the artist meant it to be. I don't think I'd really want to have a ton of out-takes thrown on to the end of a Dylan album. Having said all that, I DO want the rare stuff but am happy to have it on bootlegs, rather than some record company scraping the barrel to make another ton of dosh. Yes, I suppose I do have a rather two-faced attitude about such things.

I bet the individual Beatles remasters will not be in the discount price range. Have you noticed how their albums, along with the Floyd, have never really come down in price? Isn't Macca rich enough already? I'm afraid I won't be buying them. It's an ask too far. I still don't even have many of them on CD anyway!