Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Beatles In Mono (box set)

On the same day of release as the Beatles stereo remastered box set (September 09, 2009), Apple also released another box set of the mono mixes for 10 albums including "Please Please Me"/"With The Beatles"/"A Hard Day's Night"/"Beatles For Sale"/"Help!"/"Rubber Soul"/"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"/"Magical Mystery Tour"/"The Beatles (White Album)".  The catalogue number for the set is Apple 099969.
This set also contains some unique mixes for both the "Help!" and "Rubber Soul" sets. The original stereo mixes from the LP versions are included (the other stereo mixes similar to the 1987 releases on CD are contained on the stereo box set - mainly differences in panning for the vocals). The set also contains a 2-CD compilation entitled "The Beatles Mono Masters" which collects the non-LP tracks mixed in mono during the sixties. The set also contains a 44 page book with photos and liner notes by Kevin Howlett.
The outer box is white with a black frame (opposite to the stereo box) with the box set title in black and the Apple logo beneath it. The side of the box also has the box set title in black. The back of the box has a slick stuck on with the box set title and an explanation of the contents. At the bottom are the bar code, catalogue number, Apple logo, the band website address and the trademark logos. The side of the box opens up to reveal an interior half angled box containing the CDs and the booklet.
All of the CDs have outer clear vinyl sleeves (similar to the Japanese re-sealable type). All of the reproduction artwork, layouts, inserts and inner sleeves are present and re-create the look of the 1960s mono Lps (in miniature form, of course). The Beatles Mono Masters 2-CD has a white cover and the title in black on the front the title on the spine, the disc one and disc two tracklisting on the back, Apple logo, band website adress and copyright information at the bottom. This bonus disc also has the outer clear sleeve and is gatefold revealing a black and white photo of 1963 era Beatles. The labels are Yellow/black Parlophone for disc one and the whole Apple label for disc two. The tracklisting for disc one: "Love Me Do" (version w/Andy White), "From Me To You", "Thank You Girl", "She Loves You", "I'll Get You", I Want to Hold Your Hand", "This Boy", "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand", "Sie Liebt Dich", "Long Tall Sally", "I Call Your Name", "Slow Down", "Matchbox", "I Feel Fine", "She's A Woman", "Bad Boy", "Yes It Is" and "I'm Down". Disc two: "Day Tripper", "We Can Work It Out", "Paperback Writer", "Rain", "Lady Madonna", "The Inner Light", "Hey Jude", "Revolution", "Only A Northern Song", "All Together Now", "Hey Bulldog", "It's all Too Much", "Get Back", "Don't Let Me Down", "Across The Universe" and "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)". Note that the four mono mixes for the "Yellow Submarine" LP are included but were never used on the original LP and Billy Preston gets credit for "Get Back" and "Don't Let Me Down" on the back cover.
The booklet also has a white cover with the box set title on the front. The back cover features a black and white photo of the band from the March 25 1963 session. The book has an introduction and a track-by-track liner notes for all of the songs contained on the 2 bonus discs. Also included are the tracklisting for all of the mono CDs contained in the set with photos of the front cover and a bonus photo. The production credits for each disc and the publishing for each disc are also included. Various photos of the Beatles throughout thier active career are also included throughout the booklet. Very classy indeed !!
The front and back covers of the CDs are the same as the original mono LPs. Even the tri-fold construction on the back of the covers is reproduced !! Nice.  "Please Please Me" has the Black/Gold Parlophone label on the CD - "With The Beatles" to "Pepper" have the Yellow/black Parlophone labels. "Magical Mystery Tour" has the rainbow Capitol label. "The Beatles (White Album)" has the whole Apple lable for disc one and the half Apple label for disc two. All inserts are present: "Beatles For Sale" is gatefold; "Pepper" has the funky inner sleeve, gatefold and cut-outs/insert. "Magical Mystery Tour" has the booklet present in the gatefold. The White Album as the poster/four individual photos and is a top loader similar to first mono presses in 1968 ! A truly nice package and well worth getting ! Highly recommended. This was truly done right by Apple !!
Originally, this package was to be limited but as time has gone by, it seems that there are quite a few copies still available through the normal channels.
As a side note, the stereo box set has definitely been counterfeited with cheap reproductions so beware of this as well !!

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