Wednesday, September 30, 2009


A favourite phrase and another of the series of "Doo-Wop" type sorta like covers, the next song on the Beatles debut LP was a cover of the Shirelles' "Baby It's You". This was the second Shirelles song covered by the Beatles on their first LP ( the first one being Ringo's feature: "Boys" ) and it has a someone girl group slow, sensual feel to it. I've discovered over the last few weeks how much the Beatles were influenced by Doo-Wop and yet it's not mentioned often in books and it's also not much of a subject covered by Beatles intelligensia.'s definitely there on the debut. Not so much on the second LP which has a more "motown" feel, but I think I'm kinda getting ahead of myself here.

"Baby It's You" was written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach and is sang by John with backup from the other two main singers (Paul and George, of course). It's a great lead vocal and shows how much "feel" John Lennon had in his ability to be passionate vocally. It still blows me away knowing that the guy had a serious cold and this session was completed in the evening so John had been basically singing all day yet the nice, smooth and soft vocal comes through clear as a bell. As well as a soft side, when John gets harsher near the end of the verses, it sends chills down the spine. The instrumental side of the song is very sparse. Nice.

The song was completed in three takes.

This song was only performed twice on BBC radio. The first time was on "Side by Side" and the second time was on "Pop Go The Beatles" program 2. I highly recommend you to go out and pick up the Apple CD/45 EP single of "Baby It's You" which has the "Pop Go The Beatles" version on it. The live version was originally recorded for the BBC on June 01 1963 and aired over British radio on June 11 1963. It's an outstanding live performance. Very rich sounding. Mono, of course as all BBC material has only been available in this format. Also recommended from the same CD/45 EP is the BBC live version of "I'll Follow The Sun" but this will be discussed when we get to the material from the fourth LP.

As well as being available on the "Please Please Me" LP/CD, this song is also featured on the US Vee Jay "Introducing the Beatles" LP, the Canadian 6000 series "Twist and Shout" LP and the Capitol US "The Early Beatles" LP/CD.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Post Script

Yeah, "Post Script" as opposed to "Post Card", the Apple LP by Mary Hopkin ( I had to throw that in..hahaha).

The next song on the debut LP is also the B side to the first single: "P.S. I Love You" written mainly by Paul. The song was recorded September 11 1962 in Abbey Road at the same time as the Andy White version of "Love Me Do". Therefore, Andy White once again plays the drums on this while Ringo is given the task of shaking the maracas. It definitely has a bit of a latin feel to it. Nice harmonies and the vocal improvisations are super cool on this one. It's a very catchy song and guaranteed to be playing inside your head one of these days when you listen to it often enough. It took 10 takes until perfection was achieved. There are no outtakes that I have ever heard of this song. Pity, really.

During Paul McCartney's 1989-90 tour, he combined "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You" into a groove-rap type song: "P.S. Love Me Do" which is not very good and more of a novelty more than anything else. Also, McCartney owns the publishing rights to the two songs through his MPL organization.

The song was performed live on BBC radio three times: Once on "Here We go", the second time on "The Talent Spot" and the final time on "Pop Go the Beatles" program 4.

Besides the "Please Please Me" debut LP/CD, the song also appeared on the US Vee Jay "Introducing the Beatles" LP (first version), the Canadian Capitol 6000 series "Twist and Shout"LP, the US Capitol "The Early Beatles" LP/CD and the EMI "Love Songs" 2-LP set.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Someone to Love

The next song that opens up side two of the debut disc was the A side of the Beatles' very first single, "Love Me Do". The song was originally played at the Beatles' EMI audition/ recording test which took place on June 06 1962 - Pete Best being the drummer at the time. This first recorded version was never offcially released until 1995 when it was included on the "Anthology 1" LP/CD. Unfortunately, this version showed Pete Best in a bad light as the tempo and style of his drumming is of absolute horrendous quality. I mean, if Pete Best was playing like that in my band, I would have fired him immediately. Now, having said that - I've also heard Pete play on other tracks such as the German Tony Sheridan sessions as well as the Decca audition sessions and he's really not any better or worse than other drummers from the era. So...based on that, I've always wondered why this particular track came out sounding so poorly when I know that Pete Best could have done a much, much better job. Was he nervous? Was he just "farting around" and trying different things for the benefit of a later, proper take? Who knows. Anyway, the Beatles had supposedly planned to get rid of Pete and this was the oppurtunity to do so.

The second time the song was attempted was on September 04 1962. Ringo Starr had joined the Beatles only two weeks previous and was thrown into EMI studios to record the debut single. It seems that over 15 takes of the song was recorded and that there was a lot of editing done to this version. George Martin was not very impressed with drumming on this version. This version was released on the original Parlophone single, as well as the Canadian Capitol single. It also surfaced on the "Past Masters" LP/CD as well as the "Mono Masters" from the mono remasters box set and the "Past Masters" version on the stereo remasters box set.

Lastly, the most common version (and the version we all know and love) contained on the debut disc was recorded (again) on September 11 1962. This time there was a third attempt with a different drummer. I suppose the Beatles had a lot of drummer problems during the last half of 1962, I dunno. :-)

The drummer in this case is Andy White who performed on both "Love Me Do" and it's B side "P.S. I Love You". Poor Ringo was assigned to play maracas on the latter and tambourine on the former. This is basically how you can tell the two officially released versions apart. The September 4 "Ringo on Drums" version has no tambourine. The September 11 "Andy White on Drums" version has tambourine played by Ringo. At least Ringo ended up playing a role on both versions. Apart from the debut single, the Beatles never used a session drummer again for the rest of their career.

I like "Love Me Do". It's a nice Blusey number with a harmonica intro by John, lead vocal mainly by Paul. McCartney has recounted many times how he sounds nervous on the recording due to the fact that all instrumentation stops before he had a small vocal solo "love" leading into the chorus. A respectable beginning for the Beatles, it was certainly different than everything else that was being played at the time, and it made it into the top twenty stalling at number 17. It has been said that maybe Brian Epstein had over ordered stock for the single in his NEMS stores and playing with the numbers, but who knows and who cares? Obviously, a lot of sales were probably in the Liverpool district and surrounding areas as it only made sense to buy the music from a local group "done good" so to speak.

The song is available on only on the debut disc "Please Please Me" (second song version), but also the Vee Jay "Introducing the Beatles" (version one of the LP, second song version ), Capitol's "The Early Beatles"( second song version ), Capitol of Canada 6000 series "Twist and Shout" (secong song version ), Apple's "The Beatles 1962-1966" (second song version), the US Capitol "The Beatles Rarities" (first song version) and a 12 inch single re-issue which contained both the first and second song versions.

"Love Me Do" was played live on BBC radio 9 times: "Here We go" program, the "Talent Spot" program, "Saturday Club" program, "Parade Pops" (live in front of an audience), "Side by Side" program, "Pop Go the Beatles" programs, 2, 6 and 13. Finally, a version was also recorded live for the program "Easy Beat".

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Please, Listen to My Pleas...

The last song on the debut LP is also the title song and LP was named after this hit single by the Beatles. It has been disputed if "Please Please Me" actually made it to the top of the charts, but it all depends on which chart you were reading about back in the day. I remember a mini controversy in 2000 when the "1" LP/CD was released and "Please Please Me" was not in the track listing. I think it should have been included. I don't really care if one chart said number two and another said number one. It's a great, classic, energetic tune that is appreciated as a huge hit for the Beatles everywhere the music is played. Shame on Apple for that one !!

Anyhoo, the recording of "Please Please Me" was first attempted on September 11 1962 with both Ringo and Andy White present. This early version can be heard on the "Anthology 1" CD/LP. Andy White plays drums on this take and he's very busy all the way through it. Also, it has been said that the original version of "Please Please Me" was a slower, more Roy Orbison type song that had to be changed, speeded up and re-worked. Hearing the early September version, there is not that much difference in tempo between this early version and the recorded version. Anyway, it makes for interesting listening none the less.

The re-make of the song was recorded on the same day as the previous number - November 26 1962. It took 18 takes to perfect and sounds great. The harmonica was overdubbed. George Martin had told the Beatles over the talkback: "You've just made your first number one !!".

A great song, a great single. The harmonica intro and the intricate vocal harmonies make it so refreshing and instant. A true Beatles classic. Written mainly by John, by the way.

The mono and stereo version are different for this song. I prefer the mono version as it sounds so much better, tighter and perfect. There are imperfections and timing problems - mainly sync problems - on the stereo mix. That's because the mono mix was done from the proper take whereas the stereo mix was done from combined takes. In the stereo mix, there is a vocal mistake in the last verse and you can hear Lennon chuckle just before the first "Come On" section of the chorus. Also, the ending on the stereo mix is imperfect as the vocals and instruments sorta get off time near the end of the song.

"Please Please Me" (the song) is available on the debut LP/CD "Please Please Me" of course, but also the Canadian 6000 series LP "Twist and Shout", the Vee Jay LP "Introducing the Beatles" and "Jolly What ! The Beatles and Frank Ifield Live on Stage!", the Capitol LP "The Early Beatles" and the Apple LP/CD "The Beatles 1962-1966".

"Please Please Me" was performed 12 times live on the BBC radio. The song was also performed live on the 1964 Ed Sullivan show, Live for the Washington DC show and lipsynced to a pre-recorded live track for "Around the Beatles".

Happy Anniversary

Happy anniversary to the best rock album ever produced. It was forty years to the day that Apple PCS 7088/ Apple SO 383 was unleashed to the world today. Cheers !!

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Love You- Woo-Woo-Woo-Woo

The next four songs on the debut LP are basically the second and first side B and A of the second single and first and second side A and B of the first single. So now we start with the B side of the second single entitled "Ask Me Why". This is one of four released Beatles songs that were recorded the year before (1962) and both singles were successful enough to warrant the LP. Confused yet?

It's quite simple. The B side of the second single was recorded in six takes on Monday November 26 1962. There were two contenders for the B side of the single at that particular session. The recording notes show that it was a toss up between "Ask Me Why" and "Tip of My Tongue". Both original Lennon/McCartney songs. Or rather, McCartney/ Lennon songs until August 1963 when the switch was made. "Ask Me Why" was obviously chosen and "Tip of My Tongue" was never officially released by the Beatles. The song was "given away" to an artist called Tommy Quickly and it's gotta be one of the worse Lennon/McCartney songs ever recorded as a cover. The song (done by Quickly) is absolutely horrible. I have never, ever heard the version recorded by the Beatles on this session. A shame. I'd love to hear what it sounded like. If you've heard it , let me know. The song "Ask Me Why" was mixed for mono four days later. It was mixed for "stereo" on February 25 1963. The Lewisohn recording session book states that "Ask Me Why" was mixed for mono on February 25 1963 but since it had already been mixed for mono on November 30 1962, I dunno why it would be mixed twice. Something does'nt jive.

"Ask Me Why" was also recorded earlier in the year (June 06) during the very first EMI session including John, Paul George and Pete Best. This is another version that I have not heard....yet.

Anyway, "Ask Me Why" was chosen and included on the debut. It's a fine song. I like it. Once again, it has the most "Doo-wop" influence of any recorded Beatles song that I can think of.

"Ask Me Why" was performed four times live for the BBC, twice on "Here We Go", once on "Talent Spot" and once for "Pop Go the Beatles" program 15.

As well as appearing on the "Please Please Me" UK debut LP/CD, the song "Ask Me Why" also appears on the US Vee Jay "Introducing the Beatles" LP, the Canadian Capitol 6000 series "Twist and Shout" LP, the Vee Jay "Jolly What! Frank Ifield On Stage" LP, Capitol's "The Early Beatles" LP/CD and the semi-legal Lingasong live version on "The Beatles Live at the Star Club Hambug, Germany 1962".

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bop-Shoo-Wop, mm Bop-Bop-Shoo Wop

It's Ringo Starrtime !!

This next song was the first recorded lead vocal by the drummer of the group. Richard Starkey ( known to most as Ringo Starr). He had played with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes until he was pulled away by the offer of playing with the Beatles. Ringo accepted. Wise choice !!

"Boys" was another cover song, this one originally written by Luther Dixon and Wes Farrell, sung by the Shirelles ( an American girl group) and is the second song to have a "doo-wop" influence. I've noticed that several songs on this album have that unique sort of "doo-wop" feel that was hastily abandoned by the Beatles with a couple of exceptions. "Happiness is a Warm Gun" comes to mind. But, I digress.

Believe it or not, the song was recorded in one take on the fateful day of the debut disc, and the subject matter at the time was not at all even thought of as anything more than a good tune and a good time. Nor should it be looked upon as anything than a great tune. Nuff said.

A nice tight song, no overdubs that I can detect although I understand that the fade out was done in the mixing stage later in the month of February 63 ( according to Lewisohn.)

The song became a staple in the sets of the live shows, mainly to feature Ringo - along with "I Wanna Be Your Man" and "Act Naturally".

The BBC live performances include: Twice on "Side by Side", a performance on "Saturday Club", twice on "Pop Go the Beatles": program 4 and 14 and twice on "From Us to You".

Aside from the debut "Please Please Me' LP/CD, the song can be found on Vee Jay's "Introducing the Beatles", the Canadian 6000 series "Twist and Shout", Capitol's "The Early Beatles" and a live performance can be found on "The Beatles At the Hollywood Bowl" LP.

This song was also performed live on the 1964 Summer American tour as well as on the "Shindig" television show in 1965.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The next song on the debut LP is the second cover song heard on side one. This is also the first song heard with a George Harrison lead vocal. The original version was performed by a group called the Cookies. I have to tell you that I've never heard the original but I'm assuming that this was a girl group. The song was written by the successful "Brill Building" songsmiths Gerry Goffin and Carole King.

Mostly three part harmony, George , John and Paul sing like angels on this version. The middle eight is basically George alone and to me he sounds a little nervous. I'm sure that if there would have been more time to record, Harrison may have been able to relax a bit and take his time. His voice seems to quiver a bit, but it sounds very confident nonetheless.

The song was recorded in four takes but the first take was used for the album. I have yet to hear any outtakes from this song as I think it would be interesting. The opening harmonica is likely played by John. Other than that, not much more to say about this one.

The song was played live at the BBC four times ("Here We Go", "Side by Side" "Pop Go the Beatles" program 4 and "Pop Go the Beatles" program 14.)

Apart from being available on the mono and stereo "Please Please Me", the song can be found on the Canadian 6000 series "Twist and Shout" LP, the US Vee Jay "Introducing the Beatles" LP and the US Capitol "The Early Beatles" LP/CD.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Go to Him...

The third song from the debut album is also the first "cover" song we hear from the Beatles. The title is "Anna (Go to Him)" which was a composition by Arthur Alexander. Three takes were performed and I'm assuming that the third was the keeper. A live in the studio performance with one of the most passionate vocal passages by John Lennon. Simply a D to Bm verse, the song starts off softly and envelopes into a strong chorus and amazingly brilliant middle eight. Considering Lennon had a very heavy cold this day, the vocal is absolutely stunning and spectacular with great support by Paul and George. The song was from later in the sessions - recorded in the evening - but the freshness and vitality of this performance tells us that the Beatles were putting everything they could into the recording as it is simply one of the most beautiful and well accomplished musical numbers on the debut LP. It simply has to be heard to be believed !!
"Anna (Go to Him)" was performed twice on BBC radio. Once on the "Pop Go the Beatles" program 4 and again on "Pop Go the Beatles" program 11.
This song is also available on the US "Introducing the Beatles" (Vee Jay), the Canadian 6000 series "Twist and Shout" LP as well as the US "The Early Beatles" (Capitol).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The World Is Treating Me Bad...

...Misery. I suppose John and Paul were having a bad day. Feeling a little depressed, gentlemen? "Misery" is the second song from the debut LP/CD. The back cover for this set has the writing credits of the Beatles' originals as "McCartney/Lennon". The only UK LP to do this, the writing credits on all future LPs would revert to the more common and know version - "Lennon/McCartney".

But...I digress. Personally, I've never been a big fan of this song. The slow introduction sounds corny, the words are trite and this mid-tempo song never really seems to get off the ground, although the "doo wop" fade out is kinda intriguing and funny at the same time. I find it interesting that this song was offered to the UK artist Helen Shapiro (who, by the way, turned it down!!).

The commercial version of the song is Take 11. This song features the second time an outside musician had played on a Beatles' EMI recording session (George Martin overdubbing piano in the middle eight later in the month while the Beatles were absent.) The first time an outside musician had played on a Beatles' EMI recording session was the version of "Love Me Do" with Andy White on drums. This will be discussed in a later entry.

"Misery" was performed live on the BBC on seven different occasions.

Apart from "Please Please Me", "Misery" can be found on the US LP "Introducing the Beatles", the Canadian 6000 series LP "Long Tall Sally". It was also released later on the North American version of "Rarities".

Saturday, September 19, 2009


"One, two, three, FAW..." so starts the first song on the LP. The count in to "I Saw Her Standing There" which had the working title "Seventeen" was edited onto a different take of the song. The count in was simply a frustrated McCartney trying to work out the tempo of the song as evident on bootleg material which features breakdowns due to the speed of the song, prompting the count down to be heard. Interestingly, on the "Introducing the Beatles" Vee Jay release , both mono and stereo feature the count in cut off so that you only hear the last number "faw" before the song launches into it's rock and roll swing beat. The mono version is preferable to me since this was recorded on twin track and the stereo version just sounds unbalanced as all the instrumentation is on one channel whilst the vocals come out of the other channel. The clarity of the instruments is very, very good on the mono CD remasters although I still prefer the version put out by German Odeon on the titled "Die Beatles" vinyl. There tends to be slightly less reverb on the German pressing. Needless to say, probably the best way to experience the sound would be on the original Parlophone UK "Please Please Me" LP. The US pressings don't really cut it as they tend to use second generation master tapes. For stereo, the Mobile Fidelity Sounds Lab LP is very good but EQed differently. This is all to my ears, anyway.

Back to the song in question: "I Saw Her Standing There" was mainly written by Paul, a standard rock chording with a twist before the chorus where it goes from the E to A to the unexpected C and the "ooohhh" vocal before it's natural conclusion. The bass line is quite original and almost "punk" like in it's execusion.It has become a Rock and Roll classic.

The bedrock of the song is take 01, with the count in from take 09 and the overdubbed handclaps are take 12. The Harrison guitar solo is very good and it was never repeated the same way for any live performances!

The song was performed live in Hamburg Germany on December 1962, approximately two months before it was recorded and is available on some of the "Star Club" recordings.

The song was performed live on the BBC eleven different times !

Interestly, on occasion, the second middle eight of the song was eliminated by the Beatles during live performance of the song in order to "shorten" it and try to contain to around two minutes. A fine example would be the performance on the Feb. 09 "Ed Sullivan" Show .

The song is also available on the US "Meet The Beatles", the Canadian "Long Tall Sally" LP, re-issued on the double "Rock and Roll Music" LP as well as the aforementioned LPs described above.

This song was performed live by John Lennon with Elton John in November 1974 at Madison Square Gardens. John dedicated the song to Paul. It would be his last live performance in front of a paying audience.

Paul has performed the song live with his touring band since 1989. I actually witnessed the performance at the Montreal Forum on December 09 of that year. It ended up on the LP/CD "Tripping the Live Fantastic". Very cool !!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Off the Beatle Track" The Debut

February 11 1963 was the day in the life of the Beatles' debut LP career. Little did anyone know that this would be the beginning of a recording career that would change many lives, provide the soundtrack for millions of music fans and basically change the music world and the current prelevant attitude of a generation.
It all started with the idea of the record label EMI "cashing in" on the a previous top ten single entitled "Please Please Me" written by a couple of guys in a band from Liverpool who just happened to have sped up a slower "Roy Orbison" type ditty into a nation wide hit single. Mainly written by Lennon, the original idea was taken from the Bing Crosby influenced "Please listen to my Pleas" and twirled around to ambiguously distorting the meaning of the word "Please" similar to the latter. It was typical Lennon word play and it worked in their favour. The naughty innuendo not withstanding, it was very creative and showed an originality that would place this band from Liverpool deep into the 60s creative juices from an early standpoint.
The debut LP contained not only the top ten single, but also contained the debut single entitled "Love Me Do" written mainly by Paul McCartney and featured a heavy blues motif which made the top twenty upon release (number 17 to be exact). Not bad for a first try with an original composition written by the members of the artists.
Once it had been established that both singles were successful, it was decided that a hastily made LP be recorded and released before the public decided that they were nothing but a flash in the pan and resorted to searching for greener pastures musically.
So....all this to say that the very first Beatles LP/CD was recorded in 585 minutes or closer to approximately 10 hours. Think about it: 10 hours to record 10 songs (there were 14 on the album: 10 songs and the two singles along with their respective B sides).
The line up of instruments and the players remained the same throughout. John Lennon on guitar, George Harrison on guitar, Paul McCartney on bass and Ringo Starr on drums. No real changes on this LP. All songs were recorded live off the floor with no major overdubs - the exception being vocals now and then and harmonica and piano. Apart from that; it was a live performance all the way. Incredible. Oh, by the way, John Lennon was suffering from a major cold affecting his voice.
There was talk of recording the Beatles live at the Cavern Club in Liverpool at one point but logistics stood in the way. I think the studio work was a much better option as the sound is cleaner and much more professional than if the work would have been live in concert. The technology and the equipment available at EMI was pretty well state of the art in England in those days and I think the sound and instrumental clarity benefits from being in a professional recording studio.
The LP is done using two track technology. This, of course, limited the band's ability to expand into experimentation but it's a moot point at this stage in their career. I'm assuming that the whole point of the LP was to prove to the record buying public that this band could do more than just write a couple of catchy tunes and be successful at it. The Beatles (at this point) were basically playing live and working eight days a week and had amassed an amazingly huge repertoire of not only original, but cover, tunes that were played in the dance halls and jive palais of the era. Just witness their earlier BBC work and thier endless German Hamburg engagements.
It's February 11/ 63: Ringo Starr had only been the official drummer for the Beatles less than seven months. It had only been eight months since the very first EMI audition with Peter Best. "Love Me Do" had been released in October the previous year: four months before the debut LP recording sessions.
The recording was produced by George Martin and engineered by Norman Smith (Richard Langham was the tape operator).
The iconic front cover photo was by Angus McBean: In 2006, as I was touring London, the staircase at EMI house (where the photo was taken) had been torn down but they had saved the platform of the staircase where the original photo had been taken. My tour guide (Richard Porter) had mentioned that the Sex Pistols had shown interest in having their portraits taken on the same platform. I haven't seen it but it's known to exist. George Martin had suggested the title "Off the Beatle Track" for the LP but it was rejected.
The back cover identifies the members of the band along with what instruments they play and also contains the liner notes by Tony Barrow.
The LP was released March 22 1963 on the black/gold Parlophone label in the UK. Most of the original reels still exist at Abbey Road and they are available on the "Unsurpassed Masters", "Ultra Rare Trax", "Alternate Please Please Me", etc.....bootleg recordings.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Beatles in Mono: The aesthetic Experience was a week ago today that I did my citizen's / Apple scruff duty and decided to purchase both the mono and stereo remastered box sets. It wasn't the greatest experience of my life, let me tell you. The distribution of the boxes was questionable and I was very lucky to find the mono box set after several telephone calls and running around in my semi-trusty automobile to try and actually find what I was hunting for. Most retailers had the stereo set but they were limited to small numbers (usually between three and six) and were basically sold out of the stereos within minutes of opening the physical stores. I was determined to find both sets within the first day of release (number 09...number 09..number 09 ) and I was successful in both cases. I was originally told that the mono box would be impossible to find within the city but after exhausting all avenues, one of the independents had the mono white box. Whew !
I decided to concentrate on the Mono set and I also wanted to listen to the mono remasters in chronological order before tackling the stereos.
Let's talk about the look of the mono box:
First off, the set was made in Japan. The outer box and the discs indicated "Made in Japan" and I'm wondering if this contract was the reason why: number 01 - they were so expensive and number 02 - they were a limited run.
The outer box is white with a thin black border. "The Beatles" in the classic logo is featured with the words "In Mono" written smaller underneath. The back of the box informs the consumer that there are exactly 185 songs as well as the contents, the re-creation of the LP releases, the non-album and EP tracks, the booklet, etc. A small Apple logo and the Beatles official web page is also announced.
I must say that I'm very impressed with the look of the whole box. I carefully sliced open the side the box with my exacto knife and slowly slid out the contents. The inner section contains the booklet and all the mono CDs in chronological order. From "Please Please Me" to the "White Album". Lastly the Beatles "mono masters" in a fold out cover completes the set.
The Booklet is 44 pages long (with photos) and describes the mono vs. stereo process as well as informative liner notes to the "mono masters" cds in detail. The pages are glossy and the back of the booklet describes the CDs in the package with a track list, composer credits, producer and engineer credits as well as remastering credits.
Each CD is individually wrapped in re-sealable mylar outer sleeves similar to Japanese LP imports. Very classy !! All CDs come with the original UK Lp inner sleeve ( "Please Please Me" to "Revolver" having the EMI sleeve, "Pepper" having the original psychodelic sleeve designed by "The Fool" [the red and pink sleeve], "Magical Mystery Tour" having the white sleeve and "The Beatles' White Album" have the original black inners).
All the CD have the original LP inserts: "Pepper" having the cut-outs, "Magical Mystery Tour" having the complete book and "The Beatles" having the poster and individual glossy photos. Speaking of "The Beatles", the white front cover has the name embossed. Sadly, there is no individual number assigned to the series, which would have been a nice touch.
Also missing are the "Garrod & Lofthouse/ Ernest J. Day" printing credits. It would also have been a very nice touch. The CDs all have the tri-fold cover construction similar to the original mono LPs. The labels correspond correctly to the first pressing LP labels. For instance, "Please Please Me" has the correct gold/black label - this was indicative of the early pressings where shortly thereafter it was changed to the more common yellow/black. "With the Beatles" to "Pepper" have the correct yellow/black labels. "Magical Mystery Tour" has the Capitol label as it was released as a double EP in the UK until the 70's. Lastly, "The Beatles" has the Apple label with the whole Apple on disc 1 and the sliced Apple on disc 2. This has the original top loader similar to early UK pressings. All labels have been modified to include the complete track list and the manufactor's blurbs. It's really an outstanding package. I almost expected to see the "Sold in UK..." print on the "White album". What's really neat is the George Martin credit for orchestration.
As a whole, I'm very impressed with the look of the CDs, I'm glad it was finally done right and I hope that newer Beatles fans will appreciate the artistry in which the LPs (when first released) were presented.
The cardboard covers are very sturdy, the CDs, inner sleeve and inserts (where applicable) have ample room to be slid in and out of the package. I highly recommend the box to all fans.
Please note that "Oldies...but Goldies" was not included due to the fact that most of the songs are available on the "mono masters" CDs and other various CDs in the set.
"Yellow Submarine", "Abbey Road" and "Let it Be" are not present as they were never mixed for mono.
A little note about "Yellow Submarine"; the four songs included on the "mono masters" are from the film soundtrack and are true mono in this form only. When "Yellow Submarine" was originally released in England, a mono catalogue number was issued - but it contained the stereo masters folded down.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hi everyone and Welcome !!

What I'm doing is I'm going to create a Beatles blog like never before! I've been a second generation fan since 1969 and have lived through the Apple era and have collected the Beatles music ever since.
The whole point of the blog is to create discussion of not only the music, but all recordings in all formats related to the music of the Beatles!
Feel free to comment on anything you feel like commenting about as long as it's music related. I"ve been a musican (still am) and have been in recording studios and love to talk Beatles. International label variations, UK, Canada and US pressings and re-issues not only on vinyl but CD are certainly welcome.
I'll soon be reviewing the mono remasters in a short while once I've finish studying and listening to the contents. I consider myself a Beatles scholar and I welcome all feed back. So...sit back and we'll get started very soon....stay tuned.