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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Magical Mystery Tour: A Beatles Odyssey

As most of you probably know by now The Beatles recently released two massive collections that have quickly become must-haves for any Beatles fan. The first is the fully remastered stereo recordings for all 13 studio albums released between 1963 and 1970. This includes:

Please Please Me
With The Beatles
A Hard Days Night
Beatles For Sale
Rubber Soul
Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
The White Album
Yellow Submarine
Abbey Road
Let It Be

Plus Past Masters Volume I and II which includes every non-album single released during the same period. So effectively this collection includes a remastered stereo version of just about every note The Beatles put on record and released in the 1960s.

The other collection released recently is all of the same studio albums but remastered in mono. For those who don't know why this would matter, during The Beatles heyday they and George Martin only oversaw the mono mixes and then went and got a pint at the pub while some mixing engineers jiggered with the stereo mixes. Since stereo record players were still a novelty at the time, The Beatles were only concerned with how the mono recordings sounded. But once they broke up and it was left to other people to rerelease their music stereo took hold and the mono recordings were shelved and nearly forgotten about.

Until now. These old mixes have been dusted off and remastered so that a whole other generation of Beatles fans can enjoy The Beatles music the way John, Paul, George, and Ringo intended.

All of this is to say that for Christmas my beautiful wife bought me the stereo collection and the gift has awoken in me an insane desire to revisit the entire Beatles canon. So, I have officially deemed January "Beatles Month". I will be systematically listening to, and then reviewing, all 13 of The Beatles canon albums*. Don't worry, I will do other posts too, but every few days I will post a new review with plenty of interesting tidbits about the album and it's place in history.

So, everybody roll up for a Magical Mystery Tour, step right this way!

*See above album list for what I mean by "canon". Also, I'm sure it will take me longer than a month to review 13 albums, so "Beatles Month" will likely extend into February a little bit. Bear with me people.