Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Beatles Stereo Remasters: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

On one hand, the newly remastered Beatles seem like a great repackage of their music, especially for the younger generation of buyers who never bought the original Beatles on vinyl. On another hand, there are some disappointing aspects about the remasters. For some reason it seems like part of the "wall of sound" aspects of the original Capital and Apple recordings are gone and the sound seems a little more naked with a greater empathsis on the vocals and some instrument aspects. Part of what made the old Beatles recordings so great was that slick "wall of sound" production.

There is also that nasty little packaging problem. While the cardboard covers are like miniatures of the original UK album releases of the old vinyl, the Cd's simply fit way too snuggly into the sleeves and are very difficult to remove without putting your fingers onto the discs. At some point, you just know that the discs are only going to suffer damage because of all of this abuse. And because removing the discs is such a chore, you'll be more than unlikely not to play the discs as often as usual because of all of the hassle to remove them.

On the bright side, at moments on songs like "Let It Be" the sound is pretty crisp and dynamic. But other songs sometimes seem less brilliant than you might expect. The remastering job is a bit of a mixed bag.

Yet as a Christmas gift package for someone, what could make a better gift than this. This is quite a great package despite some real serious short comings. Who can't help but recommend the Beatles. +++1/2


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