Apple Corps and EMI are releasing the first ever remasters of The Beatles’ epic catalog on September 9, 2009. The four year long remastering process took place at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London. Engineers used both vintage and modern studio equipment in order to preserve The Beatles’ unique sound and integrity of their earlier analogue recordings.
The remastered release comprises all 12 Beatles albums in stereo, as well as Magical Mystery Tour and the collections Past Masters Vol. I and II (combined into one disc). This adds up to 14 titles spread out among 16 discs total (each disc is between $ 12.99 – $18.99 on Amazon.com). It is the first time the first four Beatles’ albums will be available in stereo on CD. Each CD comes with refreshed original UK album artwork, booklets containing both original and all new liner notes, and rare band photos. There is an embedded QuickTime making-of-documentary on each disc, except for Past Masters, directed by Bob Smeaton. Each mini-documentary is narrated by The Beatles and producer Sir George Martin (often referred to as the Fifth Beatle). All CDs and boxed sets are available for pre-order on Amazon.com. No decision as yet has been made about digital release partnerships with iTunes or other companies.
All of the albums are available separately or as part of two boxed sets. The first of which is the entire 14 stereo CD collection along with DVD documentaries. This box set’s MSRP is $259.98, but is temporarily available for a special pre-order price of $179.99 on Amazon.com. The albums in this set were remastered by Guy Massey, Steve Rooke, Sam Okell with Paul Hicks and Sean Magee. It contains historical and recording notes by Kevin Howlett, Mike Heatley, and Allan Rouse.
The second one is the Limited Edition Set, The Beatles in Mono (MSRP $298.98). These are all the songs that were mixed for a mono release. It includes 10 albums of original mono mixes and 2 more that have mono masters. Plus, the mono Help! and Rubber Soul discs also include the unreleased 1965 stereo mixes as well. Packaged in mini-vinyl CD covers that replicate the original album artwork with inserts, this box set is a must for the devotedBeatles’ collector. The mono mixes have been remastered by Paul Hicks, Sean Magee with Guy Massey and Steve Rooke. It also includes an essay written by Kevin Howlett.
For information on The Beatles: Rock Band see this contributor’s article, The Beatles: Rock Band – Everything You Want to Know
George Martin – Wikipedia
Amazon.com The Beatles Stereo Box set
Amazon.com The Beatles Mono Box Set