The Beatles – The Beatles Stereo Box Set
Sourced from the original master tapes and cut at Abbey Road Studios
Pressed on 180-gram vinyl; the Beatles’ studio albums North American LP debut in stereo
Optimum audiophile-quality sound from a first-rate team of producers and engineers
The BEATLES ON VINYL – DONE RIGHT!
For years the most anticipated vinyl reissues have been from the one, the only Beatles catalog. Finally, after a delay due to the meticulousness of the remastering process and assorted other hurdles, that day has come. Look for the start of shipping of The Beatles Stereo Box Set and individual titles beginning Nov. 13!
These titles update the Beatles classic albums, which have continued to sell strongly and attract new generations of fans long after the quartet disbanded in 1970. For this reissue, individual titles were sourced from the original master tapes. Then each title was copied into 24-bit/192 kHz files and cut to lacquer at Abbey Road Studios. It was a painstaking process with maximum attention paid to every detail.
• All of the albums return to their ORIGINAL glory and details right down to the album poster in The Beatles/White Album and the Sgt. Pepper cutouts. Includes extras such as the pink, white and red inner sleeve that came with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the 24-page booklet that came with Magical Mystery Tour and the poster and portrait cards that came with the White Album.
• The box set edition is limited to 50,000 copies worldwide, plus it includes a 252-page hard-bound coffee table book by the award-winnning BBC radio producer Kevin Howlett. It also features in introduction by Sir George Martin, previously unseen photos and Abbey Road Studios memorabilia.
• Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the White Album and Past Masters packaged in gatefold jackets.
• The lineup: Please Please Me, With The Beatles, Hard Day’s Night, Beatles For Sale, Help, Rubber Soul, Revolver, St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles (White Album, two discs), Yellow Submarine, Let It Be, Abbey Road, Past Masters (two discs).
• Available for the first time on 180-gram vinyl; unsurpassed clarity of sound.
Howlett’s book features a dedicated chapter for each of the albums, as well as insight into the creation of the remasters and how the vinyl albums were prepared. Included in the book are many images that were not included in the 2009 CD booklets.
For its Beatles’ Stereo Albums series on LP, Capitol/Apple turned to a crack team of engineers to remaster the entire studio catalog from the original sources. The team, including Guy Massey, Steve Rooke and Sam Okell with Paul Hicks and Sean Magee undertook a four-year restoration process for the LP versions, combining state-of-the-art equipment, vintage studio gear and rigorous testing to meet the highest fidelity standards and produce authentic unsurpassed sound rivaling the original LPs. There is no longer any need to pay hundreds of dollars for Japanese pressings!
The titles include the Beatles’ 12 original U.K. albums, first released between 1963 and 1970, the U.S.-originated Magical Mystery Tour, now part of the group’s core catalogue, and Past Masters, Volumes One and Two, featuring non-album A-sides and B-sides, EP tracks and rarities. In 2013 the remastered albums will make their mono vinyl debuts.
None of the care that went into these remasters would really matter, were it not for the enduring power of The Beatles’ music. In September 2009, The Beatles’ remastered albums on CD sold 17 million copies within seven months — resounding evidence of the timeless relevance of the band’s legacy.
For this set, Help! and Rubber Soul were mastered using digital remixed versions that George Martin, the group’s producer, oversaw in 1986. Extensive testing was done before engineers copied the analog master tapes into digital files using 24-bit/192 kHz resolution and a Prism A-D converter. Dust build-ups were removed from tape machine heads after the completion of each title. Artifacts such as electrical clicks, microphone vocal pops, excessive sibilance and poor edits were improved upon as long as they were judged not to damage the integrity of the songs. De-noising technology was applied in only a few necessary spots and on a sum total of less than five of the entire 525 minutes of Beatles music. Compression was used sparingly and only on the stereo versions to preserve the sanctity of the dynamics.
The digital files were cut to lacquers at Abbey Road Studios. Engineer Sean Magee cut the LPs in chronological release order. He used the original 24-bit remasters rather than the 16-bit versions that were required for CD production. It was decided to use the remasters that had not undergone “limiting,” a procedure to increase the sound level.
Steps to eliminate vocal distortions and inner-groove distortions were addressed. The latter can affect high-middle frequencies, producing a “mushy” sound noticeable on vocals. Using what Magee has described as “surgical EQ,” problem frequencies were identified and reduced in level to compensate for this.
Lastly, the first batches of test pressings made from the master lacquers that had been sent to two pressing plants were judged. Records with any noise or click appearing on more than one test pressing in the same place were rejected, on the grounds that undesired sound had been introduced either during the cutting or pressing stage.
For producer Rick Rubin, The Beatles’ recorded achievements are akin to a miracle. The most popular bands in the world today typically produce an album every four years, Rubin told a 2009 radio audience. That’s two albums as an eight-year cycle. “And think of the growth or change between those two albums. The idea that The Beatles made thirteen albums in seven years and went through that arc of change … it can’t be done. Truthfully, I think of it as proof of God, because it’s beyond man’s ability.”
Here at last is the classic rock catalog of dreams. Preorder your copies today; don’t risk these remastered Beatles’ LPs selling out!
This box set contains the complete Beatles’ catalog, featuring the following albums: