Happy the Beatles fan who reads the news today, oh boy. 51 years after John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time, 45 years after that magic sunday night performing at the Ed Sullivan Show, 40 years after their last actual release Abbey Road, 29 years after Lennon's death, 22 years after the release of their catalog on crappy CDs, 7 after George Harrison's passing into Nirvana and 2 years after Paul McCartney's nasty divorce with a gold digger, The Beatles will release the remastered catalog of their material in Stereo and Monaural sound. Damn is this good news and a good way to stimulate the music industry's economy! We've been waiting for this announcement for a long, long time and we're happy to know the exact date of the release: 09/09/09 (why didn't they do it on September 9th, 1999? Technology wasn't good enough for a remastering project like this one).
We are going to listen to the Beatles like we never heard them before and that's a treat. from hearing Lennon and Harrison's guitars wailin' around in the clean strumming of "Baby's In Black," to hear Ringo's brilliant and underrated drumming in "Matchbox," if this release meets the fans and sound purists expectations alike, it shall save the music industry crisis with a single hand. The Beatles have done it again.
Anyway, we still have to actually listen to what the "dedicated team of engineers" at Abbey Road have done restoring the albums. You bet you can start getting rid of your original 1987 Rubber Soul CD, because I'm sure what's coming out in September is going to sound ten thousand times better. The following is the press release found at www.thebeatles.com. I am not including anything regarding that Beatles RockBand game since... hey, it's just a game. Revolver isn't.
April 7, 2009: Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music are delighted to announce the release of the original Beatles catalogue, which has been digitally re-mastered for the first time, for worldwide CD release on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 (9-9-09), the same date as the release of the widely anticipated "The Beatles: Rock Band" video game. Each of the CDs is packaged with replicated original UK album art, including expanded booklets containing original and newly written liner notes and rare photos. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. On the same date, two new Beatles boxed CD collections will also be released.
The albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London over a four year period utilising state of the art recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The result of this painstaking process is the highest fidelity the catalogue has seen since its original release.
Within each CD's new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes. With the exception of the 'Past Masters' set, newly produced mini-documentaries on the making of each album, directed by Bob Smeaton, are included as QuickTime files on each album. The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-heard studio chat from The Beatles, offering a unique and very personal insight into the studio atmosphere.
A second boxed set has been created with the collector in mind. 'The Beatles in Mono' gathers together, in one place, all of the Beatles recordings that were mixed for a mono release. It will contain 10 of the albums with their original mono mixes, plus two further discs of mono masters (covering similar ground to the stereo tracks on 'Past Masters'). As an added bonus, the mono "Help!" and "Rubber Soul" discs also include the original 1965 stereo mixes, which have not been previously released on CD. These albums will be packaged in mini-vinyl CD replicas of the original sleeves with all original inserts and label designs retained.
Discussions regarding the digital distribution of the catalogue will continue. There is no further information available at this time.
This is definetly a nice, although late, move from Apple and EMI to kick off sales and also blow Purple Chick's head off, a bootleg company that's been remastering Beatles music using original vinyl and transferring the albums into high quality WAV files. Each brand new compact disc will feature a documentary about the making of the record and of course, they will be available for box set purchasing.
And CNN had, of course, to report it:
Digitally remastered Beatles coming in September.
The Beatles' remastered catalogue will be released in September. Release includes all 12 Beatles albums and two later works
Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music have announced that as the date for the release of the entire original Beatles catalogue, digitally remastered.
That includes all 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in the UK. The package will also contain the LP version of "Magical Mystery Tour" (initially released as a double-EP in Britain, though available on CD since 1987) and the collections "Past Masters Vol. I and II" combined as one title.
The release marks the first time that the first four Beatles albums are being made available in their entirety on compact disc, and it also coincides with the release of "The Beatles: Rock Band" video game.
Robert Levine, executive editor for Billboard, said the timing is genius in terms of marketing.
"Most bands, when they do a big project like this they pay for publicity," Levine said. "The Beatles got paid for 'Rock Band' and then they are using that for publicity to rerelease a catalogue. It's pretty amazing." Blog: A Beatles fan reflects on the news
Levine pointed out that media have evolved tremendously since 1964, when the band first burst onto the American scene with an appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
Back then, there were only three major television networks, and engineering of albums was much less sophisticated, Levine noted. Previous rereleases have sold well in the past -- indeed, Beatles albums have sold steadily for decades -- and Levine said he expects this one to do even better.
"I think if you were to look at pure catalogue, old bands selling old albums, the Beatles are the kings -- commercially as well as artistically," Levine said. "A lot of [music] has been remastered better in the past 22 years, and remastering technology has come a long way."
Piers Hemmingsen, the author of two books on Beatles music and head of the Web site Capitol6000.com, said there has long been a clamor among fans for good, high-quality versions of Beatles songs.
"The technology that was available back then was very limited, and with the newer technology they are able to do far more with what they have than they have ever been able to do before," he said. "For people who are plugged into iPods and the whole digital music scene, it's going to be a lot better for them."
In acknowledgment of the more technologically advanced listeners, each CD will contain, for a limited time, an embedded brief documentary film about the album.
The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-released studio chat from the Beatles.
The remastering project was four years in the making. Engineers used de-noising technology and cleaned up glitches like electrical clicks and microphone vocal pops, so long as it didn't affect the original integrity of the songs.
They also slightly boosted the volume levels. Andrew Croft, publisher of Beatlology Magazine, said the announcement of the release of the remastered recordings "is long overdue in the Beatles community and for music fans alike."
He also said the quest to improve the original recordings is not new.
Croft said bootleg releases over the years used rare and obscure vinyl pressings from countries like Japan and Germany to compile the best of the best recordings of The Beatles songs, presenting to the public a better sound that Apple could not offer prior to the remastering.
"While the new remasterings will replace a library full of bootlegs of their commercial releases, there remains a massive market for their more obscure tracks, outtakes and live performances," Croft said.
The 14 remastered albums, along with a DVD collection of the documentaries, will also be available for purchase together in a stereo boxed set.
A second boxed set, "The Beatles in Mono," includes all of the Beatles recordings that were mixed for a mono release. It will contain 10 of the albums with their original mono mixes, plus two additional discs of mono masters (covering similar ground to the stereo tracks on "Past Masters").
The mono "Help!" and "Rubber Soul" discs also include the original 1965 stereo mixes, which have not been previously released on CD. These albums will be packaged in mini-vinyl CD replicas of the original sleeves with all of the original inserts and label designs.
Even with the release date, what is old has become new.
Diehard Beatle-ologists may take note that the release date could be viewed as a nod to the Beatles track "One After 909" from the "Let It Be" album -- or a reference to the White Album's "Revolution 9." (John Lennon, who was born on October 9, occasionally talked about his fondness for the number 9.)
Hemmingsen said making the music more accessible and attractive to a younger audience helps spread Beatlemania to a new generation.
"Their music is catchy, memorable, interesting and listenable," said Hemmingsen, who was a youngster in England when the Beatles hit the scene and has been a fan ever since. "The time that they evolved their music was an interesting time and their music reflected that time."
Levine said the band has always captured fans from across generations.