View Full Version : The Beatles remastered: a storm in a tea cup?

09-11-2009, 06:50 AM
Being a great Beatles fan, and having read many reviews on how sonically advanced the newly remastered albums are, I've rushed out and bought some of them.

I'm interested in the 'sound' of an album, as well as the music; how well engineered, produced and recorded it is. So, brightening, clarifying, and generally updating the sound of some of the most important and enjoyable music of the twentieth century is an exciting prospect for me.

But - I have to say, I'm disappointed. They sound pretty much like the originals. I have fairly high-end in ear monitors (Shure E530), and I've played them back to back on the same equipment. I can't hear a significant difference.

Is this because my hearing has the sensitivity of a damp cloth, or my brain is so addled that I'm incapable of discerning the differences? Or is this a case of the emperor's new clothes, and these new recordings are vastly over-rated?

Maus Magill
09-11-2009, 08:26 AM
Well, I noticed a cowbell in Hard Day's Night. Of course, I haven't listened to the Beatles on headphones since my turntable died twenty years ago.

Thudlow Boink
09-11-2009, 08:34 AM
Did they restore the contributions of Clarence Walker (http://snltranscripts.jt.org/83/83lrocknroll.phtml)?

Maus Magill
09-11-2009, 09:00 AM
Did they restore the contributions of Clarence Walker (http://snltranscripts.jt.org/83/83lrocknroll.phtml)?

I wondered where that sax on She Loves You came from.

09-11-2009, 10:12 AM
I went out and got the boxed set on Wednesday and I've been working my way through the CDs. They sound really good, but it isn't like there's some kind of quantum leap or anything. (at least not yet--I'm only up to Help so far).

The thing is--for me, anyway--I've listened to those albums so many times the music is burned into my memory. Those songs are connected to all the things that I did listening to them over the years. Hearing the remastered CDs now is as much an emotional experience as an aural one.

Interesting bit of trivia: according to Billboard's charts, "1" is the best-selling CD of the decade, and with the release of the remastered material, The Beatles might end up being the biggest selling artist of the decade.

09-11-2009, 10:52 AM
I've listened to a couple tracks off the new remasters vs. FLAC rips of the old masters. I can detect some very faint changes, but they're definitely subtle. I notice a little clipping on the old Sgt Pepper's that seem cleared up, but that's the biggest difference I've detected.

I need to listen to the white album comparatively, I thought I'd heard that was the album that was supposed to be the most improved.

09-11-2009, 01:08 PM
Thanks for your responses. I really was - from the reviews I've read - expecting a sort of quantum leap in quality. Glad it's not just me. The two I've got are Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour (because they're my favourite albums), and I've strained to hear much difference. I was going to get some others, but I don't think I'll bother now.

09-11-2009, 01:17 PM
Did they get rid of that little creak/ rustle/ shush in the long note at the end of "A Day in the Life"?

09-11-2009, 01:49 PM
Huh. They definitely sound markedly improved to me. I really noticed on "Fixing A Hole" - every instrument and voice is much more distinct than on the original CD issues. I didn't expect them to sound like entirely new songs or anything, so maybe my expectations were lower than some, but these reissues are noticeably better.

09-11-2009, 03:56 PM
Well, as this cartoon shows (http://gazettextra.com/photos/2009/sep/09/20911/), not everybody's all jazzed up on account of the remastered CDs.

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