Thursday, September 10, 2009

This Is Why We Have Ears

I picked up the remastered versions of Revolver and Abbey Road by The Beatles yesterday.

I am a Beatles geek. I have been since I was a teenager and found out that their music--already twenty years old--was far better than anything hitting the top 40 in the late 1980's. And I am one of those geeks who believes that the original recordings and album order are sacred--not to be tampered with, changed or over-commercialized in any way. That is why I was a little leery a few years ago when I heard that the master recordings were going to be "cleaned up" and repackaged. But I am here today to tell you that those fears were completely unfounded.

I'm such a geek that I was getting a little teary eyed listening to the "new" albums yesterday afternoon. The clarity of each individual voice and instrument is outstanding. The string quartet on Elanor Rigby is so crisp now it's like you are inside the cello. The tape hiss is no longer as loud as the piano intro to Good Day Sunshine and you can finally decipher all of the little sound effects in the background of Yellow Submarine. And don't even get me started on what the Abbey Road Medley sounds like now.

It's taking all of my Dave-Ramsey-inspired-financial-willpower to keep from rushing out and buying all 14 of the remastered versions--and the 290-dollar mono box set--right now. Let me tell you it is worth it.

However, I am going to discourage you from going out to get The Beatles: Rock Band video game. Sure the graphics are great and the remastered songs are featured on that as well--but if you really want to experience the Beatles music, why not just go out and buy a guitar and learn how to play the songs for real!! How did we get to the point where "pretending" to be world class at something is good enough for us? If I hear one more person tell me how great they are at "Tiger Woods Golf on the Wii" I'm going to take out my four iron and beat them with it. This especially goes for parents--buy the kids the real instruments and let them enjoy the satisfaction of learing to play for real. It does their brains a lot more good as well.

I am also issuing a plea to the remaining Beatles: Do not agree to put you music on ITunes for digital downloading!! We finally get these beautiful cleaned up recordings and your going to make them mp3s? I will never understand why kids today are so obsessed with listening to versions of music that are only 1/10th as rich as the original recordings (and yes I can tell the difference immediately). So why rob everyone of the hard work that was put into restoring the original recordings? SAY NO TO MP3S.

So now I've got my remastered Beatles CD's--and documentary DVD's as well. Nothing left to do but just sit back and wait for the Blu-Ray versions--mixed in what will probably be 7.1 stereo by the time that happens. I mean, this has to be why evolution gave us ears.


  1. "If I hear one more person tell me how great they are at "Tiger Woods Golf on the Wii" I'm going to take out my four iron and beat them with it."

    Hey, you've finally found something you can do effectively with it!

  2. You know, I may be alone in my opinion, but I've always thought that the 1987-released Beatles cds sounded perfect and I've played every one of them thousands of times. Sure, there's some hiss here and there which sounds cleaned up on the new remasters (as well as being louder, and some eq'ing added), but I'm underwhelmed at the new remasters. Everyone tends to jump on the remaster bandwagon, but louder cds don't do much for me.