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Very interesting alternate takes on the second of the 2 vinyl albums. And they sound great---some are raw and unprocessed as many of the vocals were on the final version. The pressing is a bit noisy on the early part of side 1 on my copy (crunching out of the left channel in quite a few spots), but, unlike my usual practice, I did not put this through my Audiodesk cleaner prior to play. I have not yet listened to the remastered Sgt Peppers but I bet I'm going to find it to be, at the very least, an interesting alternative.
Not me. No interest either. After purchasing the 2009 Mono Box set and stereo mix I swore off buying any more Beatles recordings ever again and I’m sticking to my guns. Since 1965 I’ve bought multiple copies of vinyl (45s and albums), cassettes, and CDs. That’s it for me. I like the 2009 mono box and stereo mix well enough. The Beatles machine is not going to eat any more of my dough. On to other music ...
I was pretty disappointed when the fairly recent re-masters did not include any re-mixes (I was impressed with the re-mix of the Yellow Submarine soundtrack). I figured they'd pull something like this. Giles Martin says a White Album 50th anniversary re-mix is possible. I'd love to have the new stereo mix but I'm not that interested in the full set. I got enough alternate takes, etc. with the Anthology CD's. Maybe the local library will acquire a copy of the new one. After buying some of the re-masters I feel I'm about tapped out on the Fab Four. Still have EMI/Polydor vinyl copies as well as too many CD's.
OK. Now the remixed album. Vocals more prominent and more centered on all songs. Bass slightly amped up (or I believe, more precisely, untrimmed) and better defined. Instrumentation sounds less brittle in parts on the remix. I no longer automatically buy anything "Beatles" (and passed on the stereo box set from hi res files). But the mono box set is an easy recommendation. This is not quite as necessary--but it is TOTALLY COOL and therefore I am not at all sorry for the purchase and will be listening to this set well into the future as perhaps a different but equal sonic version of the wonderland that is SGT Peppers.
I believe the Beatles management is now in the "milking mode" of material previously unreleased by the fab four. The one thing that becomes clear as I listen to raw takes is the magic that George Martin brought to the finished product. Don't misunderstand, the Beatles were genius, but without George Martin their legacy might not have been as memorable. "Hey Bulldog" and "It's All Too Much" are favorites of mine too.
Reviews on Amazon are numerous and very positive. 10 to 1 positive.
On the Steve Hoffman Forums a poll has 245 people preferring the 2017 stereo remix to 179 preferring the 1967 stereo mix.
There has been some additional compression done in the new mix but it appears most people like it anyway. The original album did not have a wide dynamic range to begin with.
Just one last comment. Not all "original albums" are the same. I recall that, as a teen (in the 1960's), I always bought the UK versions of Beatle records as they simply sounded more natural, without the pumped up bass and exaggerated treble of the US versions. I haven't done any A/B comparisons, but I suspect that current technology has allowed record manufacturers to enhance the qualities the early UK versions and extend the frequency and dynamic range, giving them a clear open sound.
I have a superb music system both turntable and CD/SACD based
I have produced/mixed many multi million selling lps and singles including No1s
I use the records I have personally worked on to ensure my system sounds correct ( or near as dammit)
I am a Beatles fan. I have met George and Lady Martin, Paul and Yoko - and the guy who installed the same Beatles Yellow Submarine Jukebox in mine and Ringos house!
Here are my thoughts on the stereo LP vinyl remix. It's good. It's very good.
Yes Giles has made a few choices that I wouldn't have. The drum break in WALHFMF and one of Johns vocal parts in LITSWD ( where he sings 'eyes' at kaleidoscope eyes- it's ruddy AWFUL. WHY GILES WHY?) oh and perhaps 'that' over dramatic piano chord in ADITL spring to mind but by and large a) the bass is NOT overcooked b) the vocals are NOT too loud/too compressed c) the hihats are NOT too shiny etc
Regarding volume. Yup it's absolutely fine. One should NEVER change the volume for any record once it has been set properly for your listening environment. Every room has a 'right' volume level. Once set, don't change!
Im not buying it The Lucy in the sky. C. D. Was a mess drums
Moving all over the stage. Pauls
Voice jumping side to side. On and on. That gets old fast. Every song
Sir George. Im not impressed
Every Beatles album has problems. Almoat. Ill try and
Listen to white album today. Maybe its better. Remastered
Takes the soul. %80 out of music sounds to clean. Only I M. O
I normally don't get excited about remixes and remasters (to my ears the mix
is, more often than not, ruined by turning up the bass or the vocals,
or...), but the Beatles, Sgt. Peppers 2017 reissue on CD is remarkably good.
A friend brought it over last night. We compared a pristine stereo LP and a
mono version on CD with the new, remastered CD.
On a scale of 1-10, the new version is a 12! It is so good, it's off the
Voices are not up front, in your face, like so many versions of this LP/CD.
Or, the voices are coming out of one speaker while the background voices
come out of the other. Very irritating unless the orange sunshine is
shining through the window pane.
On the new mix, you can hear the emotion, the nuance in their voices.
Instruments are crystal clear and their tonal signature is obvious. Lead
singers are well placed in the soundstage and background voices are clear
For instance, on Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, it starts with Lennons
trippy, droning clavichord (?). At the time, 1966, Lennon was full of
surprises that got young folks to actually listen to the music...and trip
out. Then, the bass steps in as John starts to speak/sing, his voice fading
into the sky like diamonds after each phrase.
Now, IMHO, Paul's contributions tended to take away from some of these
magical moments. Mostly by emphasizing his hook, the bridge, applying his
pop song signature to an already good to excellent song. His in-your-face
"Lucy in the sky with diamonds " sounds so out of place, likely dubbed in on
another track. It sounds like a completely different song in volume, style
and taste. It's a bold explosion from the speakers compared to the delicate,
secret aural space that John allowed you to enter.
On the new remix, Paul's bridge is much better integrated, mixed into the
song. It's not miked up, it's a better tonal match with John's spacey
journey. The song is much more involving and listenable throughout.
It seems the engineers removed some background noise, because the bite of
some of the atypical instruments- sitar, clavichord, harp- are distinctly
present and essential parts of the song. As it should be, of course!
Interesting phenomena that this is one of those LPs that I grew up with.
Always liked the music, but since acquiring a high end system, I almost
never listen to it because the recordings are disappointing.
But, with this new remix by George Martin's son, it will be at the top of
my critical listening list and definitely on my best of list.
If you like good, wonderful music from a different era, this new CD is like
I just listened to the new mix for the first time and I think it's a winner. Fresher, more natural, more spacious, more musical. I don't agree with every choice he made but overall (at this moment) I think it's an improvement. It's (mostly) the mix we should have had 50 years ago and it's sonically better as well. I'd give Giles about a 97 on this. Highly recommended.