WASHINGTON — September 9, 2009, is a date that Beatles' fans have been looking forward to all year. September 9 marks the worldwide release of the new digitally remastered catalogue of every Beatles song ever made.
While The Beatles catalogue has been available on CD since 1987, the songs that made Britain's "Fab Four" famous were ready for an upgrade. It took a skilled team of engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London four years to finish the project.
The word from Beatles historian and author Bruce Spizer is "extraordinary." He says time has allowed modern technology to work wonders on these classic recordings.
"What's new is the sound quality and packaging that when this was done back in 198, digital mastering was in its infancy and the engineers really didn't know how to capture the warmth of analog recordings," Spizer said. "And with the leaps and bounds in technology, these albums have been remastered using the latest technology, and as such, sound significantly better than what has been on the market for Beatles' CDs for the past 22 years."
Spizer says the new mixes will make people feel like they're hearing The Beatles for the very first time.
"The clarity is such that you will hear certain nuances or bits and pieces that you never really noticed before, in addition to a tremendous sonic upgrade the packaging has been substantially expanded," he said. "These have very nice booklets that have black-and-white and color photographs, and liner notes explaining what was going on in the Beatles' lives at the time the albums were recorded. And how the albums were recorded, including examples of specific songs to show how creative The Beatles, George Martin their producer, and the Abbey Road engineers were to achieve the certain sounds in the recordings themselves."
The complete Beatles' catalogue has been remastered in stereo and mono. The stereo box set includes the 12 original UK album releases, along with "Magical Mystery Tour" and "Past Masters Volumes I and II," plus each disc comes with the original artwork, extensive liner notes and photos. For a limited time, the CDs will be embedded with a brief documentary film about the making of the albums. A DVD of all the documentaries is included with the stereo box set.
The mono box set, available only for a limited time, contains all of The Beatles' 10 recordings in their original mono mixes, along with the disc "Mono Masters."
Beatles historian Bruce Spizer recommends buying both sets, even to the casual Beatles fan.
"If you can afford to buy the mono box and the stereo box by all means do so, because you're really going to be buying some of the greatest rock and roll music ever recorded, and being mastered in such a way that it will sound better than it's ever sounded before," Spizer said.
The release of The Beatles re-masters coincides with the launch of a new music video game titled "The Beatles: Rock Band."