Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You've Never Heard The Beatles Like This Before...

Lamar is interesting in the mere fact that it isn't interesting at all. It's like we traded Dumas for it's long lost sibling, but won out in the end, since there's a real lake about twenty miles up the road.
I'm not here to bore you about my location, though (don't think I didn't know you wanted to applaud!), instead, I'm going to bore you with our Beatles Mono Remasters!
I have only listened to three albums thus far (the self titled "The Beatles", AKA, The White Album, Revolver, and the Magical Mystery Tour LP), but I'm forming opinions as I go along.
So far, I'd say they're about 95% better than what's been on the market since the original vinyl releases (on the white market, anyway). Saturated with golden three-part harmonies, which have been dusted off and brought forward, and bold bass lines from the infamous McCartney Hofner (I thought I was going to get a black eye from "Back In The USSR"!), you'll hear small orchestral details you never knew existed.
You can also hear when a double track lead vocal is happening, showing the different personalities and vocal styles of the singer (John, for example, was a staunch perfectionist, very rarely will you be able to tell it was two takes, while Paul becomes intoxicated with the melody, singing however he feels like singing). Or, for example, at the end of "I'm So Tired", the supposed mumbling at the end is actually quite clear, as well as the infamous "I buried Paul/cranberry sauce" at the end of "Strawberry Fields Forever"... it actually does sound like cranberry sauce now, but it's still fun to reminisce about the good ol' Paul Is Dead theories.
As for the other 5%, I notice that when the lead vocals haven't been layered, they seem to fall into the backing vocal's recently vacated spot (sort of like a wave effect... take a Dramamine), getting lost in the shuffle of electricity, only occasionally sticking you in the Half-Nelson I've come to expect from such songs as "Yer Blues", "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey", and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", just to name a few (although, Eric Clapton's stellar guitar solos on the aforementioned Harrison classic somehow sound even better than ever). Something I find annoying is the fade-outs at the end of the songs seems to happen a little sooner than I'm used to, particularly on "Helter Skelter" (the original mono mix had nearly three minutes of electric kerfuffle), meaning no "blisters on my fingers".
More critiquing may follow, as I've only listened to each of the three said albums once, and I've got several more funsies to go.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with the songs I thought benefited from the remastering process... how about one from each album?
From Revolver, here's "Tomorrow Never Knows"...

Next up, from Magical Mystery Tour, the autobiographical psychedelic anthem, "Strawberry Fields Forever" (listen for "cranberry sauce"!)...

For the last one, I suggest you turn the volume up as loud as it will go, and put on some earphones, 'cause you'll just have to go back and listen to it again if you don't. Be warned, this is the second-best version of this song I've ever heard, and am likely to hear ever again in my life (since the first, obviously, was in Tulsa)... from The White Album, here's Helter Skelter...

Did you get goosebumps? I did.
In honor of the original mono mix... wish you were here!

Ricky The K's Solid Gold Time Machine

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