Every Little Thing


(Terry Ott talks about the latest moves to sonically upgrade the Beatles catalog within and without EMI.)

Well it seems that the last few years of second guessing, complaining, and bitchin' and moanin' about
the Beatles digitally deficient back catalogue is finally paying off.

As AbbeyRd's Beatles Page was the first to report, we will soon see a new Fabs "ultimate collection," to mark the 40th anniversary of the release of "Love Me Do," and the Beatles first UK album.

And it is in the air that soon the whole Beatle LP stable catalogue will (finally!) be rejigged in 5.1
and all the attendant sonic solutions.

However, there is a guy who calls himself The Doctor who is already up and running with an
alternative to the current offerings from EMI Beatle kingdom. The good Doctor has scoured the ends of the earth to find, and digitally transfer- utilizing 24 bit mastering magic- the "best" sounding versions of the Beatles recordings.

Here is part of what he calls "The Millennium Remasters" manifesto:

" 'Millennium Remasters' is an ongoing project dedicated to transferring rare, audiophile, mono and stereo, LPs to the CD format. Most sources are audiophile quality, un-played LPs to insure the cleanest possible end result.

"Each recording is hand de-clicked (if and when necessary) as opposed to any overall sound
reprocessing which generally leaves tell tale signs in the recording. The turntable used was a LINN SONDEK LP 12 with a MICRO BENZ cartridge and a LINN LK phono preamp."

"THE BEATLES COLLECTION is an audiophile, archival quality set of transfers...the titles as follows:

PLEASE PLEASE ME mono/stereo
WITH THE BEATLES mono/stereo
A HARD DAYS NIGHT mono/stereo
BEATLES FOR SALE mono/ stereo
HELP! mono/stereo
RUBBER SOUL mono/stereo
REVOLVER mono/stereo
SGT. PEPPER mono/ stereo-from the famous Mobile UHQR
THE BEATLES (WHITE) 4 CDs mono/stereo
YELLOW SUBMARINE 2 CDs mono/stereo
LET IT BE stereo

"The mono source is the early 80s UK MONO BOX SET, and the stereo source is the MOBILE FIDELITY BOX SET, except for the one UHQR disc as noted. All LPs were sealed.

"Each CD comes in a jewel case with the original UK mono cover, and the MFSL cover on the fold. each back has the original LP artwork with the CD having the proper Parlophone/Apple label.

"The new transfers have greater headroom with a fuller soundstage. There is more definition in the
instruments and greater clarity in the vocals. In general, the recordings are cleaner and more open

Well, the Doctor and MM and claim all they want, but the proof here is in the listening.

I auditioned a 29-track sampler recently and found some stuff I really liked, and other stuff that may
need some work.

Obviously the Pepper tracks from the MF UHQR are outstanding. This version is perhaps the best ever,
bar none, of any "Sgt.Pepper" offering from any manufacturer.

Another stunner is the mono version of "I'm Only Sleeping" from "Revolver." The extra, and different
backwards guitar riffs are truly amazing.

A very clean mono "Helter Skelter" is worth the price of admission alone.

Tracks from "Abbey Road" are very good, indeed. Ballsy, I'd say.

The legit 2 track "stereo" "I Saw Her Standing There" from the first album sounds pretty good, although not
as cute as the 4 track mixed boot assembled by the Abbey Road engineer back in the late 80s.

However, on tracks from "With The Beatles," the MM collection transfer cannot overcome the original
source limitation. I heard a somewhat disembodied soundstage, with surges in volume and balance.
Obviously, when EMI finally lays the golden eggs, this album will be the one with which they will be judged
for remediated Fab recordings, with either a thumbs up, or down.

Or as the Doctor says: "If and when the Beatles camp decide to issue remastered or remixed/remastered
versions of the Beatles catalogue, we are convinced (from past and current experience) that it won't be
done to most peoples' satisfaction, and we will be left with new unacceptable CDs to last us another 15

Ouch! The Doctor lays a hurtin' on EMI, for sure.

But perhaps not without good reason, considering the importance of Beatle music to pop culture. One would think that the best of the 20th century would equate to the best of the sound for the masses, but
certainly -- up to this point -- that is not the case.

And EMI should be careful about ignoring the concerns of the millions of ears tuned to the Fabs.

This from dedicated Beatle fan, Lance L. Hall:

"I hope that if and when they decide to remaster the Beatles catalogue, they don't let Peter Mew do it.
He is considered one of the worst remastering engineers and unfortunately he is Abbey Road's main
remastering engineer! He will completely NoNoise the life out of those gorgeous sounding masters. We need a proper remastering FIRST, hopefully on SACD (not the inferior DVD-A 5.1)"

"The only person who can do it "right," is Steve Hoffman who uses NO noise reduction (or any other
digital toys) and the highest quality ANALOG equipment to achieve the most natural, warm and life like
sound. His masterings are considered the best, period."

"You simply can't master stuff that was recorded with analog tube equipment through silicon equipment and get an accurate reproduction. It changes the sound. (Hoffman) could teach the "experts" at Abbey Road Studios some lessons about proper mastering."

Well, obviously, people are listening, and paying attention to what is going on with the Fabs' recordings.

Ground control to EMI...

(Note: We have no information on where these discs can be purchased.)