Friday, August 28, 2009

The Beatles Re-Revisited.

I know I already have written on the experience of hearing the remasters for the first time, but now that we are going to reproduce that experience for you, and now that I know more details about the actual reissues, I thought it would be worth revisiting the topic of The Beatles remasters. On 9-9-09 local purveyors of great sound Listen Up will bring down a really high-end stereo system and we will set it up on our stage as though a band were going to perform. I secured from Capitol records the comparison disc I referenced in my other blog. On this disc you will hear 13 snippets of songs and the corresponding snippets from the new versions. This is followed by three of the new songs in their entirety. I think it is safe to say that hearing it on this system, in this setting will be an eye/ear opening experience for you. The value of these new versions will really be brought home to you. I have listened to it again myself a few times in the last few days under “optimal” conditions, and my opinion has not changed. In fact it has strengthened if anything. The new versions are like Dorothy stepping out of that black and white house onto the yellow brick road. Talk about kicking off your muddy boots. It is kind of hard to believe it has taken this long for the label/band to get around to this. When listening to George Martin’s brilliant re-imagining of Beatles music for the show “LOVE” I remember thinking, “why don’t they all sound like this?” This music is so much a part of our collective DNA at this point that we should be listening to it with this level of scrutiny. Finding new details in music this renowned is more than just an interesting sidebar, it is a moment of cultural reflection (I half kid).

So, we will be playing the music on the big system, and we will be serving some booze and snacks, and we will have the new Beatles video game to check out as well. I’ve seen some of the animation and it looks pretty cool. In addition to this we are encouraging you to bring in a favorite piece of Beatles memorabilia. I’ll look over them and choose the best. That winner will get a rare official Apple Records Beatles banner and some other stuff.

We will have the individual CDs on sale for that first day only for $9.99. The rest of the week they will be discounted, but not that heavily. As far as the two box sets are concerned, we still don’t know how many we are going to get. I ordered pretty heavily on them, but we are told there may be allocation depending on demand. We will just have to wait and see. The stereo box comes with a DVD of all quicktime computer files that are embedded on the first run of cds. To me, that is a pretty big incentive. The mono box is supposedly limited to 13,000 copies, which isn’t a lot for any official Beatles product. To my ears, those early albums sound best in mono. That limited supply is a pretty good incentive to get that box. It sounds like it is the one that will become highly collectible, although there are no guarantees. I have had a lot of customers ask me to put one or more of the boxes aside for them. I’m telling everyone the same thing; let me see how many I get first. Obviously our greatest hope is to take care of everyone.

It’s hard to get my head wrapped around the historical significance of this event. As a lifelong Beatles fan, it feels like they are putting out a new album, and that’s pretty exciting. As a music retailer, I can’t help but think this is one of only a number of events left that will excite the general public about the thing that I do for a living. I do believe physical music will continue to be around for a good long while, but I wonder how many more times it will rise to the forefront of the public’s consciousness this forcefully. I look forward to a good night of music, and I look forward to seeing you there.


Chuck Wolton said...

Here is a video about a courthouse in Florida where Elvis filmed the movie Follow That Dream: The Old Courthouse Heritage Museum.

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Barry said...

What time will the in-store party and spins of the new releases begin? You don't give this information in your blog.

Will the two box sets and individual CDs and the lithos be available as soon as the store opens?

Can I have a copy of the comparison disc from Capitol? I'm willing to pay for it.

Barry said...

Okay, for anyone else with the same problem about play and party times like the person with the post above (OMG! it's ME!) you can find all the information by going to the Home page for Twist And Shout and clicking on The Beatles banner at the top of the page.

Barry said...

I've dug out the Parlophone vinyl LP 'The Beatles Rarities' and I am playing it. It is a very clean sounding album and has both mono mixes and stereo mixes (one or the other) of the songs on the album. It has a lot of early songs in mono, and a lot of B-sides. The liner notes are very informative too. The album includes Across The Universe, but rather than the mixed or naked version from Let It Be, it has the original mix and speed from the World Wild Life Fund album of various artists called 'Nothing's Gonna Change Our World.' And now I'm listening to 'You Know My Name.. .' Sweet! Awesome. Cooooool. I haven't heard all this in SO long.

I have also pulled out a lot of my other mono Beatles LPs to give a listen to.

Strawberry Beatles Forever!