The Beatles in Mono

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The Beatles in Mono
Box set by The Beatles
Released 9 September 2009
Recorded 1962–1970 at EMI, Trident, Olympic, Apple, Chappell, De Lane Lea and Regent Sound studios, London; Pathé Marconi Studio, Paris; EMI Studios, Bombay
Genre Rock
Label Apple, EMI
Producer George Martin
Simon Gibson, Paul Hicks, Sean Magee, Guy Massey, Sam Okell, Steve Rooke, Allan Rouse (remaster engineers)
The Beatles chronology
The Beatles Stereo Box Set
(2009)
The Beatles in Mono
(2009)
Tomorrow Never Knows
(2012)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars [1]
The Guardian 5/5 stars [2]
Pitchfork Media 10/10 [3]

The Beatles in Mono is a box set compilation comprising the remastered monophonic recordings by The Beatles. The set was released on 9 September 2009, the same day the remastered stereo recordings and companion The Beatles Stereo Box Set were also released, along with The Beatles: Rock Band video game. The remastering project for both mono and stereo versions was led by EMI senior studio engineers Allan Rouse and Guy Massey.[4]

Intention[edit]

The Mono Box Set was released to reflect the fact that the Beatles' catalogue (aside from Abbey Road, Let It Be and Yellow Submarine) was originally released in mono, with the stereo versions as an addition. Many feel that these mono mixes reflect the true intention of the band. For example, in the case of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, all the mono mixes were done together with the Beatles themselves, throughout the recording of the album, whereas the stereo mixes were done in only six days by Abbey Road personnel George Martin, Geoff Emerick and Richard Lush after the album had been finished, with none of the Beatles attending.[5] George Harrison commented:

At that time [...] the console was about this big with four faders on it. And there was one speaker right in the middle [...] and that was it. When they invented stereo, I remember thinking 'Why? What do you want two speakers for?', because it ruined the sound from our point of view. You know, we had everything coming out of one speaker; now it had to come out of two speakers. It sounded like ... very ... naked.[6]

Limited edition[edit]

Amazon.com advertised the set as a limited edition item in the United States, and less than a month prior to the set's release announced the site had sold out of units.[7][8] Less than two weeks before 9 September, many other online retailers announced the selling out of units from their inventories, including the Canadian Amazon.ca site.[9]

EMI announced on 3 September that more mono box sets were to be pressed due to high demand from online pre-orders.[10] It will still to remain a "limited edition", but since it has already been certified platinum by the RIAA, it was not limited to 10,000 copies as originally stated. As of January 2014, the set is still readily available.

Disc listing[edit]

The thirteen-disc collection contains the remastered mono versions of every Beatles album released in true mono. The original 1965 stereo mixes of Help! and Rubber Soul are included as bonuses on their respective albums. (In 1986 both albums had been remixed by George Martin for their CD release in 1987.) The box contains a new two-disc compilation album titled Mono Masters, which compiles all the mono mixes of singles, B-sides and EP tracks that did not originally appear on any of the United Kingdom albums or Magical Mystery Tour.

The albums Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road and Let It Be are not included in this set, as no true mono mixes of these albums were issued. The same holds true for the songs "The Ballad of John and Yoko", "Old Brown Shoe", and the 45 single mix of "Let It Be" which were also omitted. A mono version of the Yellow Submarine album was released in the UK, but it was simply a fold-down (two stereo channels combined into one channel) from the stereo mix, not a unique, separate mono mix. The previously unavailable true mono mixes of the four new Beatles songs released on the Yellow Submarine album ("Only a Northern Song", "All Together Now", "Hey Bulldog" and "It's All Too Much"), originally intended for a separate, but ultimately scrapped mono EP which would have also included a mono mix of "Across the Universe", are included on the Mono Masters compilation.

Abbey Road and Let It Be were issued in the UK in mono on reel-to-reel tape and on LP in Brazil and other countries, but again, only as fold-downs from the respective stereo versions.

Also omitted from this set, but included in the Stereo box, is a DVD containing the mini-documentaries included with the stereo remasters of the different albums.

The Beatles (The White Album), was originally released in mono only in the UK and several other countries, but not in the United States. However, the mono mixes of "Don't Pass Me By" and "Helter Skelter" had been previously issued in the US in 1980 on the Capitol Records Rarities compilation album.

All CDs replicate their original album labels as first released, from the various Parlophone Records label variations, to the Capitol Records label (for Magical Mystery Tour) and the UK Apple Records Side A and B Apple labels for Discs 1 and 2 respectively for The Beatles. For Mono Masters, Disc 1 uses a mid-1960s Parlophone label design and Disc 2 uses the unsliced Apple label design.

The set also includes a 44-page booklet which includes an essay on the important role that the mono mixes played in The Beatles' recording career, plus a track-by-track listing of the recordings.

Chart performance[edit]

The set debuted at #40 in Billboard's Top 200 and the magazine reported that 12,000 copies were sold in its first week of release.[11][12] In Japan, it debuted at #10, selling over 20,000 copies in its first week on the Oricon album charts.[13] The set was certified platinum by the R.I.A.A. in April 2010.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Beatles in Mono at AllMusic
  2. ^ Petridis, Alexis (4 September 2009). "The Beatles: The Beatles in Mono – CD Review". The Guardian (London). 
  3. ^ The Beatles: Stereo Box / In Mono | Album Reviews | Pitchfork
  4. ^ Lewis, Anthony (30 August 2009). "Meet (and be) the Beatles". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  5. ^ Lewisohn, Mark: The Beatles Recording Sessions. The Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd., London 1988, ISBN 0-600-55798-7. P. 108.
  6. ^ The Beatles Anthology. Bonus-DVD, Take "Back at Abbey Road, May 1995."
  7. ^ "Amazon.com: The Beatles Mono Box Set (LIMITED): The Beatles: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  8. ^ Haber, Dave (17 August 2009). "Beatles Remastered Mono Box sold out at Amazon US". Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  9. ^ Haber, Dave (26 August 2009). "Update: Beatles Mono Box sold-out at more retailers now". Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  10. ^ Morris, Christopher (3 September 2009). "EMI to press more 'Beatles in Mono'". Variety. Retrieved 5 September 2009. 
  11. ^ "Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  12. ^ Goodman, Dean, and Mohammad Zargham (16 September 2009). "The Beatles Turn US Charts Back to 1960s". Reuters. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  13. ^ (Japanese) "Oricon Weekly Album Charts for the third week of September 2009". Oricon. Retrieved 1 October 2009. 
  14. ^ "RIAA G&P certification count for April 2010". Retrieved 14 September 2010. 

External links[edit]