Beatlemania lives

Posted: September 11, 2009 in Beatles

It’s about time.
The Beatles, the greatest rock band of all time in my and many others’ humble opinions, finally get the sonic treatment they deserved with this week’s re-release of their entire catalogue, digitally remastered.
The release coincides with the unveiling of the Beatles RockBand video game to the world, which gives the band a new outlet to introduce their music to today’s youth.
For me, the reworking of the band’s catalogue is the real treat. All 13 original albums plus a two-disc collection of all the non-album singles/b-sides have been cleaned up. The songs are already great, but the sound quality is light years ahead of the original cd releases (which came in 1987). The Beatles’ catalogue was long neglected, while contemporaries such as the Rolling Stones, the Who and Led Zeppelin had their work remastered, in some cases twice.
The packaging of these new cds is something to behold, as they come with lots of pics (some of which I’d never seen) and updated liner notes to fill a listener in on the recording of each album. Each cd also has an embedded mini-documentary which gives you even more information on how the albums came to be.
But the key is the sound. The instruments jump out of the speakers like never before. I always knew Paul McCartney was a fantastic bass player, but you can really hear the intricate bass lines on these remasters. Ringo doesn’t get enough credit as a top-flight drummer, but you can hear his wonderfully placed fills and impeccable timing. And the singing? Always fantastic but never clearer than presented here.
I bought the stereo box set at Best Buy and haven’t listened to all the discs yet (although I’ve put a good dent in them). To let you know how much I think of these albums, I also bought the new Jay-Z and Phish discs, and haven’t opened them up yet. I may have heard the Beatles’ songs a million times, but I just can’t begin to explain their music’s impact on my life. There truly will never be another Beatles. I’m utterly amazed on their staying power. It’s been almost 40 years since they broke up, yet they’re arguably just as popular today as they were then. Fab indeed.


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