The Beatles Stereo Box Set: Wikis

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The Beatles Stereo Box Set
Box set by The Beatles
Released 9 September 2009
Recorded 1962–1970, Abbey Road Studios, London, United Kingdom
Genre Rock, pop
Language English
Label Apple, EMI
Producer George Martin
Simon Gibson, Paul Hicks, Sean Magee, Guy Massey, Sam Okell, Steve Rooke, Allan Rouse (remaster engineers)[1]
Professional reviews
The Beatles chronology
Love
(2006)
The Beatles Stereo Box Set
(2009)
The Beatles in Mono
(2009)

The Beatles Stereo Box Set is a box set compilation comprising all of the remastered stereo recordings by The Beatles. The set was released on 9 September 2009, the same day both The Beatles: Rock Band and the remastered mono recordings were released (see The Beatles in Mono). The remastering project for both mono and stereo versions was led by EMI senior studio engineers Allan Rouse and Guy Massey.[2]

This is the third complete box set collection of original Beatles albums after The Beatles Collection and The Beatles Box Set.

Contents

Album listing

The sixteen disc collection contains the remastered stereo versions of every album in the Beatles catalogue. The first four albums are making their CD debut in stereo, though some songs have appeared on CD in stereo through various compilations. Both Help! and Rubber Soul use the 1987 remixes prepared by George Martin for the original CD releases. The original 1965 mixes can be found on The Beatles in Mono box set on their respective discs as a bonus feature. Magical Mystery Tour is presented in the sequence and artwork of its original North American album release, as opposed to the UK six-song EP. Yellow Submarine is presented in its original format, not the 1999 Songtrack version. All CDs replicate their original album labels as first released, from the various Parlophone Records variations, to the Capitol Records label (for Magical Mystery Tour) and the UK Apple Records side A label from Yellow Submarine through Let It Be, and with the side A & side B Apple labels for discs one & two respectively for The Beatles. For Past Masters, disc one uses a mid-1960s Parlophone label design and disc two uses the (side A) Apple label design. Each of the albums except Past Masters includes a mini-documentary, mainly drawing from The Beatles Anthology (with a few animated 3D scenarios made up of original photos thrown in), about the album in QuickTime format. The Beatles and Past Masters are two-CD sets.

Missing stereo session tapes

No stereo mixes exist for the 1963 single "She Loves You" and its flipside "I'll Get You" or the 1962 single "Love Me Do" and its flipside "P.S. I Love You". It was the practice at Abbey Road Studios prior to early 1963 to wipe and re-use master tapes once they had been mixed down to mono for single release.[3] For this reason there will never be true stereo mixes of "Love Me Do" or "PS I Love You." Although the practice had stopped by the time of the release of the "She Loves You" single, and although it is possible that the master tapes were in EMI's possession in January, 1964, when the German version was recorded, it is commonly believed that those tapes were either stolen or destroyed.[4] Competent-sounding stereo versions of "She Loves You" have been created using the backing track from "Sie Liebt Dich," but the engineers who prepared the boxed set elected not to do this. Every release of these four songs has been in mono (or fake stereo) and they appear in mono on the stereo version of Past Masters and Please Please Me. This is also the case for the single version of "Love Me Do" with Ringo on drums but at some point (fairly early on) even the mixed down mono tape of this version of the song was lost. Some authors have expressed the opinion that the original version of "Love Me Do" was intentionally destroyed in order to alleviate possible confusion between it and the more common version of the song.[5] Since 1980, new mono transfers sourced from reasonably clean 45rpm singles from private collectors have been used as the master for this version of the song.[6][7]

Two other songs in The Beatles' catalogue which also appear in mono on the stereo CDs are "Only A Northern Song" and "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)". Neither of these songs were mixed into stereo during the time that The Beatles were recording, although this did not prevent the inclusion of a number of mixes from the set: the stereo mixes of "Strawberry Fields Forever," "Penny Lane," and "Baby, You're a Rich Man" made in 1971, the stereo mix of "Yes It Is" that was repaired and first released in 1986, and the 2000 edit of "Day Tripper" from Beatles 1. "Only a Northern Song" was first mixed into stereo and 5.1 surround for the Yellow Submarine Songtrack album in 1999 and a differently-edited stereo mix of "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" appeared on Anthology 2 in 1996. "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" is the only track left in The Beatles' catalogue whose original edit has never received a stereo mix despite the multi-tracks being available.

Bonus features

Included in the set is a DVD compiling all the mini-documentaries released on the individual albums. This DVD features narration from all four Beatles as well as George Martin, opining on each of the individual albums. Each Mini Documentary contains rare footage and previously unheard dialogue. There are sound excerpts from various songs, accompanied by still photos, clips of television appearances, footage from inside recording sessions, film footage from their final photo session, and material from the five Beatles films A Hard Day's Night, Help!, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine, and Let It Be. This DVD is exclusive to the Stereo set, and is not included in the Mono version.

Limited edition USB flash drive

The Beatles - Apple-shaped USB flash drive

On 7 December 2009, The Beatles Stereo Box Set was also released as a limited edition of 30,000 apple-shaped USB flash drives. This event marks two firsts for the Beatles catalogue: the first time the albums have been released in a digital format and their first appearance in better than CD quality — being encoded in 44.1 kHz 24 bit FLAC format.

The 16 GB flash drive also includes 320 kbps MP3 copies of the albums, a specially designed Flash interface, and all the visual elements from the box set — the mini-documentary films, original U.K. album art, rare photos and expanded liner notes.[8]

Chart performance

On the United States Billboard Top 200 albums chart the set debuted at #15. On the Japanese Oricon weekly album charts, the set debuted at #6, selling over 35,000 copies in its first week.[9]

References

External links

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