The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Beatles - Love

The Beatles – Love (Capitol US CD)

I was prepared for the ’06 release by Capitol Records of the CD “Love” by The Beatles – a band inactive since 1970. I knew that EMI UK was thinking about tinkering with the sound of the original Beatles’ records – and, in fact, they had already done so – with the “Yellow Submarine Songtrack” title from ’99.

It was always my assumption that the “Yellow Submarine Songtrack” was the first high profile “messing with” the original recordings of The Beatles, as it was a title that not many people would argue with. I still think that they would have a hard time “Remixing” the entirety of “Sgt. Peppers” and not rile many long-time Beatles fans.

Well, “Love” is a whole new animal – a soundtrack for a Las Vegas stage show. Given the brief that they only use audio material found on original Beatles’ recordings – Sir George Martin (and his son) fashioned together an amusing, listenable collection (and mash-ups) of mostly easy-to-identify Beatles’ tracks. Many of the combinations of tracks (to backing tracks) I would call ingenious. Geek trainspotting alert! Can you name where all the components come from?

Nuts & bolts: It is the first Beatles release (since the digital era) to not be released as vinyl! It has two separate packages readily available in the US & Europe, a regular CD and a version with a bonus DVD-A 5.1 mix. But no vinyl. I did not check to see if the same configurations are available in Japan (what I would consider to be a prime Beatles’ market). “Let It Be…Naked”, “Yellow Submarine Songtrack” – both available as vinyl (YS was an ugly yellow color, and from England / Europe; LIB-N – was that a Japan-only LP set?)

So, we all wait for EMI to internationally delete all Beatles titles on CD – ostensibly to re-issue them (copy-guarded and at a higher price point, no doubt). But will they remix everything – or simply make expensive un-copyable CD’s that are a tad louder, perhaps with slightly nicer packaging?

EMI can milk us with DVD issues of “Let It Be”, “Help!” and even “Magical Mystery Tour”, I suspect – so that’s 3 more Beatles’ albums they would essentially have the ‘license’ to remix (a second time, in the case of LIB!). I bet they could get us all to pay for stereo mixes of the first four albums, eh? So that only really leave the EMI catalog ‘holy grail’: “Rubber Soul”, “Revolver”, “Sgt. Peppers” and the double white album – all of which are records that I think people would feel strongly about being remixed, re-edited. Will they do it?

But – for goodness’ sake! Let Toshiba Japan be the people who get to make kami sleeves (little paper albums covers) of the next batch of Beatles’ CD re-issues! They’ll do it right! And are they really not going to do a vinyl version of “Love”?


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