Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Beatles Mono CD Box Set‏

by Jake Topp

Up until the of their years as a working band The Beatles spent most of their time and energy on the mono mixes of their songs, not the stereo mixes. Mono was "the standard" as it was the way that most people listened to their music back then so it makes sense that the mono mixes were their primary concern.

Sadly these original mono mixes have been "lost to history" since the advent of the CD in the 1980s because the CDs were pressed in stereo and the original mono mixes then could only be found on the original vinyl LP. And of course these days few people even have a record player, and even if they do, it can be very difficult to track down the original mono mixes of The Beatles albums on vinyl.

On 9/9/9 The Beatles Mono Box Set is coming out. It will include their UK studio albums from 1963 (Please Please Me) through 1968 (The Beatles, better known as The White Album). The Mono Masters non-album tracks compilation completes this mono box set so that every single original mono mix of a Beatles song is included it it. But that's not all, it also includes the original stereo versions of the band's two 1965 albums: Help! & Rubber Soul.

Why are the stereo versions of these two albums included in a mono box set? Because these original stereo mixes have been "lost" since the CD era. New stereo mixes were made when the albums were released on CD and so the only way to hear these original stereo mixes has been with the original vinyl LPs.

This box set is aimed at people who are interested in The Beatles history and how their albums sounded like in the 1960s. That's why it makes sense to include these original stereo mixes for Help! and Rubber Soul even though they are stereo and not mono like the rest of the set.

Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road, & Let It Be are not included in this box set. The reason for that is pretty obvious: They were never mixed in mono in the first place. And unlike Help! and Rubber Soul their stereo mixes were not changed for the CD release.

As far as the Mono Masters compilation, you may think that since this is a compilation of songs that didn't make it onto The Beatles albums that they are mostly forgettable B-sides. But that's definitely not the case. The Beatles would often exclude big hits from their albums feeling like most of their fans had already bought those songs on the singles, so they didn't want to include them on the albums as well.

"From Me To You," "Hey Jude," & the fast version of "Revolution" are some of the big hits that are included on the Mono Masters set.

And I would also dispute the notion that The Beatles B-sides are "forgettable." Sure a few might be (such as "Matchbox" and "Bad Boy") but there are also some real gems like "Rain" & "This Boy."

There are two more really important points about the mono box set that you should know. The first is that these mono mixes of The Beatles albums are only available as a part of this box set, not for individual sale. The second is that there are apparently only 10,000 copies of the box set being made so it's a good idea to order it now to make sure you get your copy.

Jake Topp does recommend ordering The Beatles Mono CD Box Set sooner rather than later because it's being released as a limited run of only 10,000 copies which could sell out fast. Go to to learn more.

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