Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Original Mono Mix

by Jake Topp

Every Beatles fan already knows the significance of the landmark 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It established the idea that popular music could also be "art music." It's lead to (either directly or indirectly) all of the more thoughtful pop music of the last 42 years.

But not all Beatles fans know that Sgt. Pepper was originally recorded and mixed in mono. Yes a stereo mix was also done in 1967 but it was merely an "after thought" compared to the amount of time spent on getting the mono mix of the album perfect.

In 1967 mono was the way that most people listened to their music so it made sense that The Beatles were primarily concerned with that mix. The Beatles along with George Martin (their producer) and Geoff Emerick (their engineer) all worked together on the mono mix to make sure that all of the effects and sound levels were "just right." On the other hand the stereo mix was put together with little (if any) input from the band.

For this reason many serious Beatles fans consider the original mono mix to be the "real" version of Sgt. Pepper. Many of those who have heard it say that it is superior to the stereo version that most people know today. Among those who have said that the mono mix of Pepper is better was none other than John Lennon himself!

Unfortunately over the last 22 years the mono mix of Pepper has been almost entirely lost to history. Why? Because only the stereo mix of the album was made available on CD when their albums were released in the CD format in 1987.

This means that the only way to hear the original mono mix is to have a record player (few people do these days) and to track down an original mono vinyl copy of the album. This is very hard to do and also very expensive.

But as of 9/9/9 that is no longer the case. Why? Because that's the release date of a Beatles Mono Box Set which includes the original mono mixes of all of The Beatles albums that were originally mixed in mono (that's their first 10 albums up through The White Album).

If you have yet to hear Sgt. Pepper in all of it's original glory now you can. And it won't be difficult to do either. Now it's just a matter of ordering the mono CD box set online and waiting for the mailman.

Jake Topp highly recommends buying the Beatles Mono Box Set so that you can hear Sgt. Pepper in it's original mono:

No comments:

Post a Comment