By Johnny Moon
Yes, if you are a Beatles fan then you should buy The Beatles Mono Box Set. After listening to every song in this set I'm positive that it's a "must buy" for anyone who really wants to hear The Beatles music as it was originally intended to be heard (and it sounds fantastic!).
As They Were Intended To Be Heard
When The Beatles were recording and mixing their legendary albums in the 1960s most people listened to their music in mono. In fact, so few people listened to music in stereo at that time that it was considered something of a "fad" and very little thought was put into the stereo mixes that they did make. The Beatles first 10 albums (including Magical Mystery Tour which was originally released as an EP in the UK) were mixed in mono and they are all included in this box set (the songs on Let It Be and Abbey Road were never mixed in mono in the first place, so they are not included).
The Mono Mixes Sound Fantastic
You may be thinking "Well, OK, that's how they wanted them to be heard at the time, but stereo is the standard now." And I can understand that viewpoint. But the fact is these mono mixes sound amazing. The "warmth" and "clarity" of these newly mastered mono mixes is a huge step up from the old stereo CDs that have been available since 1987. A really great example of this is "Long Long Long" from The White Album which sounds so much better that it's almost like it's an entirely new song.
Overall the changes that really stand out the most are that the drums, bass, and vocals all cut through the mix much better than they did on the old CDs. There are new layers of backing vocals that were hidden and the bass really propels the songs forward with a new found depth to it and finally we can hear Ringo's drums and it turns out he's a great drummer!
Beyond the fact that these mono mixes sound great, there's also the fact that many of them sound very different from the stereo mixes you are probably famialiar with. There are a lot of examples of this but possibly the best one is that "She's Leaving Home" sounds faster and higher (it's sped up) on the mono version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and that really gives it more energy than the stereo version which kind of drags in comparison.
Buy The Beatles Mono Box. It is recommended that you buy this box set ASAP because there are questions of how many copies of it will be made. If you wait too long you may not be able to get a copy.
Another Beatles Mono Box Set Review.
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