Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Beatles Remastered Past Masters & Mono Masters

By Jackson Weinheimer

For someone who doesn't know The Beatles history it would be easy to dismiss the "Past Masters" and "Mono Masters" compilations because they contain only non-album songs. After all, if the songs were really good then they would have made it on the albums, right?

No! Not right at all. The Beatles actually thought of their singles and their albums as completely different entities. This is a much different approach than is common today when singles are basically just tracks from the album (used as sort of an advertisement for the album as a whole).

Many of their albums actually contain no songs that were released as singles at all and many of their most famous songs were never included on any official UK album.

Perhaps the best example of this singles and albums as different entities approach is that on the exact same day Rubber Soul was released in 1965, the "We Can Work It Out"/"Day Tripper" single was also released (those two songs were not included on the album!)

The Past Masters double disc compilation includes all of the band's non-album tracks released from 1962 through 1970 including huge hits like "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Paperback Writer," and "Hey Jude," great b-sides like "Rain," "This Boy," and "Old Brown Shoe," and rarities like the German language versions of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You."

The Mono Masters double disc set is basically the mono mix version of this compilation although the track listing is slightly different (on disc 2, disc 1 is exactly the same) because some of their later singles were never mixed in mono (for example: "Let It Be").

Mono Masters also includes the four new Beatles songs that were included on the Yellow Submarine album; "Hey Bulldog," "It's All Too Much," "All Together Now," and "Only a Northern Song." Why? Because the Yellow Submarine album was not included in The Beatles in Mono Box Set since the rest of the album (the George Martin instrumentals) were never mixed in mono.

What's really remarkable about those four Yellow Submarine songs being included on mono on the Mono Masters set is that they are previously unreleased (on any format) because that album was only released in stereo so the mono mixes had been locked up in Abbey Road Studios for 40 years until The Beatles Mono Box Set was released on September 9, 2009.

The Beatles Past Masters is available both individually and as a part of the Beatles in Stereo Box Set.

But Mono Masters is only available as a part of The Beatles Remastered Mono Box.

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