Saturday, October 24, 2009

Songs on the Beatle's Revolver That Are Better in Mono - "Taxman" & "Eleanor Rigby"

By Jackson Weinheimer

There are some mono lovers who will say that every song on Revolver sounds better in mono! And of course there are some who can't stand listening to music in mono and will prefer the stereo mixes even when they are mixed in a very strange way (which is the case with the songs I am highlighting in this article).

Personally I take it on a song by song basis. Some Beatles songs sound better in stereo and some of them sound better in mono. I believe these songs on The Beatles 1966 classic album Revolver do, indeed, sound better in mono (of course the original mono mix of Revolver has been made available on CD for the very first time as a part the Beatles In Mono Box Set).

"Taxman" - The panning on this song is totally off the mark. I wonder what they were thinking? They put almost everything in the left (the guitar, the bass, and the drums!) and the vocals are in the center which leaves the right channel almost totally empty. This sounds really unsettling when listening to the song on headphones.

Usually the one good thing about such extreme panning is how clear each individual part is, but because they put everything over on the left, that's not really the case with this track. Sure we can hear the percussion (which is about the only thing on the right for most of the song!) really clearly, but that doesn't make up for everything else being smushed together on the left! Not by a long shot.

In mono everything is up the center which works pretty well for a heavy rocker like this. The mono mix is much "punchier" than the stereo mix.

"Eleanor Rigby" - The stereo mix on Revolver of this song is nuts. On the verses the strings are in the center and the vocals are completely to the right and there's nothing over on the left at all. This is not good. The mono mix works very nicely on this song because there aren't very many elements (just vocals and the strings) so there's not much to get buried (which is my biggest complaint with mono mixes, usually).

Click Here for a complete track by track look at Revolver (mono vs. stereo).

Remastered Box Sets Price Comparison. A look at where's the best place to buy The Beatles remastered box sets (stereo and mono).

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