Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Beatles Mono Box Set is "Discontinued by the Manufacturer"

By Johnny Moon

A lot of people thought Apple Corps was just "bluffing" when they said that they would only be making a limited number of Beatles in Mono Box Sets but now that Amazon is out of stock and is saying that the box set has been "discontinued by the manufacturer" it looks as though they were not joking.

Personally, I already bought the mono box, I pre-ordered it long before it came out (on 9/9/9) because I was worried about this very scenario. But I know there are some Beatles fans who either didn't have the money for it just yet or just didn't understand the significance of the mono mixes and who are worried they've missed out.

Luckily, that's not quite the case just yet as there are some quantities of it still available at some online stores (such as Collectors Choice Music) but it's important to realize that's only as of this writing (12/14/09) and may not be true for long. In other words if you want this thing or you know someone who would love it as a gift, you better act now or you'll end up paying a fortune in the collector's market once all new copies are gone (I've already seen someone selling it for $1700).

In case you still don't understand the significance of the mono mixes, let me break it down real quick: When these albums were being recorded in the 1960s, mono was the way that most people listened to music. In fact, stereo was considered a "fad" at the time (hard to believe, isn't it?).

Because of this, The Beatles spent almost all of their time and energy on getting the mono mixes just right. In comparison the stereo mixes were just "thrown together" afterwards (usually with no input from John, Paul, George and Ringo themselves). This is why Fab Four purists insist that the mono mixes are the "real" mixes of these albums as they were originally intended to be heard.

And make no mistake, these mono versions of The Beatles first 10 albums do sound fantastic (and in some cases notably different). I do think they are definitely worth having (although I own the stereo set too, I think they're both great).

If you're wondering why only the first 10 albums are included, let me clear that up for you. The last three albums the band recorded (Yellow Submarine, Let It Be, and Abbey Road) were never mixed in mono in the first place (as the transition from mono to stereo in the music recording industry was complete by 1969).

The Mono Box Set is currently available at Collectors Choice Music.

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