Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Compact Disc EP Collection
Genres: Country, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Great for collectors, but....
T. Schmidt | Mansfield TX USA | 11/18/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Overpriced. I only own this set because, twelve years ago, a local branch of a major retail chain had this mismarked with the "1" accidentally left off of the then-$150 price tag (then it became a heck of a deal!). You can pretty much get any of these songs on all of the other lower-priced Beatles CDs out there. There are, however, some great carrots for collectors in the form of the mono mixes, especially on the Magical Mystery Tour disc (which is actually presented in stereo AND mono).
While the first seven discs contain widely-available mono mixes, the final eight discs contain mono tracks unavailable anywhere else. Some of these mixes are significantly different from the stereo mixes. This is nowhere more evident on "I Am the Walrus", in which the mono mix contains a couple of extra bars in the middle of the song.
Over all, a ripoff for non-completists but almost worthwhile for obsessive collectors."
Mono is not just for people deaf in one ear.
David McIntosh | Silver Spring, MD United States | 12/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The simple fact is, these original British MONO mixes sound much, much better than the "primitive stereo" US releases. Back in 1962-63 Rock and Roll was new and "stereo" was even newer. People didn't have Ipods, satellite radio, or 19-channel home theater systems. We (yes, "we!") had AM radios and portable record players. Even our parents' home "Hi-Fi" was usually mono. And that's something George Martin and the Beatles had to consider when intentionally mixing their music in Mono. Let's face it, commercial "stereo" technology was in its infancy and it would take several years of growth before it sounded even close to realistic. Compared to modern recordings, many of Rock's early stereo and "simulated stereo" recordings sound unnatural with guitar/vocals hard-left in one speaker and bass/drums hard right in the other and pretty much nothing going on in the middle. Played on a modern system, these original mono mixes actually sound like a band playing right in front of you. (Especially if you turn it up! C'mon, it's the Beatles!) Instruments and vocals are bright and clear and and everything is nicely centered. I think you'd be very pleasantly surprised at the overall improvement in sound quality.
Actually, ALL of the Beatles' music was mixed in mono for release in the UK, even the later true stereo releases, but, no, the UK mono versions are not "easily found on other [US] albums." I've managed to find all the UK mono albums through "Let It Be" and have compared them to the US stereo versions and I personally prefer the UK monos. (Frankly, "Abbey Road" and the "White Album" sound just fine in stereo. I guess by '68 they were finally getting the hang of it!) If you're interested, check Google and Yahoo for "Beatles Mono" for more detailed info on the subject and for product sources.
OK, so the early UK monos sound a lot better than the early US stereos. As for the "package," well, yeah, it was definitely marketed to "Collectors." The original 12 4-song British EPs (Extended Play vinyl records) are duplicated here on CDs in cardboard sleeves that mimic the original record jackets. Also included is the original 6-song EP release of "Magical Mystery Tour" on 2 separate mono and stereo CDs in a nice fold-out that looks like the LP jacket. (The US "Magical" had songs added by Capitol to fill out an album length.) The last disc contains "rare" UK stereo versions of 4 B-sides. Then there's the the nice black storage box that looks like one I used to keep my 45s in back in my misspent youth, oh so long ago(!)
If you don't have any audiophile-wannabe tendencies and you're content with the US stereo versions that you've probably grown up with, then no, I don't suppose you need this collection. But, if you'd like at least some of your "golden oldies" to sound more natural and realistic then go for it. And as for the expense, do you really expect to pay full price for something on Amazon?"
Historic MONO mixes and sleeve repro's
Mike McAteer | Mission Viejo, CA USA | 08/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For David MacIntosh's inaccurate comments that all of the original UK albums had been in a mono format, let me historically bring correction (who is obviously a long-time Beatles affectionado): Nowhere has there been a legitimate EMI/Parlophone/Apple mono mix and release of the following albums - "Abbey Road" & "Let It Be" unless you mix in illegitimate former Soviet bloc nations or Asian/Pacific dubious mixes.
Music lovers are passionate, but not always correct about their history. I have been corrected on many an occasion, all for my benefit. And as mature (another term for "old") as I am, I want to believe my own press. But this is a simple correction and assumption on your part, David. No great sin, just a mistake.
But I must say that I always enjoy picking up this box set out of my collection of over 2000 record albums, 1800 vinyl 45's, and 700 CDs. Just taking out the sleeves and admiring the cute-at-the-time commentary by Tony Barrow on the backs just tickle me and remind me of why a generation became so fascinated with this moptop band.....and generations later we all still are.
And apart from being reminded of the beauty of the mono mixes, this is simply one wonderful piece to have in your hands for history's sake AND for pure material enjoyment. (Don't tell anyone, but I think this is much more enjoyable and rewarding than the "Singles" box set. Shhhhhhhhh.)"