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Category Archives: New Releases

Announcements for new Beatle-related releases of significance.

Next in line for Paul McCartney’s Archive Collection – Venus and Mars & Wings At The Speed Of Sound

On June 17th, 2014 the next two installments in the remaster series The Paul McCartney Archive Collection will be arriving. Continuing with the Wings period in the seventies, Concord Music Group will issue both the 1975 album Venus And Mars (click here for original track listing) and the 1976 album Wings At The Speed Of Sound (click here for original track listing). As before, there will be special and deluxe packaging editions of the sets available in both vinyl, CD and digital formats. In the seventies these were both single-disc LPs that preceded the triple-LP set Wings Over America that was the last to receive the Archive Collection treatment back in May 2013.

 

Venus And Mars

Venus And Mars cover art (click to enlarge)

Wings At The Speed Of Sound

Wings At The Speed Of Sound cover art (click to enlarge)

 

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The U.S. Albums Box Set – A final word on mixes used

This past week as the new Beatles box set The U.S. Albums was coming out, I published a little comparison of 37 tracks and whether certain aspects matched up with the versions heard on the original U.S. releases (see here). After word got out that this collection of 13 U.S. Beatles albums would largely be sourced from the recent 2009 remasters instead of the Capitol master tapes where they were sourced originally, Beatles fans all over the Internet began to talk about whether these unique Americanisms in the mixes would still be there. I’m talking about things like the false starts in “I’m Looking Through You” or the extra verse in “I’ll Cry Instead.” These interesting anomalies were heard on the original American albums but missing on the U.K. versions that the 2009 remasters were previously prepared for. Unfortunately, a few people took my posted results in a way I did not intend and actually thought I was criticizing the way certain tracks did not match up. The truth of the matter is that I applaud the new set and feel it offers improved versions of the original U.S. albums.

 

The Beatles US Albums 13-CD Box Set released on Jan. 20/21, 2014

The Beatles US Albums 13-CD Box Set released on Jan. 20/21, 2014

 

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The U.S. Albums Box Set – A comparison with the original Capitol releases

See an update to this information here.

Last week I announced a few details about the upcoming 13-CD box set The U.S. Albums (full article here). I explained there how and why Apple has – at least for the most part – created each album by re-sequencing the remasters issued in 2009 instead of using the original Capitol master tapes that were used in the sixties. There are a few tracks that had unique edits and various overdub differences between the U.S. versions and the ones heard on the U.K. based 2009 remasters and for a handful of these, the Capitol remasters are used.

 

The Beatles US Albums 13-CD Box Set released on Jan. 20/21, 2014

The Beatles US Albums 13-CD Box Set released on Jan. 20/21, 2014

 

There’s been a lot of discussion and debate among Beatles fans with most of the opinion that it would have been much better to give it to us the way it originally was in sixties as the earlier two 4-CD Capitol box sets did. But just how different is the new set when compared to the original releases? Now that the set is on the shelves, so to speak, I am addressing that question in a brass tacks manner with an album-by-album, track-by-track series of comparison tests for 36 recordings that differed somehow between the U.S. and 2009 re-issued U.K. releases. If they match, it’s a pass and if they don’t, it’s a fail. Some of these differences you may call trivial (like fade out times, and minor mixing tweaks made over the years, etc.) but they provide a good reference point as to how close to the originals the new set is. Let’s take it one album at a time.

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The U.S. Albums box set – a more detailed look

The Beatles US Albums 13-CD Box Set released on Jan. 20/21, 2014

The Beatles US Albums 13-CD Box Set released on Jan. 20/21, 2014

 

Last month I announced here that on January 20, 2014 (Jan. 21 in U.S.), Apple will release The US Albums – a new Beatles 13-CD box set that contains mono and stereo versions of all of the unique Capitol albums released by The Beatles. Since then, The Beatles Rarity Headquarters has been inundated with questions about this new release – mostly concerning the mixes used. I thought an update was in order but first a little recap.

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The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963 Itunes release examined

The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963 59-track Itunes exclusive album released on December 17, 2013 came as a bit of a surprise. After 50 years of age, unreleased Beatles recordings fall into the public domain unless they have been officially released, so the album was issued merely to retain the copyright protection on the carefully selected 1963 material and extend it for another twenty years. It is interesting to consider the material not selected, or previously released, from 1963 that has been available only on the black market bootleg releases. Looking at my own personal collection and considering all available mixes of Beatles recordings from 1963, I currently have 291 officially released tracks including those on the new Itunes album. I have 206 1963 Beatles recordings that have not ever been officially released, but many of which have been widely bootlegged at some point over the years. The majority of these are additional BBC recordings or studio out-takes. I suppose all of this material is now destined for the public domain by 2014 unless more are released by the end of the year. I have heard a rumor that another Itunes release may happen next week for this very reason.

The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963 exclusive Itunes 59-track collection

The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963 exclusive Itunes 59-track collection

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Two new Beatles Releases are quickly on their way (hear 9 audio previews)

The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963 The U.S. Albums Box Set, 2014

 

First off, coming up on December 17, 2013, an Itunes exclusive collection of over two hours of Beatles music from 1963 that was previously only available via the bootleg market. It’s titled Bootleg Recordings 1963. Tracks 16-57 are taken from BBC radio recordings that were not issued on either Apple compilation (Live At The BBC or On Air: Live At The BBC Vol. 2). Note this will not be released on vinyl or CD but only as a download via Itunes. You can see from the track listing below that several of these have been featured as BROWs (i.e. Beatles Rarity of the Weeks) in the past, so I have included links to allow you to get a preview. The complete track listing follows:

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