On November 9, Apple Corps will release a 50th anniversary version of The Beatles’ 1968 ‘White Album.’ The album’s original 30 tracks are newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell in stereo and 5.1 surround audio, joined by 27 early acoustic demos and 50 session takes, most of which are previously unreleased in any form.
“Sgt. Pepper – Wow! Was it really 50 years ago today? Can’t be true…”
– Paul McCartney in April 2017
Mixed in stereo and 5.1 surround audio, this is a vast improvement over the 2009 remastered Beatles CD version. This is the first time the album has been remixed. The original four-track session tapes were the source and Giles Martin used the original mono mix produced by his father, Beatles producer George Martin, as a guide.
When comparing the 2009 remastered Sgt. Pepper CD to the remixed 2017 version, it’s like going from black and white to color. The 2009 remastered version almost sounds muted when compared to the 50th anniversary remix due to the fact that the sound of the vocals, guitars and drums are all brought to the front.
Paul McCartney commented on the remix in a recent Q&A with Japanese fans: “It’s very clear. So whereas the old mix was just sort of a general mix, this time you can hear every little instrument. And it was quite surprising to hear, ‘Ooh, I’d forgotten we did that.'”
The sound is so clear and enhanced that you can even hear McCartney shouting in the background at the end of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise).” You’ll also hear an unexpected addition to the end of “Within You, Without You.”
Ringo Starr also raved about the new remix. A friend of Ringo’s reported that “it originally was recorded on a 4-track with a lot of overdubs, which buried the drums. Now, the drums have been lifted and come through as they should. He was pleased.”
The remixed Sgt. Pepper CD is definitely worth getting, no matter how many previous versions you have. While you can just get the remixed CD by itself, here’s why you should get the Super Deluxe edition.
If you love to hear outtakes and get a glimpse into how The Beatles’ song process took place, you’ll especially enjoy Disc 2 of the Deluxe package. Here you get 18 tracks including five takes of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and five takes of “A Day in the Life.” These outtakes include an alternate attempt at creating the dramatic piano sound at the end of “A Day in the Life”, instead with all of The Beatles humming in unison. Note that Disc 2 on the Super Deluxe version is different from the outtakes included on Disc 2 of the 2-CD Deluxe set.
Disc 3 offers 15 additional outtakes for the diehard Beatles fan. Disc 4 offers the entire album in the original mono mix, along with 6 additional mono tracks including “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane.”
If you are not that interested in outtakes, the Super Deluxe package is still worth the money because of the lavish hardcover book and The Making of Sgt. Pepper documentary on DVD and Blu-ray.
The Making of Sgt. Pepper documentary was made for the 25th anniversary of the album’s release and contains great interviews with Paul, George, Ringo and George Martin. The highlight is watching George Martin sit at the engineering controls in the recording studio and isolate either the vocal or instrumental tracks on several of the songs and discuss The Beatles’ recording process.
The six-disc Super Deluxe set comes with a 144-page hardcover book the size of an album. The book includes chapters written by different writers on various aspects of the album. Topics include the design of the cover, the album’s musical innovations and its historical context by Beatles historian, author and radio producer Kevin Howlett; composer and musicologist Howard Goodall; music producer and writer Joe Boyd; and journalists Ed Vulliamy and Jeff Slate.
– Trina Yannicos
It was 50 years ago on June 1, 1967 when The Beatles surprised the world ushering in the Summer of Love with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the groundbreaking masterpiece that became popular music’s most universally acclaimed album. To salute the occasion, The Beatles will release special CD and Vinyl packages of the Sgt. Pepper 50th Anniversary Edition on May 26. The album is newly mixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell in stereo and 5.1 surround audio and expanded with early takes from the studio sessions, including 34 previously unreleased recordings.
“It’s crazy to think that 50 years later we are looking back on this project with such fondness and a little bit of amazement at how four guys, a great producer and his engineers could make such a lasting piece of art,” says Paul McCartney in his newly-penned introduction for the Sgt. Pepper Anniversary Edition.
“Sgt. Pepper seemed to capture the mood of that year, and it also allowed a lot of other people to kick off from there and to really go for it,” Ringo Starr recalls in the Anniversary Edition’s book.
This is the first time Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has been remixed and presented with additional session recordings. To create the new stereo and 5.1 surround audio mixes for Sgt. Pepper, producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios in London. All of the Anniversary Edition releases include Martin’s new stereo mix of the album, which was sourced directly from the original four-track session tapes and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by his father, George Martin.
Ringo Starr has expressed his delight at the new remastered Sgt. Pepper recordings. According to Keith Allison, former Paul Revere and the Raiders bassist, who was recently hanging out with Ringo: “He thought it was great! Why? Because it originally was recorded on a 4-track with a lot of overdubs, which buried the drums. Now, the drums have been lifted and come through as they should. He was pleased.”
Fans have been waiting for a new stereo remix of Sgt. Pepper since the original stereo release was rushed out with no input from The Beatles. The mono version was what The Beatles and George Martin had poured their heart and soul into back in 1967.
“The alternate takes are full of discoveries; hours of new Beatle music that gives a taste of how many treasures remain in the vault. It’s not just historic value — it’s an astounding listening experience,” says Sheffield, who got an exclusive first listen to the Sgt. Pepper outtakes.
The Super Deluxe set includes a 144-page hardcover book featuring new introductions by Paul McCartney and Giles Martin, and chapters covering comprehensive song-by-song details and recording information, the design of the cover, the album’s musical innovations and its historical context.
The Super Deluxe edition also includes a DVD and Blu-ray featuring the previously unreleased documentary film The Making of Sgt. Pepper (broadcast in 1992), with insightful interviews with McCartney, Harrison and Starr, and in-studio footage introduced by George Martin.
For Record Store Day on April 22, Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe will release an exclusive, limited edition seven-inch vinyl single of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane,” among the first songs recorded during the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ sessions, which began in November 1966.
(Source: Includes excerpts from official press release)
Quick Order Links:
Super Deluxe edition (4 CD/DVD/Blu-ray combo)
See the FULL Track listings of each CD package by clicking here
Ringo Starr has written a new song reminiscing about his early days in Liverpool about the band he was in before he joined The Beatles. The song title, “Rory And The Hurricanes,” was announced last week along with the full track listing and release date of Ringo Starr’s new album, Postcards From Paradise.
The song “Rory And The Hurricanes” coming out on March 31 will add to the musical autobiography that Starr has been creating since 2008. Instead of publishing a traditional autobiography, Ringo has chosen to write about his life through his songs.
“I have been offered autobiographies, but all they only really wanna know about is those eight years in The Beatles and there would be three volumes before I even got to that,” Ringo explains. “[So] I’ve decided to do mini-autobiographies, instead of writing a book, I’m doing it on record… I’d rather put it quickly in a song, snippets of part of my life.”
This song will continue the musical memoir that Starr started in 2008 with his song “Liverpool 8” about the good and the bad of growing up in this British working class town where he became part of The Fab Four.
Rory Storm was mentioned in “Liverpool 8” as Ringo sings: “Played Butlin’s Camp with my friend Rory / It was good for him, it was great for me.”
It was while Ringo was the drummer for Rory Storm’s band that he adopted the first name “Ringo” instead of “Richard” for all the rings he wore and “Starr” instead of “Starkey” for “Starr Time,” a portion of the show where Ringo did a major drum solo.
Here are Ringo’s autobiographical songs (so far) in order of release:
“Liverpool 8” released in 2008 is the first song in Ringo’s virtual musical biography. Ringo sings about joining The Beatles and leaving Liverpool for worldwide fame. In the song, which was co-written with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, Ringo asserts “Liverpool, I left you, but I never let you down.”
“The Other Side of Liverpool”
“The Other Side of Liverpool” released in 2010 was about the negative aspects of growing up poor in Liverpool as Ringo sings “We had to go to Steeple Street / Just to take a bath.”
“In Liverpool” is the third installment to Ringo’s musical biography released in 2012. He sings of his early days as a drummer and going to clubs: “Me and the boys, me and the band / Living our fantasies.”
Wings remastered albums
Reissues of two Wings albums, Venus and Mars and At The Speed of Sound, were released last week. Both albums are available in a variety of physical and digital formats. Starting with a 2-disc (2 CD) Standard Edition, the first CD features the original remastered album and the second CD includes bonus audio made up of material including demos and unreleased tracks.
The 3-disc (2CD, 1DVD) Deluxe Edition is housed in a hardback book featuring unpublished photographs, new interviews with Paul, material from Paul’s archives and expanded track-by-track information. The deluxe version bonus DVD is comprised of filmed material from around the time of each release, some of which has never been seen before.
As with all the Archive Collection, Paul McCartney has personally supervised all aspects of the reissues. The remastering work was done at Abbey Road by the same team who have worked on all the reissues as well as the Beatles’ catalogue.
Since launching the Paul McCartney Archive Collection in 2010, Paul has received two GRAMMY Awards for the releases. In 2012 he picked up Best Historical Album for Band on the Run and this year Wings over America picked up an award (Best Boxed or Special Edition Package) on the same night that Paul set a personal best by picking up five awards in just one night. In 2013, RAM was nominated for Best Historical Album.
Other titles released to date in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection are Band on the Run, McCartney, McCartney II, RAM and Wings over America. Is your collection complete?
(Source: Official Press release)
New Ringo Starr Tour dates
Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band – Steve Lukather, Richard Page, Gregg Rolie, Todd Rundgren, Gregg Bissonette and Warren Ham – announced new tour dates beginning on February 13 in Louisiana and then onto Texas, Birmingham, South Carolina, and Orlando before traveling throughout Latin America with shows in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and more. The tour continues through March ending with 3 shows in California in Santa Ynez, San Francisco and San Diego and a show in Las Vegas.
This incarnation of the All Starr band is the same line up he has played with since 2012, and the addition of these new dates comes as no surprise to anyone who has heard Ringo talk about this band, with whom he loves performing. “We have so much fun playing together , we don’t want it to end!” Ringo also loved touring in Latin America and said “the audiences were just great and so loving, we can’t wait to go back”.
RINGO STARR AND HIS ALL STARR BAND ON TOUR:
21 Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
For additional dates and on sale dates please check local listings and for more information please visit:
(Source: Official Press release)
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Paul McCartney has been working overtime promoting his new album called ‘New.’ In the US, he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and Howard Stern, plus he performed at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, did an impromptu mini-concert in New York’s Times Square last week and a surprise concert in Queens at the Frank Sinatra School for the Performing Arts.
‘New’, with a release date of October 15, is McCartney’s first album of original material in six years. With all the attention that ‘New’ is getting, the reviews are in: it’s a hit!
The UK Telegraph says “Paul McCartney’s jaunty, melodic 16th solo album, New, proves the former Beatle’s talent is timeless.”(5 out of 5 stars)
Rolling Stone says “New feels energized and full of joyous rock and roll invention.” (4 out of 5 stars)
The Irish Times says “New finds him in one of the best shapes of his life.” (4 out of 5 stars)
The Associate Press says “the end result is surprisingly cohesive, modern-sounding and, most of all, fun to listen to.”
Entertainment Weekly gives New a grade of A- : “[New] celebrates the idea that pop music can still invigorate, inspire, and surprise — even if you had a hand in inventing it.”
The Montreal Gazette: “Sir Paul delivers his most irresistible effort in decades.” (4 stars)
Talking about the album, Paul said: “It’s funny, when I play people the album they’re surprised it’s me. A lot of the tracks are quite varied and not necessarily in a style you’d recognise as mine. I didn’t want it to all sound the same. I really enjoyed making this album. It’s always great to get a chance to get into the studio with a bunch of new songs and I was lucky to work with some very cool producers. We had a lot of fun.”
Songs receiving special attention include the title track, “On My Way to Work” and “Queenie Eye”.
There are also some mixed reviews of the album:
The Guardian gives New 3 out of 5 stars.
The Independent says “There’s an unsatisfying, piecemeal character to New, probably attributable to McCartney’s decision to use four producers.” (3 out of 5 stars)
Paul worked on the album with producers Paul Epworth, Mark Ronson, Ethan Johns and Giles Martin.
Commenting on the process, Paul said: “The original idea was to go to a couple of producers whose work I loved, to see who I got on with best – but it turned out I got on with all of them! We made something really different with each producer, so I couldn’t choose and ended up working with all four. We just had a good time in different ways.“
The album was recorded at Henson Recording Studios, Los Angeles; Avatar Studios, New York; Abbey Road Studios, London; Air Studios, London; Wolf Tone Studios, London and Hog Hill Mill, East Sussex.
Tracklisting for Paul McCartney’s “New”:
1. Save Us (produced by Paul Epworth)
2. Alligator (produced by Mark Ronson)
3. On My Way to Work (produced by Giles Martin)
4. Queenie Eye (produced by Paul Epworth)
5. Early Days (produced by Ethan Johns)
6. New (produced by Mark Ronson)
7. Appreciate (produced by Giles Martin)
8. Everybody Out There (produced by Giles Martin)
9. Hosanna (produced by Ethan Johns)
10. I Can Bet (produced by Giles Martin)
11. Looking At Her (produced by Giles Martin)
12. Road (produced by Giles Martin)
The deluxe version also includes two bonus tracks:
13. Turned Out (produced by Ethan Johns with additional production by Giles Martin)
14. Get Me Out Of Here (produced by Giles Martin)
Here’s a video of Paul McCartney performing ‘New’ on Jimmy Kimmel Live: