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50th anniversary of The Beatles ‘White Album’ to include unreleased recordings

The Beatles 1968

The Beatles at Thomson House, London. 28 July 1968. © Apple Corps Ltd.

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.

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Review: Sgt. Pepper 50th anniversary remix brings the classic Beatles album into the 21st century

“Sgt. Pepper – Wow! Was it really 50 years ago today? Can’t be true…”
– Paul McCartney in April 2017

On May 26, The Beatles will release a new remixed version of their groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album on CD and vinyl, and this 50th anniversary edition is a vibrant achievement. Giles Martin and Sam Okell took the original master tapes from the classic 1967 Beatles album and enhanced the sound to bring it up to date to the stereo standards of the 21st century.

Beatles Sgt Pepper 50 deluxe

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.'”

Beatles Sgt Pepper 50th anniversary

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.

sgt pepper vinyl

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.

The book also features rare photographs, reproductions of handwritten lyrics, Abbey Road Studios documentation, and original ‘Sgt. Pepper‘ print ads. Last but not least, there is a complete list of every person featured on the Sgt. Pepper cover. You could spend hours and hours looking at that.
Take your time and savor every aspect of the Sgt. Pepper 50th anniversary Deluxe edition. By the time you get through it all, the new White Album reissue project will be ready!
– Trina Yannicos
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Remastered edition of Paul McCartney’s RAM to be released May 22

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is an album from a long, long time ago, when the world was different.  This is an album that is part of my history – it goes back to the wee hills of Scotland where it was formed.  It’s an album called RAM. It reminds me of my hippie days and the free attitude with which was created.  I hope you’re going to like it, because I do!”

Paul McCartney, 2012

On May 22, Paul and Linda McCartney’s 1971 album, RAM, will be released across a variety of formats with new and exclusive content including a beautifully packaged Deluxe Edition Box Set.

Following the successful recent reissues of McCartney, McCartney II, and this year’s Grammy winner for Best Historical Album Band on the Run, RAM is the latest album from Paul’s iconic back catalogue to get the deluxe Paul McCartney Archive Collection treatment. As with the previous releases in the series, Paul has personally overseen every aspect of the project.

The standard release tracklisting is as follows:

Standard Edition

1. Too Many People

2. 3 Legs

3. Ram On

4. Dear Boy

5. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

6. Smile Away

7. Heart Of The Country

8. Monkberry Moon Delight

9. Eat At Home

10. Long Haired Lady

11. Ram On

12. The Back Seat Of My Car

In keeping with the reissue campaign to date, the Deluxe Edition Box Set is the ultimate collectable for any fan of this album.  Its stunningly presented 112-page book, photo prints, handwritten lyrics and notes, four CDs and a bonus film DVD, tells the full story of a classic album that has gone down in music history as one of the most revered in McCartney’s catalogue.

The deluxe edition tracklisting is revealed as follows:

CD 1 – Remastered Album (as listed above)

CD 2 – Bonus Audio

1. Another Day

2. Oh Woman, Oh Why

3. Little Woman Love

4. A Love For You (Jon Kelly Mix)

5. Hey Diddle (Dixon Van Winkle Mix)

6. Great Cock And Seagull Race (Dixon Van Winkle Mix)

7. Rode All Night

8. Sunshine Sometime (Earliest Mix)

CD 3 – Remastered Mono Album

1. Too Many People

2. 3 Legs

3. Ram On

4. Dear Boy

5. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

6. Smile Away

7. Heart Of The Country

8. Monkberry Moon Delight

9. Eat At Home

10. Long Haired Lady

11. Ram On

12. The Back Seat Of My Car

CD 4 – Thrillington – Remastered Album

1. Too Many People

2. 3 Legs

3. Ram On

4. Dear Boy

5. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

6. Smile Away

7. Heart Of The Country

8. Monkberry Moon Delight

9. Eat At Home

10. Long Haired Lady

11. The Back Seat Of My Car

DVD – Bonus Film

1. Ramming

2. Heart Of The Country

3. 3 Legs

4. Hey Diddle

5. Eat At Home On Tour

– Menu music features a selection of jingles from the promo disc Brung To Ewe By

Other content:

112-page book with 32 page scrapboook, 5 photo prints, wallet including facsimiles of Paul’s handwritten lyrics and notes, mini-photographic book of outtakes from the album cover photo shoot, plus digital-only premium membership to paulmccartney.com.

RAM, originally released in May of 1971, is the only album to be credited to both Paul and Linda McCartney and was Paul’s second post-Beatles LP.  It was overshadowed at the time by the drama of the dissolution of The Beatles, as played out in the world’s media. The album topped the charts hitting #1 in the UK and #2 in the US.  While RAM polarized critics upon its release, music fans and critics alike since have overwhelmingly embraced it, with Rolling Stone, for example, revising their original review up to 4 stars.  Recently RAM has enjoyed even further re-appraisal and acknowledgement including a number of tribute albums.

RAM was written by Paul and Linda, mostly at their Scottish farm on the Mull of Kintyre.  In the autumn of 1970 they flew to New York to start the recording process.  Without a band in place they auditioned and drafted musicians, who included future Wings drummer Denny Seiwell and guitarists David Spinozza and Hugh McCracken.

The band completed the album in early 1971 along with non-album tracks ‘Another Day’ and ‘Oh Woman, Oh Why’ which were released together as Paul’s first post-Beatles single ahead of the release of RAM and became a Top 5 global hit.  The multi-disc editions of the RAM reissue include both songs as bonus tracks.  The album also gave Paul his first post-Beatles US number 1 single with ‘Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’ and a Grammy win for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists.

RAM was also issued in mono with alternate mixes, which were only made available to radio stations at the time.  This version has gone on to become one of the most sought after McCartney collectables.  It will now be commercially available for the first time ever on CD as part of the Deluxe Edition as well as a limited run on vinyl.

1977 saw the release of Thrillington, an instrumental interpretation of RAM, which was originally recorded in 1971 at London’s Abbey Road Studios and was arranged by Richard Hewson.  It was released under the pseudonym Percy ‘Thrills’ Thrillington, an unknown eccentric socialite who often cropped up in mysterious newspaper classifieds.  In reality Percy was a character devised by Paul and Linda.  The idea behind it was simply to have some fun and the concept of doing a full orchestral album was an ambition long held by Paul.

The additional film content features previously unreleased and exclusive content including the brand-new documentary, “Ramming” narrated by Paul, as well as the original music videos for “Heart Of The Country” and “3 Legs”.

The remastering work was done at Abbey Road using the same team who recently remastered the complete Beatles’ catalogue.

[Source: Official press release]

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