I really didn’t think I’d need a new iteration of Beatles recordings– especially after the 2009 box set and mono box.
But you know these tricky Beatles. The new “1+” is coming November 6th. We saw and heard some of it today at Soho House thanks to Apple Records’ Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde. Everyone was duly impressed.
The “1+” is a revamp of the mega selling “1” album that featured 27 number 1 hits from the Fab Four. This time, however, the music is offered in a “new stereo” and 5.1 surround (two separate things). Plus there are videos for all the songs, many of which have not been seen before, no one knew about, or they’re remastered and updated digitally.
The overall effect is quite stunning. For one thing, those 2009 boxes contained only remastered music. Nothing else had been done to. Now Giles Martin (son of George) and the Apple team have created these two new audio versions of the 27 hits. We heard them, compared them to 2009, and begged the question: will we wind up buying a whole new Beatles catalog at some point?
The answer is: probably.
But in the meantime, the new versions of the 27 hits are aural-spectacular. As for the videos, many of them now have very witty video commentary from Ringo and audio commentary from Paul. It’s all fresh stuff. Even the Beatle fanatics in the room seemed impressed.
There are different versions of all this– CD, DVD, deluxe etc. I’d suggest getting the deluxe edition that comes with a beautiful red and blue book that has details and minutiae of every song.
By the way, the sound– it’s very much like the “new” sound in those Quincy Jones AKG headphones I wrote about some time ago. It’s like a veil has been lifted. It’s not just clarity, but warmth and texture. Stereophiles call it “imaging.”
Of course, iTunes will have the exclusive for downloading. But I think the physical package will sell like hotcakes.
And then we’ll have to decide which full album we want first in this new mix form.
PS The news about Ron Howard’s ongoing film project about the Beatles is that it’s ongoing, and expected next year. No news yet on Beatles streaming anywhere. But “1+” will be a lovely holiday gift.