A mate in the music business this week sent me a burn of an official Apple/EMI radio special produced for distribution to radio stations to promote the new Beatles Remastered box sets.
Its pretty interesting and is narrated by a cockney-accented Gary Crowley whom, from what I can gather from the web, usually works as a DJ and interviewer at the BBC Radio in London. The program runs 1 hour and 48 minutes in total, and is split into 6 segments. Crowley works his way though each official album release chronologically and the program uses interviews with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and George Martin to paint a picture of how each record came about and in particular how the Beatles music changed and matured with each release.
Here’s how Gary Crowley opens the radio special, and the band talks about the early days, recording their first outing “Please Please Me”:
While there’s a lot of good stuff, the two main disappointments for me are that the program just looks at the albums, and doesn’t go into the singles that can be found on the “Past Masters” discs. It also doesn’t go into any detail about the remastering process itself or how the whole 4 year project of painstakingly remastering each disc was run – which is a pity because I for one would have liked to have heard a bit about this aspect from those involved.
Anyway, its still a good addition to the collection and contains some really great interview extracts. One very interesting thing is that some of the music tracks are preceded by original studio banter by the band that I can only presume comes from the The Beatles Rock Band game, also released on 09.09.09. I don’t have the game, but I’ve read that they use previously unreleased studio chat and out-takes extensively to make the experience of playing it more realistic. The makers had ready access to all the original master tapes and lifted off quite a lot of unique material. Some short grabs of that are used here I think.
Well, I guess if you are a mad keen collector you’d like to hear something else from the show.
This second extract brings us up to the “The White Album”, and the song “Helter Skelter”:
I really think the remasters sound amazing: tastefully restored, rather than remixed, though. And I would like to hear some remixes a la Love without the Jive Bunnyism!
I’m currently in the process of posting up a chronology of the best Beatles cover versions for download on my site http://tardymusic.blogspot.com. Feel free to visit/download/contribute!
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