The Beatles ‘The Singles Collection’ – First Unboxing Video and Review

Once again* every other reviewer and music writer has been beaten to the draw by US critic Michael Fremer of Analog Planet website fame.

Fremer has not only the first review of The Beatles new The Singles Collection box set, but also the first unboxing video showing in detail what the box, the 23 seven-inch singles and booklet look like. This box set is not officially released until this coming Friday (22 November), but Fremer uploaded his unboxing video on November 16:

The review, which followed the unboxing, is not kind.

Fremer, who had hoped the laquers for the singles had all been cut direct from the original analogue tapes, says: “The new box sounds dry, flat and boring. All of the voices reside on a flat plane, attack is stunted, sustain minimized and decay almost non-existent—all of the telltale signs of bad digitization—obvious even on the early “primitive” tracks. After comparing a few I moved forward to “Baby You’re a Rich Man” and after that comparison I stopped to write this.”

He went on to compare these latest singles with those from the 1978 World Records/EMI box set containing 25 Beatle singles. These he writes “…sound alive, exciting and packed with transient details and depth. The top end sparkles where appropriate—like on “Ticket to Ride”, where the guitar jangle is intense and Ringo’s toms have depth and texture.” 

“To say I’m disappointed with the sound [of this new box] is an understatement. It’s as weak as the packaging is strong. As a souvenir or attractive shelf item this set gets an 11. As something you’d want to play it gets a 5: middling. I don’t know what happened here but it produced a dull top, rubbery bottom, congested midrange, flat, dry perspective and heavy dynamic compression.”

This has re-ignited the hot debate about whether or not these new singles are indeed all analogue (AAA), or if they have been digitised and then cut to vinyl. You can read Fremer’s full review here.

* Fremer did the same with the 50th anniversary re-issue of Abbey Road in September this year, and The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) in October last year.

Teaser for The Beatles “1” DVD?

The official Beatles website has emailed subscribers overnight teasing what could be the long-promised Beatles “1” DVD/BluRay – which has been rumoured to be in preparation for over a year now and will contain official versions of all the band’s promo videos and film-clips. _theBeatles1

There’s precious little other information apart from the Twitter hashtag #THEBEATLES1…..and a 16 second video on the Beatles official YouTube channel:

The Beatles website has been given over to a holding page with the countdown clip as well.

It’s all very cryptic, but must surely be leading up to the announcement of a video equivalent of the top-selling “1” CD and vinyl.

Queenie Eye Video, and the “Making Of ” Video

Here’s the official video clip for the second single from Paul MacCartney’s New:

And here’s the “behind the scenes” making of, complete with an explanation of what the term Queenie Eye really means:

Not One But Three New Videos of “My Valentine”

That’s right. Three new videos. You’re probably familiar with this, the first official release made during the photo shoot for the cover of “Kisses on the Bottom“:

But yesterday Paul McCartney launched not one, but three new versions of a video he directed himself of his song “My Valentine’. They each feature Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp. The first has both actors presenting the song using sign language:

Then there are two version variations – one with just Natalie Portman on her own:

The other has just Johnny Depp on his own:

If I’m not mistaken, that sounds like a slightly different guitar solo. Could it be Johnny Depp actually playing guitar? He’s a keen player.

The Mail Online has a feature on the making of the videos.

UPDATEpaulmccartney.com has just issued a press release with more details about the new videos – which are based on an original idea by Paul’s daughter Stella McCartney and were premiered at an event held at the Stella McCartney store in Los Angeles. Two other interesting details from the release:

‘My Valentine’ is the second Paul McCartney music video Natalie Portman has starred in, the first being the Michel Gondry directed ‘Dance Tonight‘ in 2007.  For this new performance, she was exclusively dressed by Stella McCartney. Johnny Depp also plays guitar in his version and recorded the track’s guitar solo live.  His guitar take was then mixed and mastered into the final track.  The original guitar solo on the studio version of the song was performed by Eric Clapton.