Hurple Hoopla

Monday, May 12, 2008

Beatles Heaven

I have to admit that I am, and always have been, a Beatles fanatic pretty much since hearing the first note of their music. I have to admit, also, that occasionally I forget to be a fanatic. I mean, it's been since the mid-90's since anything new and exciting came out of their camp (that would be the Anthology stuff.)

Then I read this in the last issue of Rolling Stone Magazine:

The Beatles' albums came out on CD in 1987, but fans have long complained that the early digital technology used to remaster the recordings left them sounding hollow and thin — and that the official remasters are way overdue. That's where Purple Chick comes in — a secretive fan (or group of fans) who has been quietly remastering classic discs like Revolver and A Hard Day's Night, and releasing the digital files for free online. How is this possible? The Beatles' CDs sound so bad that carefully digitized tracks from pristine vinyl copies are noticeably better — with crisper highs, a fuller soundstage, and more realistic reproduction of instruments and voices. And the Purple Chick editions are superior to the originals in other ways, too: The Sgt. Pepper collection contains the original record in mono and stereo, and four discs' worth of studio outtakes; the White Album comes in a whopping twelve-disc version, including alternate takes, studio chatter, demos and fascinating jams. So how do you get this stuff? Google is your friend: Try searching "purple chick and megaupload" to get started.

Well, I did the search and found the CDs... And I am a fanatic again. I must say these DO sounds remarkably better than the official releases. Very much so. Very very much so. So much so it revelatory.

In fact I love the sound so much more than the official CDs that I have since gone in search of the source files used to make these CDs (to eliminate one layer of copying), the Dr. Ebbett's Sound Source releases.

I own every Beatles CD, DVD, vinyl and videotape release, so I have no qualms in obtaining these until EMI sees fit to re-release their albums all remastered and decked out with bonus material (like that's ever gonna happen). Once EMI does that, I'll buy those, too. Gladly. But, until then I'll be in Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Beatles vinyl release (transferred to CD) heaven!


  • Beatles releases have been slow in getting out, including remasters of their albums, but it's not all EMI's fault. I'm sure they would delight in releasing six different versions of Revolver, but each new Beatles release has to be approved by Paul, Ringo and the estates of John and George. Luckily there are these fan releases, as you mention, to fill in the gap (not to mention the recent leaking of many of the 4-track masters to Sgt. Pepper).

    By Anonymous Peter, at 8:55 PM  

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