BACK WHEN “stereophonic sound” was the bright young thing of sonic science, even The Beatles admitted that they liked their mono mixes best. And after technological fashion left mono largely behind, fans and audiophiles retained an affinity for the cohesion and the clarity of The Beatles’ music mixed precisely as the band intended.
The special relationship between the Beatles and mono is celebrated in the form of The Beatles In Mono – a 14-LP vinyl collection set for release this September. It includes the mono versions of every UK Beatles album through 1968 plus the American-compiled *Magical Mystery Tour and a 3-LP Mono Masters collection of non-album songs. The collection was painstakingly remastered in the same Abbey Road room where the tracks were cut in the first place.
In contrast with the digitally remastered recordings released in 2009, engineer Sean Magee and mastering supervisor Steve Berkowitz used no digital technology, instead employing the same methods used in the 1960s, using first-pressings and transfer notes from original cutting engineers as a guide.
While the albums in the collection will be available individually, exclusive to the box set is a 108-page, 12-inch square hardbound book featuring a detailed history of the remastering process plus brand new essays illustrated by rare studio shots, archive documents, and 1960s-sourced advertisements and articles.
Available for pre-order here, The Beatles In Mono will be released on September 8 in the UK, and September 9 in North America.