First. Thank you, dear readers of this blog, for visiting, reading, and enjoying.
Now. Don't worry. I am not giving up. I am not throwing in the towel. I am not surrendering. In fact, I am redoubling my efforts.
The Central Idea. It seems to me that the primary value of this blog has been to provide a reference database for a category that has been, as far as I can tell, totally neglected. This category is the recommendation of "Sources" for each Variation of every Beatles song.
The Future. I am determined to have this completed by May 2012. By then, every song in The Beatles' canon will have had its sources rated. Additionally, what I consider a high-quality Variations list (Mono, Stereo, Mock-Stereo, Film Mixes, and so on) will be produced. Furthermore, the foundational history for each song, including Foundational Variations and Recording Details, will be done.
One more thing: I will be streamlining the layout. Each page will be eminently more readable, and a Reference Section will handle the abbreviations, definitions, common text, and so on.
How This Will Work. In order to meet my goal, this blog will be neglected except for random posts (examples of the new layout) and special announcements keeping you abreast of the progress. When the project is complete, I will make the entire mountain available.
Of course you do! Who doesn’t??
But did you ever wonder which source sounds the best?
Does “Thank You Girl” in Mono sound better on the Vee-Jay 587 US 45 or on The Beatles Hits UK CD EP?
Does “I Saw Her Standing There” in Stereo sound better on the German Die Beatles album or on the 2009 Please Please Me re-master?
Much of the time, for any particular mix (for example, “I Saw Her Standing There” in Mono), there are 12 or so common analog and digital sources. Which is the best-sounding?
For that matter, what exactly do they sound like?
I am writing a book on this very subject. It brings to the general public a new concept in listening to The Beatles. A comprehensive listening guide to all of the common and some uncommon sources! Now you can know “how it sounds” before you even play it!
How does this benefit you? In several ways!
(1) Save time! Choose from your collection only those sources which rate best. No more listening to sub-par masters. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the 2009 Remasters are your best bet in every case. In fact, that’s true only half the time. Even then, there are comparable listening experiences.
(2) Save time! Don’t go looking for sources which have little value or appeal to you.
(3) Save money! Don’t buy records or CD's which were engineered badly.
(4) Broaden your horizons! The same mix can sound very different from source to source. One might be brimming with bass frequencies while another concentrates on the highs. The Stereo image or placement of sounds might differ. Sometimes there is extraneous noise in a mix (for example, edit points audible) but that noise is not missing in another source.
In short, the music comes alive in ways not previously known!
You’ve collected alternate mixes, pressings and labels. Now, it gets more interesting, as you collect the best-sounding version of each song!
(1) A simplified history of the recording of each song. This will boil down the best of Lewisohn, Winn, and others. But this snapshot is not even the start of it.
(2) A breakdown of the Variations for each song, including Foundational Variations! Loads of information on masters and mixes. So important! This section will be much more thorough than Brennan, Sulpy, or Winn. Honestly, this is going to upend some preconceived notions and uncover some things not yet known. But we're just getting going!
(3) Ratings on sources for each Variation for each song! As far as I can determine, this has never been done before! Compare vinyl vs. CD vs. unauthorized recordings. All US and UK sources! With a smattering of Germany, Australia, and much more. And don't forget Dr. Ebbetts, pbthal, and other such friends!
(4) Details on the sound itself. We are going inside the grooves, sometimes inside the oscilloscope! “How will it sound?” Now you'll know!
(5) A simplified rating system, with a super layout. Easy-to-read. Sample coming soon!
It's not going to be free.
Look, I've loved The Beatles for close to 40 years, so this is a labor of that love. No one could do this without absolutely adoring the music. It takes a lot of time and care. I've reworked this project several times to get it just right. Now, I think I have the right collection of sources, the right frame of mind, the time, the best-organized format, and the highest peak of my passion for it. Not to be immodest, but I think it's going to be a work of art.
So, as a fair trade for the extraordinary amount of value to be provided, I will be charging $30 (US).
Most likely, I will publish through Lulu, and attempt to market through Amazon, as well as various Beatles websites. On the other hand, I may go with electronic delivery, which is probably better for everyone. Whichever the case may be, reserve your personal copy by emailing me:
When the project is complete (by May 2012), those on the "notify" list will be first in line (electronically or print).
Final Word. Suggestions welcome.