On September 9, 2009, after a nearly 22-year wait, digitally remastered versions of all of the Beatles studio albums will be released, a press release has confirmed. Each album will feature the track listings and artwork as it was originally released in the U.K. and come with expanded booklets including original and newly written liner notes and rare photos. For a limited time, each of the Fab Four’s 12 proper albums will be “embedded” with a brief documentary about its making. The rereleases will include the Beatles’ 12 studio albums and Magical Mystery Tour as well as Past Masters Vol. I and II, which will be packaged as one collection. All 14 discs will be available with DVDs of the documentaries in a stereo box set, and a set titled The Beatles in Mono featuring 10 discs will also be released.
A crew of engineers at London’s Abbey Road Studios have spent four years working on the remasters using new technology and vintage equipment, the press release says, in an effort to preserve “the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings” and ensure “the highest fidelity the catalog has seen since its original release.”
9/9/09 promises to be a huge day in Beatles lore, as it’s the same day The Beatles: Rock Band will hit stores. This weekend brought a bit of Beatles news, too, as Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited onstage at a New York benefit for David Lynch’s Transcendental Meditation foundation (see photos here). Preorders for the remasters are already popping up on Amazon.co.uk. Demand for Beatles remasters has steadily increased since 1987, when Capitol/EMI first released the Beatles’ discography on CD with what many audiophile fans deemed substandard sound quality compared to the original vinyl.
While it seems like other artists remaster their entire catalog every several years, Capitol/EMI have barely touched the Beatles’ discography since 1987, with the exception of 2004’s The Capitol Albums, Vol. 1 box set, which compiled and remastered the band’s first four American releases in stereo and mono formats. The soundtrack for the Beatles’ Love show also gave listeners a brief tease of how fantastic the band’s songs would sound if properly remastered.
The Beatles in Mono will include the 10 albums originally mixed for mono release, as well as two additional discs the press release says features similar songs to those on the Past Masters compilations. The mono versions of Help! and Rubber Soul will boast bonuses: the albums’ original 1965 stereo mixes, which have not been previously released on CD, per the press release. The mono collection, like the stereo one, will include all original inserts and label designs, and the CDs are designed as tiny vinyl replicas.
The press release didn’t include news regarding a possible deal with iTunes or another digital-music vendor to distribute the catalog digitally: “Discussions regarding the digital distribution of the catalog will continue. There is no further information available at this time,” the press release reads. Both Apple Corps. and Paul McCartney have expressed reluctance to release the Beatles’ music digitally until all the albums had been remastered. The solo work of each of the four Beatles is available on iTunes.
The Beatles Remasters:
Please Please Me With the Beatles A Hard Day’s Night Beatles for Sale Help! Rubber Soul Revolver Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Magical Mystery Tour The Beatles (The White Album) Abbey Road Let It Be Past Masters Yellow Submarine
Ringo Starr Announces All-Starr Band Tour Dates In Support Of 'Ringo 2012'
His days of drumming for The Beatles are
long behind him, but Ringo Starr has adopted a new hobby over the past
two decades: Bringing musicians together and going on tour with them.
Starr has announced the lineup and summer tour dates for this year's All Starr Band,
which will feature Todd Rundgren, Gregg Rolie (of Santana fame), Steve
Lukather (Toto), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), saxophonist Mark Rivera and
drummer Gregg Bissonette.
The tour, in support of Starr's new album Ringo 2012, will begin on June 14 in Niagara Falls and end on July 21 in Los Angeles.Although fellow former Beatles member Paul McCartney's album Kisses OnTheBottom hit stores on Tuesday, Starr insists their solo careers are hardly competitive.
"In all honesty, we had dinner just after Christmas together and I didn't know he had [an album] coming out," Starr told Spinner.
"I didn't know that it was going to come out within weeks of each
other. No, there's no rivalry. Paul is Paul, Ringo is Ringo and this is
what we do. We don't phone each other and say, 'You can't bring your
record out because I've got one!' We live our lives, we make our music
and pick a release date. This is the date we picked and that's just how
McCartney, for his part, is booked to perform for the Queen of England on a ticket that includes Elton John, Tom Jones and many more high profile acts.
For more on Starr's New All Starr Band, click over to Rolling Stone.
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Music legend Paul McCartney was honored Thursday with a star on the the Hollywood Walk of Fame outside the Capital Records building. McCartney is the last member of the Beatles to receive one. (Feb. 9)
“YELLOW SUBMARINE” ON THE BIG SCREEN: “Yellow Submarine” returns to theaters this week as part of a promotion for the new “Yellow Submarine” DVD. It opens in limited engagements May 10. You can find a list of theaters here:
Catch it if you can, especially if you didn't see it during the previous reissue when the screenings were even more limited. It's a great movie to experience in a theater, especially with the upgraded sound. Catch it if you can, especially if you didn't see it during the previous reissue when the screenings were even more limited. It's a great movie to experience in a theater, especially with the upgraded sound.
It may have been twenty years ago today that Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play, but in fact it was on this day, fifty years ago, that The Beatles first emerged from the legendary Abbey Road studios with their first official single, “Love Me Do.”
Though they would go on to become the ‘Fab Four’ that would inspire Beatlemania and change the face of pop culture as we know it, on June 6, 1962, The Beatles were just like any other fresh-faced band (the eldest being Lennon at 21 and Harrison, the youngest at 19). Possessed with a spark of talent and simply trying to get a leg-up.
In fact the young quartet, including original drummer Pete Best, had been trawling through London with manager, Brian Epstein, in an attempt to woo the record labels into signing them.
Auditioning for the likes of Columbia, Philips and most famously, Decca records, future home of The Rolling Stones. The latter of which rejected them after a fifteen-song, hour-long set on New Year’s Eve of 1961 on the basis that “guitar groups are on the way out.” The heads of the label noting that “the Beatles have no future in show business.”
The tapes from those sessions eventually secured Epstein another audition six months later, that would unknowingly mark the beginning of one of music’s most infamous careers.
The original recording of “Love Me Do”, committed to tape half-a-century ago, was one of three Lennon-McCartney originals (along with “P.S. I Love You” and “Ask Me Why”) played in a brief audition by the adolescent Liverpudlians to producer George Martin.
Martin was the then-head of an imprint best-known primarily for its comedy recordings, a small label on EMI called Parlophone. In The Beatles’ personalised tome, Anthology (of 2000), McCartney recalls how Martin typically dealt with smaller acts and “was thrown the ‘scrag ends’, and we were ‘scrag ends’.
George Harrison also reminisces upon their first meeting with the producer that would go on to help realise nearly all of the group’s recording throughout their seven-year tenure.
Harrison’s first impression of Martin was of his accent, “He didn’t speak in a Cockney or a Liverpool or Birmingham accent, and anyone who didn’t speak like that we thought was very posh,” says Harrison. “He was friendly, but schoolteacherly.”
The Anthology book also recounts the humorous initial exchange between the band and the producer,
“When we’d finished playing and we were walking up the stairs to the control room in Studio Two. He was explaining things and he said, ‘Is there anything that you’re not happy about’ we shuffled about silently, then I said, ‘Well… I don’t like your tie!’ There was a moment of “ohhhhh’ but then we laughed and he did too. Being born in Liverpool you have to be a comedian.”
An audio engineer from the session, Norman Smith noted, “that cracked the ice… and for the next 15-20 minutes they were pure entertainment.”
As a result of their sessions, Martin ended up agreeing to sign Epstein’s ‘guitar band’ just a few short weeks later, but also planted the seed that would lead to the unceremonious dismissal of original drummer, Pete Best.
In McCartney’s words, “we had a not-very-powerful audition in which [Martin] was not very pleased with Pete Best.” Who asked the group if they’d consider replacing him. Though they originally defended Best’s position in the band, it was only a few weeks later that one Richard Starkey entered the picture, or as he was better known to the young band – Ringo Starr of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.
“Ringo was a star in his own right before we even met,” admits Lennon, while McCartney remembers they “really started to think ‘we need the greatest drummer in Liverpool’ and the greatest drummer in our eyes was Ringo.”
Harrison also notes the early chemistry between the quartet, “To me it was apparent: Pete kept being sick and not showing up for gigs so we would get Ringo to sit in with the band instead, and every time Ringo sat in, it seemed like ‘this is it’.”
Following Best’s dismissal from the line-up, they returned, with the newly-inserted Starr, to Abbey Road Studios in September of 1962 to record a new version of “Love Me Do” with George Martin, as the band’s virgin single.
Though it was a meagre hit compared to its follow-up, 1963’s “Please, Please Me”, “Love Me Do” nevertheless cracked the UK Top 20 at #17 upon its initial release and remains the first official recording of The Beatles under Parlophone.
As they say, the rest is history…
The Beatles’ impact on popular culture cannot be truly measured, nor their effect and influence on what we take for granted as popular music today. They would become an act whose popularity was previously inconceivable in scale and saturation, and perhaps, will remain the most influential musical act ever.
Particularly given the introduction of the digital world and its increasing ease of accessibility to an almost infinite array of musical styles and modes of dissemination.
But it was within that cramped studio space, where four unassuming young men and two older guides who saw their potential, that the dawn of what was to be the most influential musical outfit of all time was spawned.
It’s also startling to think that only seven short years after the audition that was the catalyst to the advent of The Beatles, that same group would return to the exact same facility to lay down their last sessions on the album named after the legendary studio, Abbey Road, only to break up in April 1970.
Leaving behind a legacy that remains as potent today, half-a-century on.
PARIS (AP)France's Elysee Palace says former Beatle Paul McCartney has been decorated with the legion of honor for services to music.
On Saturday the presidential office said that seventy-year-old McCartney — who sang and co-wrote hits like "Hey Jude" and "Yesterday" — was decorated at the rank of officer by French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace, with members of McCartney's family attending.
McCartney joins the ranks of other singers to have received the honor. Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli were similarly honored by former President Nicolas Sarkozy.
McCartney — often referred to as "Sir Paul" or "Macca" in his native Britain — has already received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II, who watched him perform at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
French President Francois Hollande gives former Beatle prestigious award
Earlier today, PaulMcCartney was awarded France's highest honor when he became an officer of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour. The ceremony, established by Napoleon Boneparte in 1802, marks yet another prestigious international award given to McCartney.
According to the Examiner in addition to the most recent French national Order award, In 2010, McCartney was awarded The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. At the following performance at the White House, many distinguished and famous guests were in attendance. They included President Obama, Mrs. Obama. Stevie Wonder, DaveGrohl, the Jonas Brothers and Elvis Costello.
There are five different distinctions in the Legion of Honour, according to Noise 11:Knight, Officer, Commander, Grand Officer and Grand Cross. McCartney will become an Officer. Entrance into the Legion will require McCartney to purchase the physical for $1,000. This should not be a problem, as McCartney is about to launch a new tour.
On Friday, his new On the Run tour with four new stops in North America. Having just concluded a tour, it seems like this will be a busy year for the newly awarded French National Order of the Legion of Honour officer.
Now that's news I want to hear...This guy never stops! I love you Paul
ABC’s report quotes a recent post by the Australian site TV Tonight, which claims that an unnamed network executive revealed some extra details surrounding the special — namely, that it will include appearances by Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Adele, Bruno Mars, Pink and Katy Perry, who will deliver new performances of the five songs the Beatles played on their ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ debut.
The special, which is being recorded the day after the Grammys on Jan. 27, is set to air at 8 PM EST on Feb. 9. Although CBS has yet to confirm any of the rumored participants, they’re clearly planning something big. “Whether you were alive to witness it on television that night, or you’ve just known about it all your life, that first television appearance by the Beatles on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ is historic,” executive producer Ken Ehrlich said in a statement. “To be able to celebrate this significant event 50 years later — and to the exact day, date, and time — with an all-star cast of Grammy participants, shapes up to be one for the books.”
Beatles' 'A Hard Day's Night' gets fab 50th anniversary makeover
'A Hard Day's Night' sonic restoration was overseen by Giles Martin, son of Beatles producer George Martin
'It's not as if I'm mixing "Avatar." It still should sound like it's in 1964'
Given the sacrosanct aura that's developed around pretty much everything to do with the Beatles over the past half-century, it seems unbelievable that anything related to the Fab Four might have ever gone missing through the decades.
But in coming up with a 50th anniversary, 4K digital restoration of the band's beloved feature film debut "A Hard Day's Night," technicians at the Criterion Collection and Janus Films had to work around missing chunks from the first and last reels of the original negative. Producer Giles Martin, son of the Beatles' original producer, George Martin, also had to compensate for a missing stereo master of their early single "She Loves You" and use the existing monaural recording as part of a new audio mix of the film's dialogue and soundtrack.
All of which serves as a reminder that in early 1964 when Beatlemania was exploding worldwide, musical immortality seemed in doubt for the four lads from Liverpool.
"It was never my dad's intention to be digging this up after 50 years," Martin said this week. "I know it was his view that there would be more Beatles projects coming along down the line, and that some other young act would find the Beatles' spark and the same [phenomenon] would be replicated. I think that was the case really until about 15 years ago. Now the Beatles have become this cultural phenomenon and they are stamped in history, and that hasn't washed off in any way."
The younger Martin's mission in creating a surround-sound mix for a low-budget, black-and-white film that originally was presented in monaural sound in theaters around the world "wasn't to be a modernized version of 'A Hard Day's Night.'"
"It's not as if I'm mixing 'Avatar,'" he said. "It still should sound like it's in 1964."
In fact, Martin said, "the advantage of 5.1 is that you can actually be more faithful to the mono. ... The film was in mono, and I found it weird that we would be listening to the Beatles talk and have it all come out of the center [channel], but then the band would play and the music would come out of the left and right speakers."
The film itself "has never looked this good in theaters," said Criterion Collection President Peter Becker, because "the prints made in 1964 were two or three generations away from the original 35mm negativ
"When you're working on the Beatles, it's really a double-edged sword," said Lee Kline, who headed Criterion's film restoration team that located the best existing sections of the missing original negative to use for the restoration. "You're working with things so many people are excited about, and something that's very important to people's hearts. You can't talk to Beatles fans without some of them overwhelming you with how excited they are, and you take that into consideration."
The tradition of translating popular music performers to the big screen was a spotty one before the Beatles came along, with movies often placing performers in awkward settings by directors who often had no feel for the exuberant energy of rock music.
"A Hard Day's Night" director Richard Lester and screenwriter Alun Owen avoided those pitfalls by channeling the Beatles' inherent personal charm and sense of humor into their script, and allowing John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr the opportunity to improvise many of their lines.
"In this case, the fifth Beatle was Richard Lester," Becker said, referring to the 82-year-old director who has given his approval to the new restoration. "They trusted him, from his work with Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan and the Goons, which they totally loved. The level of freedom you feel in the film, a lot of that is from some of the things Lester introduced."
Becker said his hope is that the wide release of "A Hard Day's Night" will in some way echo the shared international experience it created originally. ("A Hard Day's Night" opens Friday at select theaters around the country, including the Cinefamily in Los Angeles and the Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, with a sneak preview Thursday night at the Cinefamily as part of the "Don't Knock the Rock" film festival.)
"There are ways to mess up a restoration," he said. "You can over-produce things, and over-process them to where they start to lose their shimmer, lose their grace, lose their energy. For this film, that would have been a complete tragedy. This is all about life and liberation and freedom. The Beatles are constantly breaking out of rooms, they are uncontainable in every way, which is how they were in life.
"Much of the humor in the film comes from people trying to get them to stay where they're supposed to be, and they're always running away to where they're not supposed to go," Becker said. "That freedom and freshness has to be there."