Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Step into the wayback machine...

For a little perspective today's The Beatles reissues, check out this article published in The New York Times in 1987; "Beatles On CD: Yeah, Yeah, Nah." Reviewer Allan Kozinn grumbles about the fact that both the mono and stereo mixes were not being made available for each album, but in general he is very complimentary of the sound quality of the CDs:

On the four CD's just issued, the sound is magnificent - solid, crystal clear, beautifully textured and fully detailed. One hears very little in the way of tape hiss or extraneous noise; heard side by side with their equivalent mono Parlophone LP's, the CD's sound, for the most part, as bright or brighter on top, and a good deal richer in the bass.
As much as people have complained (rightly to my mind) about the sound of the 1987 remasters in the ensuing years, as far as I remember at the time of release, the original Beatles CDs were considered state-of-the art. Most reviewers commented on what a revelation it was to finally be able to hear the music of The Beatles in the shiny new CD format.

Anyway, it's worth keeping in mind how perspectives can change over the years as you read contemporary reviews of the new remasters.