180 Gram Vinyl Record
Cut at Abbey Road Studios using non-limited 24-bit digital masters sourced from the original analog master tapes!
Pressed on 180-gram vinyl; album's North American LP debut in stereo
Optimum audiophile-quality sound from a first-rate team of producers and engineers
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - rated 53/500!
For years the most anticipated vinyl reissues have been from the one, the only Beatles catalog. Finally, after a delay due to the meticulousness of the remastering process and assorted other hurdles, that day has come. The Beatles catalog is getting the audiophile treatment! 180-gram vinyl pressings cut at Abbey Road Studios using the non-limited 24-bit digital masters sourced from the original master tapes!
For Americans in the full grip of Beatlemania, this was the first album they could buy. With The Beatles (sold as Meet The Beatles! in the U.S.) was the Fab Four's second British record. With the Beatles produced the singles "It Won't Be Long" and "All My Loving." John Lennon and Paul McCartney were on a songwriting roll that would be unmatched in rock history, and at this point they were still a real team. Like no other digital or analog edition, this LP pressing showcases how far the Fab Four really were beyond any of their peers.
For its Beatles' Stereo Albums series on LP, Capitol/Apple turned to a crack team of engineers to remaster With The Beatles from the original sources. The team, including Guy Massey, Steve Rooke and Sam Okell with Paul Hicks and Sean Magee undertook a four-year restoration process for the LP versions, combining state-of-the-art equipment, vintage studio gear and rigorous testing to meet the highest fidelity standards and produce authentic unsurpassed sound rivaling the original LPs. There is no longer any need to pay hundreds of dollars for Japanese pressings!
Recorded in much the same fashion as Please Please Me, With The Beatles used close-miking techniques and a combination of direct and ambient sounds gathered from group microphones. There's a great rollicking liveliness and depth captured. Paying homage to Motown, the band sends up "Please Mister Postman," "Money (That's What I Want)," and "You Really Got a Hold On Me" with equal parts ragged urgency and poignant emotion. A batch of rich originals spans bittersweet ballads ("All I've Got to Do") to shout-out-loud rock classics ("It Won't Be Long").
The set has been criticized by some for containing too many covers; yet it's a snapshot of the Beatles during the band's last connection to its Cavern Club days and avoids any dull moments. Again, the production emphasizes an in-the-studio feel, with minimal effects and few baffles. Now, hear just how hard the Beatles rocked in what's the equivalent of 3D sound. The strings of the band's guitars and pop of Ringo's 20-inch Ludwig kick drum resonate with punch, drive, and true-to-life imaging. It's all thanks to Capitol's meticulous mastering.
Extensive testing was done before engineers copied the analog master tapes into digital files using 24-bit/192 kHz resolution and a Prism A-D converter. Dust build-ups were removed from tape machine heads after the completion of each title. Artifacts such as electrical clicks, microphone vocal pops, excessive sibilance and poor edits were improved upon as long as they were judged not to damage the integrity of the songs. The 24/192 transfers were done to produce an archival copy of the tapes and then those files were reduced to 24/44.1 kHz files for final mastering. De-noising technology was applied in only a few necessary spots and on a sum total of less than five of the entire 525 minutes of Beatles music.
The digital files were cut to lacquers at Abbey Road Studios. Engineer Sean Magee cut the LPs in chronological release order. He used the original 24-bit remasters rather than the 16-bit versions that were required for CD production. It was decided to use the remasters that had not undergone "limiting," a procedure to increase the sound level.
Steps to eliminate vocal distortions and inner-groove distortions were addressed using a digital workstation. The latter can affect high-middle frequencies, producing a "mushy" sound noticeable on vocals. Using what Magee has described as "surgical EQ," problem frequencies were identified and reduced in level to compensate for this.
Lastly, the first batches of test pressings made from the master lacquers that had been sent to two pressing plants were judged. Records with any noise or click appearing on more than one test pressing in the same place were rejected, on the grounds that undesired sound had been introduced either during the cutting or pressing stage.
For producer Rick Rubin, The Beatles' recorded achievements are akin to a miracle. The most popular bands in the world today typically produce an album every four years, Rubin told a 2009 radio audience. That's two albums as an eight-year cycle. "And think of the growth or change between those two albums. The idea that The Beatles made thirteen albums in seven years and went through that arc of change ... it can't be done. Truthfully, I think of it as proof of God, because it's beyond man's ability."
|It Won't Be Long|
|All I've Got To Do|
|All My Loving|
|Don't Bother Me|
|Till There Was You|
|Please Mister Postman|
|Roll Over Beethoven|
|Hold Me Tight|
|You Really Got A Hold On Me|
|I Wanna Be Your Man|
|Devil In Her Heart|
|Not A Second Time|
|Money (That's What I Want)|