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
The BEATLES ON VINYL - DONE RIGHT!
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!
Rolling Stone declares: "A Hard Day's Night opens with the most famous chord in all of rock 'n' roll: A radiant burst of 12-string guitar evoking the chaos and euphoria of Beatlemania at its height." The Richard Lester film of the same title showed the Beatles' charm. The soundtrack deepened listeners' sense of their musical genius in the off-kilter beauty of John Lennon's "If I Fell," the rockabilly bounce of Paul McCartney's "Can't Buy Me Love," and the great leap forward of George Harrison's guitar work on the 12-string Rickenbacker.
The first Beatles album to feature all-original material, A Hard Day's Night affirmed the band's "top-of-the-world-ma" status. Galvanized by the arrival of new gear and methods in the recording studio, the Beatles captured a new magic, and this superb LP pressing showcases their success in a way never experienced before.
For its Beatles' Stereo Albums series on LP, Capitol/Apple turned to a crack team of engineers to remaster A Hard Day's Night 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!
With the addition of a REDD.51 mixing console at their disposal at Abbey Road, a device that increased the level of communication between producer, engineer, and band, the Beatles upped the ante not only in memorable songwriting and joyous emotion, but definitive sonics. And so now you can almost feel the repeat echo on the title track, a cue that regenerates delay and adds to the tune's spaciousness. Similarly, the harmonica shiver on "I Should've Known Better" rings out with amazing purity and expansive reach.
Most significantly, the LP frames the fairly crisp top-end sound of Ringo's drums. Throughout, his strict orders to hit the snare solidly in the middle (and not on the rims) unfold in the form of involving rhythmic beats that now seem as if they're happening right in front of you. As for the unique 12-string jangle created by George Harrison's Rickenbacker 360-12 12-string guitar, employed for the first time on this 1964 effort, it positively sweeps over the soundstage, preceding the likes of the Byrds. And those voices. Mesmerizing.
The album's title track, with its distinct, instantly recognisable opening chord, and the previously released "Can't Buy Me Love" both were transatlantic number-one singles for the band.
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."
|A Hard Day's Night|
|I Should Have Known Better|
|If I Fell|
|I'm Happy Just to Dance With You|
|And I Love Her|
|Tell Me Why|
|Can't Buy Me Love|
|Any Time at All|
|I'll Cry Instead|
|Things We Said Today|
|When I Get Home|
|You Can't Do That|
|I'll Be Back|