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4.2 out of 5 stars267
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: VinylChange
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on 26 December 2006
I've not long been to Vegas on holiday and turned my nose up at the chance to see 'Love' on the Mirage because I don't think I'm a fan of 'Cirque...' and I thought it was going to be set purely to Beatles tracks. On listening to this I realise how wrong I was and now regret not going to see it. George Martin has proved yet again how important he was to the Fabs' success and together he and his son Giles have produced a new Bealtles album. Forget comparisons with other compilations, this does sound like a new album. John Lennon once said that one of the things he liked best about 'I Am The Walrus' was that no matter how many times you listened to it you always heard something new, well here is a 90 minute example of that idea. The best thing of all for me though is that it has all been remixed so that it can be listened to on headphones without having the drums in one ear and the vocals in another etc as was the irritating fashion in the 1960s. If you're a purist and want everything as it was, leave it alone and don't moan about it. If however you have an open mind, buy it and enjoy!
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on 25 November 2006
I've had many Beatles discs on CD, but oddly they've never really been listened to a great deal. The curous flatness that marred other pre-remastered Great Albums like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon is still there . . . because absolutely incredibly, the Beatles back catalogue has never received this treatment. Until now!

I loved the actual sound of this album (though not the concept) from he moment I heard it, and the whole thing is fantastic. Just listen to how the first full song 'Get Back' burst out of the speakers as if the Fab Four were right in front of you. This is how they should sound. Throughout the entire album/collage, I was astonished at the clarity, and how I felt like I did the first time I'd heard them.

The level of invention is high, and some of the cheekier song merges bring a smile every time. The backward track 'Gnik Nus' is a little highlight. It could all have gone horribly wrong - like something from the 'Hooked on Classics' franchise or Jive Bunny, but due to the avoidance of Beatlmania tracks (only Help! and I want to hold your hand) that is thankfully avoided.

But 'Love' is the title and concept of this album, and 'fifth Beatle' George Martin (and son) have defined the word to the letter. What struck me when listening to the album all the way through is how important the late George Harrison was to the 'Beatle sound', either in his distinctive vocal harmonies or introduction of Indian instumentation. I think Martin knew this, and though Lennon & McCartney get their fair share, it's the Harrison aspect I was frequenly reminded of and actually moved by. 'While my guitar gently weeps' is stunningly presented in Martin's arrangement, a beautiful moment in an album which is full of lovely sounds. All of which points to the obvious comment made by everyone else - GET THE ORIGINALS REMASTERED!!!
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on 18 December 2006
Don't take any notice of the supposed Beatles fans who give negative reviews to this CD. The point is that the back catalogue + Anthology is already available. This achieves the impossible -- pulling together all that was brilliant about the Beatles -- three of the best songwriters of the 20th century and the most innovative production and arrangements. Most importantly, it demonstrates that they didn't take themselves too seriously -- they all have a go at singing and Ringo features on this collection too. It wins on all counts -- sound quality of classics, innovative combinations of songs. On only one track (Drive My Car/What You're Doing/The Word) does it ever sound a bit like Stars on 45 -- and this is a standout track, reminding listeners of the featured little known McCartney gem. Everyone would like their own favourites featured but there's a limit to what you can get into 80 minutes or so.
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on 24 November 2006
I must admit I was very sceptical of this release but had read one glowing review after another so decided to invest in the two disc addition. The first disc, a normal cd is fantastic in it's own right. I have heard this album referred to as a "Mash up" and after hearing it I think this paints an inaccurate picture of what it really is. Rather than sounding like a cut and paste mess the songs are largely original and for the most part flow into one another. The 5.1 surround disc is simply stunning with the best recordings of these songs I have heard. I have a DVD player with the ability to play the DVD Audio format therefore realising the full potential of this disc (high resolution) however this disc will still play in a normal DVD video player and offer exceptional sound. The 5.1 mix is messmerising and the clarity combined with the creative mixing (eg birds,dolphins in the background of a few tracks) gives the album a very contemporary feel almost as if it were recorded last week. These tracks sound so good they actually sound like a live recording. In my oppinion this would be one of the best albums this year and without doubt one of the best 5.1 surround discs available.
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on 1 February 2007
Stop whingeing all you negative reviewers. Yes you are entitled to you opinion, but remember this: NOBODY MADE YOU BUY IT (or in fact listen to it!). If you don't like remixes (and lets face it, publicity was big enough for you to know what you were buying)go back to the originals.

This album is a fabulous example of the Fabs being at the forefront of musical creativity, where they always have been. Their music is the benchmark by which everyone else sets their standards.

In addition, the sound is incredible and shows that their entire back catalogue is crying out to be remastered. Perhaps this will bring us closer to hearing what George Martin heard "All those years ago".

Look elsewhere if you want a track by track review of the album, personally I think it is creative, current and a truly fantastic soundscape. Enjoy!!!
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VINE VOICEon 7 February 2007
I approached this recording with trepidation - it sounded like one of those concepts that could have been hugely underwhelming, but it actually surpasses my hopes.

It's a bit like walking down a corridor filled with Old Masters that have become jaded by dust and familiarity, to find they've been marvellously restored, bringing their vibrant colours back to life and making them as fresh and vivid as the day they were painted.

It also reminds you how immense The Beatles music was, and how lacking in ambition, imagination, wit and sheer musical genius much of what we listen to is. If an album has three or four memorable tracks it stands as a classic. The Beatles produced a string of albums of wall-to-wall perfection.

Love is a brilliant testament to that achievement.
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on 21 November 2006
I'm playing this for the third time in 24hours and it is just taking by breath away. Ok I admit I'm a life long Beatles fan and approached this with great caution but you have to hear this to believe it- Think you know all these songs? Think again! You've never heard them like this and in these versions : the normal stereo mix is amazing and well worth buying BUT if you've got a 5.1 sound system on your DVD or whatever then prepare for a real sound experience as George Martin and his son Giles stupendous and clever mix takes you right into the heart of the music. I can't praise this highly enough.Simpy, this is stunning- Just order it and really get yourself into the Beatles as never before.
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on 29 December 2006
This has to be the best album out at present! It as an absolute joy to listen to. The surround sound really brings all of these songs to a new level transporting the sounds to three dimensions. No. 6 "I want to hold your hand" has screaming in it which reminds me of the performance The Beatles did in USA with HELP! when the audience were screaming almost louder than the band! The absolute best tracks I think on this are 10. "being for the benefit of Mr. Kite" bit at the end. I swear, if you close your eyes at the end bit it is just like you are on a merry-go-round and as you whizz past the steam engine pipes the sound bounces from speaker to speaker; just what surround sound was designed for.

Also no 23. "Day in the Life" bit at the end is fantastic too. Trully breathtaking, crank up the volume until your ears bleed. This surround sound even blows Dark Side of The Moon SACD out of the water!

There is just nothing even close to it...Fantastic effort, it's about time The Beatles went 5.1 all the others like the Stones, Eagles and Dylan have. Now all The Beatles need to do is release the entire catalogue on DVD-Audio/SACD, for goodness sake, in a couple of years time we'll have High Definition music DVDs sporting lossless surround sound...
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on 10 December 2006
This CD is a potentially controversial remixing of the Beatles cannon by their producer George Martin and his son, Giles. Their last major compilation, 2000's 1, is still the best-selling record of the decade. The Beatles legend refuses to die, which is not a huge surprise since their song-writing prowess and studio genius have yet to be equalled.

`Hear the recordings for the first time...' runs the marketing sticker on the case. Listening to the album is indeed a weird, out-of-body experience if one knows all their recordings very well and is one of their legions of fans who's spent a lifetime obsessing over every note of every arrangement of every song. Now nothing is really sacred and everything is mixed up in a very Beatle-ish way. (Ringo has been quoted as saying that this is EXACTLY the type of mucking around with their own legend that The Beatles would have loved).

The producers have used notes, riffs and tiny fragments of the whole Beatles' oeuvre as instruments in a whole new canvas. Post-Modernism has finally hit Pop music.

Get Back, for example begins with the opening chord of A Hard Days Night followed by the guitar and drum solos from The End, and is swept into being with the orchestral crescendo from A Day In The Life before transforming itself seamlessly into Glass Onion through echoes of Hello Goodbye and Penny Lane's trumpet flourishes. Taxman's guitar solo steals onto Drive My Car. The sweeping strings of Goodnight act as a new intro to Octopus's Garden. Sun King is played backwards as Gnik Nus. Why Don't We Do It In The Road drums break into Lady Madonna.

The splendid remastering is, alone, worth the price of purchase. Hearing the album is like being able to fly into the grooves of those old vinyl records and gaze in awe at their magnificently newly-polished, glistening contours. Many of the songs such as Eleanor Rigby and Strawberry Fields, which are monoliths of popular culture, now have the chance to become monoliths of sound.

The highlight for me is George Martin's elegiac and sublime new string arrangement for While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Even at the age of eighty and fighting deafness, the Fifth Beatle has yet another musical jewel to offer. Christmas has come early for Beatle fans.
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on 4 March 2007
There's no doubt about the care that's gone into this odd but intriguing remix of classic Beatles tracks by George & Giles Martin. And, of course, stripped of the Cirque du Soleil's apparently stunning performance for which it provides the critical backdrop, reviewing it as stand alone music is a bit unfair... but here we are... so, is it worth the money?

Well, first time through it'll probably leave you bemused. So many of the tracks are so etched into our brains that cutting and mixing them together in this way is jarring, occasionally bizarre and, in places, reminiscent of Jive Bunny. But, wait a minute... isn't that mix of "Help" much clearer than you remember... isn't that combination of the backbeat from "Tomorrow Never Knows" over "Within You Without You" just so powerful... hasn't that "out-take" version of "Strawberry Fields Forever" made the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end... and, doesn't the adding of strings to George Harrison's already stunningly beautiful acoustic version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" make it even better? Time for another listen...

Sure, some of what's in here only works in the context of a show that you can't see but there's more than enough on offer - more vibrant productions of several classic tracks, fascinating combinations of others and several brilliant, near "total" remakes that only George Martin could dare attempt - to make it work as a "music only" experience. And, once you get past analysing the remixes and sequencings you'll end up starting to play it for what it is... a beautifully produced, clever and at times genuinely exciting celebration of some quite exceptional music.
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