As any serious Beatles fan who has either spent big money on near mint original USA vinyl or spent not quite such big money in the 90's on the variety of bootlegs of the original USA LPs will know, the mixes on these LPs are completely different to those on the UK albums and contain some unique versions of the tracks.
Examples : The US Mono version of 'And I Love Her' features Paul's lead vocal single tracked whereas on all other releases it is double tracked, giving a very different sound to the song.
The US mono version of 'Anytime At All' does not have the piano that is on all other versions, again making this a very different version.
There are plenty more differences to be found. Add to this the difference in the overall mixes, the added reverb in some cases etc, then this box set is totally essential for Beatles completists who don't want to wear out their original US Stereo and Mono LPs.
Meet The Beatles! comprises 9 titles from With The Beatles plus the single I Want To Hold Your Hand and its B-sides (This Boy in the UK; I Saw Her Standing There, taken from the album Please please Me, in the US).
The Beatles' Second Album consists of a further 5 titles from With The Beatles plus the B-sides Thank You Girl and You Can't Do That; the single She Loves You/I'll Get You; and 2 tracks from the EP Long Tall Sally.
Something New takes 8 tracks from A Hard Day's Night and adds the other 2 tracks from Long Tall Sally and a German language version of I Want To Hold Your Hand.
Beatles '65 derives mostly from Beatles For Sale (8 of its 14 tracks) plus the single I Feel Fine/She's A Woman; and I'll Be Back, from A Hard Day's Night.
These have all been remastered from the masters used to prepare the original American vinyl albums. These are generally the same as the British masters except that they had been "re-equalised" for the American market, and this generally translates as the addition of echo and reverb. While it is fascinating to hear the effect of this, most markedly on the second disc, The Beatles' Second Album, my British ears usually prefer the original versions.
There are some interesting variants to the British counterparts which in some case amount to more than mere re-equalisation. Money (That's What I Want) is an alternative version; the stereo mix of Thank You Girl features additional harmonica; Paul's voice is uniquely not double-tracked on the mono version of And I Love Her; and the mono version of Anytime At All does not have the overdubbed piano found elsewhere.
Finally, as stereo mixes of the singles were not available at the time of the albums' original compilation, vile fake stereo mixes (or "duophonic" versions) were concocted, and these have been allowed to stand here. The tracks to avoid are the "stereo" versions of I Want To Hold Your Hand, This Boy, You Can't Do That, She Loves You, I'll Get You, She's a Woman and I Feel Fine.
Let's hope The Parlophone Albums Vol. 1 in similar format but with best available and new stereo mixes is planned.
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