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C. Kelly (UK)

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The US Albums
The US Albums
Price: 113.18

74 of 81 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Impressive on first look - but in the end frustratingly flawed, 22 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The US Albums (Audio CD)
The set on initial inspection looks fantasic. A collection of mini lps with original artwork, inners and disc labels, on heavy card stock containing mono and stereo versions of the albums where applicable, from the best sourced and cleaned up master tapes, all designed to mimic the original unique Beatles 60s US releases as faithful reproductions

However a closer look reveals some frustrating flaws which for something which seems to have been designed and created so meticulously - is unforgivable.

Firstly - packaging - the early to mid sixties US Beatles albums had 2 part covers pasted onto cardboard stock. The back sheet also contained top/bottom and spine info and was pasted to the back first and then wrapped around the sides. The front cover square was then pasted on to complete the cover. These new releases are the opposite way about with the front covers wrapping round to the back. A small observation - but important to those looking for authentic reproductions. Evidently the Japanese version of the box set does does it 'right'.

Secondly - music - Most Beatles mixes were standard the world over but, as with some other countries, the US occasionally got unique mixes and edits. The US also reformatted some of the standard UK supplied mixes to suit american tastes by adding reverb, or converting stereo mixes to mono and vice versa when the correct type of mix wasn't to hand.
These new releases promise to use the correct mono/stereo mixes so in most cases the approved 1st generation UK masters are now used, the US tapes only being used where the mix/edit is unique. All sounds good right? Not Quite...
Again due to factors unknown the set doesn't quite deliver what it promises. Any US versions which are essentially UK mixes with added reverb have been replaced with the standard reverb-less UK mixes, meaning that to some folk these won't just sound 'cleaned up', but substantially different and 'dryer' compared to the originals.
The UK approved mixes include some questionable decisions which have carried forward to these releases. For instance 1964s stereo 'Meet The Beatles' album now includes a mix of 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' made nearly three years later, overlooking a superior stereo mix made at the time of recording. Also 26 stereo tracks across the US stereo versions of Help, Rubber Soul and Yesterday and Today have had their original 60s mixes replaced with versions done in the late 80s.
Worst of all, four unique stereo US mixes (Long Tall Sally, I Call Your Name, I'm Only Sleeping, Dr Robert) have been completely overlooked, the standard UK mixes being used instead for some unknown reason. This is despite claims that all unique US mixes and edits would be included.
There are smaller niggles such as some of the US mixes having their starts and ends slightly cropped off. The list of woes seems to go on and on......

All in all the set falls short, where it could have easily been the last word in the often overlooked but nonetheless important part of the Beatles recorded history. Joe Average might not notice or bother about the set's shortcomings, but it's not the type of set I see Joe Average buying. It seems aimed at the diehard fan, but these are the very same people who will ultimately ponder about how easily this set could have been perfect instead of ending up as a lesson in George Lucas-esque revisionism.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 4, 2014 7:17 AM GMT

iRig Guitar Effects Interface for iPhone, iPod and iPad
iRig Guitar Effects Interface for iPhone, iPod and iPad
Price: 19.19

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent adapter - but don't expect miracles, 28 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The iRig is basically an analogue adapter which splits the audio in/out of an ios device's headphone socket to let you plug in a line-in device like an electric guitar.

Pretty much plug and play, though you need one of many guitar amp/effects apps available to get it all working. (The maker's own app is called Amplitude of which there are both paid for and free versions.)

Don't expect a sonic masterpiece however. There is a lot of floor noise for a start which you can dampen with effects, but at the expense of sound quality. If you like a dirty grungy sound that won't bother you much though! Despite that, it is a lot of fun especially with all of the sounds and effects the apps give you, and for basic practising it's nice to have if you get it cheap enough. (I got mine new from Amazon for 13). I don't think you would be able to do serious recording with it though.

If you're looking for something more high end, with no floor noise go for the digital versions, which input the sound via the 30 pin/lightning port. Expect to pay a fair bit more for these though.

Rockshow [Blu-ray] [2013]
Rockshow [Blu-ray] [2013]
Dvd ~ Paul Mccartney & Wings
Offered by FLASH
Price: 17.00

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Picture and sound - let down by bass issue, 24 Jun 2013
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What else can I say that hasn't been said already - for nearly 40 year old film/sound, it's a marvel how this has been cleaned up for issue. Some of it looks like it was filmed yesterday, though the dark lighting means some of the further away camera shots have trouble with focus.
Sound has been totally remixed, and is crystal clear. However compared with the sound of the original release, some tinkering has occurred - mainly to the detriment of the crowd and crucially some of the backing vocals - which purists may baulk at. Having the original soundtrack mix as an extra may have been a logical option (though with the addition of some songs not found on the original Rockshow film this may not have been possible)
The disc unfortunately suffers from some sort of ongoing glitch in which the bottom end of the sound cuts out randomly through the show. It's more forgiving on the DVD which has less dynamic range anyway, but on the Bluray DTS Master audio track played on a higher end system it's painfully obvious esp as the mix is naturally bass heavy to showcase McCartney's playing. (I have both BD and DVD and have tested both on all audio settings).
If you're only ever going to listen to this through TV speakers then you'll get away with buying the DVD and enjoying it. If you've got a surround sound system, there's a good chance you'll hear something's not quite right on the DVD. If you're going for the bluray - forget it - the clarity of the sound in high resolution means the bass dropouts sound like someone's turning your subwoofer off and on every couple of minutes.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 29, 2013 5:39 PM BST

The Beatles In Mono
The Beatles In Mono
Price: 196.92

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this while you still can!!, 15 Aug 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Beatles In Mono (Audio CD)
This is the Beatles as they were intended to be mono!
On the whole, more time and effort went into the mono mixes and it shows.
Songs such as Revolution and Paperback Writer absolutely rock in mono, whereas the primitive stereo versions positively pale in comparison.

I don't understand those folk giving 1 and 2 star reviews. They seem to be using the rating system to portray their dislike for EMI rather than concentrate on what they are actually supposed to be reviewing!!

Stereo will always be the format of choice for the masses, so this box of the original 60's mono album mixes has been designed with the audiophile/collector in mind. The discs and packaging are being made in Japan in a one off pressing and will be mini vinyl replicas, containing exact repros of every detail down to the original inserts and inner sleeves.
Take note: This is why the set is more expensive than the mass and locally produced stereo box!

The last time a Beatles mono album box set was released was over 25 years ago in vinyl, and this can now command over 2000 on the second hand market.
Amazon in the US have now stopped taking preorders on this new mono CD box set as they have sold out of their allocation just under a month before the release date. If you seriously want this box, I suggest you order sooner rather than later before you are left dissapointed!
Comment Comments (20) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 20, 2009 11:30 PM BST

The Travelling Wilburys Collection - Vinyl Box Set [VINYL]
The Travelling Wilburys Collection - Vinyl Box Set [VINYL]
Price: 57.35

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Music - Terrible Price, 10 Nov 2007
I can't fault the music, but this is waaaaayyy too expensive for a vinyl release.
Shop around. You'll get it a LOT cheaper!!

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