Remastered Beatles catalog coming in September
The Beatles' entire catalog of studio recordings will be reissued in September, fully remastered after years of clamoring from fans for upgraded versions of the group's recorded legacy, the Fab Four's label announced today.
The new versions will be issued on CD, but the announcement said plans for digital distribution were still going on. The Beatles catalog is considered the most significant body of music still not available for downloading. The release date is Sept. 9, which coincides with the arrival of the recently announced "The Beatles: Rock Band" edition of the popular video game.
Engineers at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London have been working on the remastering for four years, according to the announcement from EMI and Apple Corps. During that time, surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr as well as others within the Beatles camp have said there were no plans for remastering the music, even though the original CDs came out in 1987 when digital remastering was in its infancy. Most major pop music acts' recordings have been remastered at least once, in some cases two and three times to take advantage of technological advances in sound reproduction.
All 12 studio albums, in their original U.K. configurations, will be reissued with original album artwork and new liner notes, rare photos and other extras, according to the statement. The CDs will be available individually or as part of a new boxed set including other extras. A second box set combining the monaural mixes of the albums also will be available. Several of the group's earliest recordings have never been issued in stereo on CD, and the new versions will represent the debut of the full catalog in stereo.
-- Randy Lewis