REVIEW: (MONO MIXES IN STEREO) AHDN & SPLHCB - (Mirror Spock)
By Beatle Bob
I apologize to Mirror Spock for not getting this new review out in a more timely manner due to some family issues that have arisen the last few weeks....but I'm happy to announce that his latest releases, (as part of the "Mono Mixes In Stereo" series) for A HARD DAY'S NIGHT and SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND are two remarkable pieces of work!
Recently, I reviewed his MONO MASTERS 2 CD set and found that the earlier Beatles' recordings were more appealing using this technique than the later period Beatles' work. There were slight issues in terms of artifacts emanating from the later period Beatles' tracks causing a slight harshness in the vocals. I assume this was due to the more dense and complicated multi-tracks that had to be isolated for Mirror Spock to work from. I'm sure the man hours spent on making these mixes at least doubles for the later period songs and albums. Upon playing the SGT. PEPPER'S album I was expecting this to be riddled with these same issues; becoming a mixed bag. What a nice surprise it was to find this album contains all the hallmarks of the mono mix: from the album's ambiance, to the reverb, to the different speed on "She's Leaving Home"--it's all there. It even contains the punch that the mono album had over the stereo album. It's something that I was afraid was going to be lost. Thankfully it's all there. Admittingly, at first, it's a bit off-setting hearing this mono mix come to life in stereo--but the more you play it, the more it becomes familiar territory.
A HARD DAY'S NIGHT fares even better off-the bat. Like PEPPER never loosing the hallmarks of the mono mix; from different vocals (single or double tracked), to shorter or longer fades than the stereo, etc--it's all there. The album breathes wonderfully with clarity and jangling guitars. Ringo's drums drive the songs home. These new stereo mixes are respectful to the intent of original mono mix and the music literally jumps out and comes to life without being "loudified" (Doug Sulpy's terminology). I can't say enough.
If you're tight on cash I'd say A HARD DAY'S NIGHT should be your first choice. It even comes with the following bonus tracks:
"And I Love Her" (United Artists)
"I'll Cry Instead" (United Artists)
This one is a winner and I prefer it over the new Apple/EMI stereo remaster. It comes highly recommended.