REVIEW – THE BEATLES “ARCHIVE SERIES” (DESS RELEASES)
By Beatle Bob
-PLEASE PLEASE ME (UK stereo LP) (ARCHIVE SERIES) – Sourced from a first-issue LP. (Side One-YEX 94-1 - 1R, Side Two-YEX 95-1 - 1G)
-REVOLVER (UK mono LP) (mono matrix pressing) (ARCHIVE SERIES) – Sourced from a first-issue LP. (Side One-XEX 605-2, Side Two-XEX 606-1)
After months of ceasing operations, Dr. Ebbetts has “come back” to offer two new Beatles titles that are much welcomed and sought after additions to anyone’s collection. These two new releases (which right now are offered for free to his supporters as a “thank you gift") continue with an immaculate attention to detail from every corner and every facet for each album. For this “Archive Series” he is using different style jewel cases (resembling DVD-A jewel cases) that includes clear trays with artwork behind it. Already its look and tone is set apart from previous Ebbetts releases. It's a different concept that sets apart the “Archive Series” from all of his previous releases. The Parlophone label recreations on the discs are sharp and clear with defined edges. Beautifully done. They are so much nicer to look at and hold than the new Apple remasters. All this has been done for the collector in mind. Attention to detail that Apple still falls continues to fall short with.
The aesthetics are one thing, but the icing on the cake is the audio for both releases. I’ve spent time with a high end collector/audiophile using his high end system (he probably spent thousands of dollars on his gear!)with his pristine original vinyl copies A/B’ing-- and also spending time with the remasters. The only difference discernable with the original vinyl is the Ebbetts discs are remarkable quiet and clean. They do embody the same richness and full-bodied sonics that emanate from these first issue, thicker cut vinyl LPs. I’ve also found the volume level on the Ebbetts discs is quite similar to the LP. When pitted against the remasters PLEASE PLEASE ME is remarkably similar (which was a shock!)-- with the only differences obvious are that Apple cleaned up the recording anomalies on PLEASE PLEASE ME and substituted the original duophonic versions of “Love Me Do” and P.S. I Love You” with mono versions! Being a bit of a purest for this album, I do prefer the duophonic stereo versions, as this was the way this LP was originally issued (along with the anomolies).
REVOLVER is the more remarkable of the two releases and is the standout out of both releases. Even though this my least favorite mono mix LP of their whole catalog, this first pressing vinyl LP exhibits incredible bass response that I was not expecting. Softer tracks such as “Here There And Everywhere” exhibit incredible warmth and detail. If like me, you’ve never been a fan of this mix, then it will make you re-examine your opinion and probably change it as I have. These are essentials for the collector.
Will there be more “Archive Releases” in the future? I don’t know, but I hope that would be a possibly that will enable others to acquire them as in the past.