On 11/14/2012 04:27 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
> The MoFi LPs were not done at Abbey Road, I don't think. My
> understanding is that Stan Ricker cut them, half-speed, at the JVC
> Cutting Center in California. Now what I don't know is, did they use EMI
> masters or the copies sent to Capitol in the 60s?
There's a story, and again it's on Steve Hoffman's site whose forum is
currently down and inaccessible, but at the time MoFi did their albums,
Apple did not have the strict control they do today. The person in
charge who made the deal flew to London, put up something like an eleven
million dollar surety bond, and hand-carried the actual Parlophone
masters with him back to the US. The only one not cut from an original
master was Abbey Road, as I recall.
> Apparently, there was
> enough of a difference that EMI/Capitol issued multi-CD box sets of the
> Capitol mono and stereo versions, made from the tapes in the Capitol
> vaults. I think it was more than just different LP sequences up to Sgt.
> Pepper, but it may have been as simple as second-generation dubs vs the
> first-generation mix-masters in England. I admit not being a Beatles
> triviatic enough to know those details, but apparently there was enough
> demand to have two separate sets of pre-Sgt. Pepper CDs before 2009.
Capitol was really a mixed bag. In most cases, Parlophone sent direct
copies (dubs) of their masters, from which Capitol in turn made their
own copies, with added EQ, compression, limiting, and in many cases
reverb. But there are tracks that originally appeared on the British
"Rubber Soul" and "Revolver" and...I think possibly "Help", for which
George Martin actually made separate mono and stereo mixes for Capitol.
To add to that confusion, for the first three Capitol Beatles albums,
they did not use the Parlophone mono mixes at all, preferring instead to
sum the stereo to mono - a practice they called "Type B" mono. The only
song off the top of my head that this made a significant difference to
was "Money", whose distinct (and very different) mono mix was not
released in America until EMI issued it (on With The Beatles) in CD form
From Sgt Peppers on, Capitol albums synchronized with their Parlophone
counterparts, but were cut from masters at least one generation removed.
Possibly two, if they continued their practice of making a
compressed/limited dub of the master they were sent.
> Bottom line, for Beatles fans, if you didn't like the 2009 CDs, you
> probably won't like the 2012 LPs. To my ears, the 2009 CDs were
> better-sounding than previous CD issues, particularly with the good
> solid base and also the stereo imaging on the Abbey Road and The
> Beatles. The mono box set sounds vastly superior to any original-issue
> mono LPs I have, especially the Capitol ones. The MoFi stereo LPs
> sounded different from the original-issue Parlophone and Capitol stereo
> LPs, and they sound different from any of the CDs. I would say
> different, not better or worse, just a very different version of some
> things, less different of most things.
I think that's a key argument, really. Each album/CD exists in slightly
different versions, none of which are better or worse but just
different. Everyone is going to have a personal preference as to which
version they like, which makes it perhaps more interesting.