Friday, August 14, 2009

SPAZ reviews THE BEATLES remasters (sort of)...

The story you are about to read is not entirely true... apart from Part Four, which is an honest assessment of the Beatles remasters that I had the privilege of hearing. The rest of this blog is loosely based on real life events.


So, I'm sitting at my desk, working hard when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see two well dressed gentlemen approaching my desk. They are both brandishing firearms. Their firearms are pointed at me. I panic, throw myself down on the ground and beg for my life. One of them thumps me on the head with the butt of his gun and, before you know it, I'm out like a light.....


I wake up and realize I am sitting up, tied to a chair and I have a blindfold on. I wimper like a wee little baby for a few minutes before I hear someone approach me. Suddenly, the blindfold is taken off and I'm face to face with an elderly gentlemen with seriously bad garlic breath. He holds up his ID (which says his name is Eddie "Ed" Edwards), and claims that he used to be with secret service back during the Kennedy administration, but now he works freelance. He doesn't tell me WHO he works for, but does manage to say the magic words: BEATLES and REMASTERS. Suddenly, I am at ease. I knew this day was coming and I have been prepared for it.


Eddie places a briefcase down on a table across the room. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a raw egg. He breaks the egg and pours the contents into his mouth. After gargling the raw egg for a few seconds, he swallows the slimy goop.... and them promptly vomits on the floor. He sifts through his recently ejected stomach debris and finds a key. With this key, he unlocks the briefcase. He reaches in and removes a compact disc. As he walks towards a CD player that is just to my right, he slips in his vomit pool and falls flat on his back, unconscious. I would have tried to help him back up, but I was still tied to the chair... so I began to wait... Roughly two hours later, he wakes up and takes a few moments before he gets his bearings straight. He still has the CD in his hand, so he stumbles towards the CD player and inserts it. He then pushes 'play'...


For the next 10 minutes, I am transfixed by the sounds emanating from the speakers. What I get to hear are 15-30 second excerpts from roughly 10 different Beatles songs. I get to hear each of those excerpts twice: the first one is the currently available mastered version and the second is taken from the newly remastered version, due for release on Sept. 9th, 2009. (09-09-09). The difference is immediately apparent and somewhat astounding! The vocals on all tracks are more crisp and clear and they sound magical. In terms of the music, there are more highs and more lows (depending on what song you're listening to). The stereo separation is much more definite and there doesn't seem to be much bleeding between the channels/tracks. The handclaps on "Eight Days A Week" are much more crisp while the strings on "The Long And Winding Road" are even more beautiful. You can hear a more pronounced separation between instruments, too. Where once you heard an electric guitar and harpsichord, you now hear an electric guitar, harpsichord and an acoustic guitar that was always there, but didn't leap out at you like it does now. You can hear some lovely little notes on "Goodnight" that were lost in the mix before. And none of these tracks were remixed! They did such an excellent job on the remastering that they sound like a new experience! Simply stunning.


Suddenly, after my allotted 10 minutes, those two armed gentlemen from Part One reenter the room. One of them slips in Eddie's vomit pool while the other knocks me unconscious with the butt of his gun... When I come to, I am back at my desk with a pounding headache. But I'm good. No worries.


I got to hear snippets of the BEATLES REMASTERS and you didn't! Nyah Nyah Nyah Nyah Nyah!

Schnee Loves You, yeah yeah yeah!

Stephen SPAZ Schnee

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