Acoustic Sounds

The Beatles

The Beatles 1962-1966 & The Beatles 1967-1970 (2023 Edition)



Label: Apple

Produced By: George Martin

Engineered By: Emrerick, Scott, Johns, others

Mixed By: Giles Martin, others

Mastered By: Miles Showell

Lacquers Cut By: Miles Showell

By: Michael Fremer

November 20th, 2023



Will The Beatles "Red" and "Blue" Expanded Sets Entice Yet Another Young Generation?

is it necessary to ask as a question?

Don't mean to be a buzz kill but "Greatest Hits" compilations, though seemingly extremely attractive, always promise more than they actually deliver. Almost like assembled favorite scenes from a movie that can't begin to satisfy as does the actual movie, songs taken out of the historical context of the albums on which they originally appeared add up to less, not more, no matter how skillfully they are assembled—even if the recording artist is The Beatles.

That's why such albums usually sit on the shelf after the first few plays—at least that's been my experience. The original double LP "Red" and Blue" sets when first released in 1973 created quite a sensation. The back cover of the 1962-1966 set showing the four older gents duplicating the iconic first album pose shot by Angus McBean at E.M.I. House March 5th, 1963 signaled to a generation that youth was fleeting but it also messaged what might have been had the group stayed together—though the latter photo had been taken in 1969 for the aborted Get Back album.

The inner gatefold shot taken summer of 1968 produced even greater pangs of innocence lost showing the four Beatles not separated from but instead amongst a crowd of people standing behind a gate gazing wistfully, almost solemnly at something that has caught the attention of only a few in the group—including all four of them. Could be the fab four staring at their youth in the rear view mirror.

You don't need to be told that the songs on the four sides of the original "Red" album represent an astonishingly varied collection of melodic and lyrical invention. It's where most Americans could for the first time hear the songs from A Hard Day's Night and Help! not mixed up with film orchestral cues, "Paperback Writer" in stereo on an album and "I Feel Fine" in real not electronically processed stereo. It's also where Brits finally got "She Loves You" on an album!

My "go to" copies (which I realized when prepping for this review that I'd not played in decades) are original U.K. editions cut by Harry T. Moss ("H.T.M." in the lead out groove area—I hate "dead wax"). Sean Magee cut from those same tapes for a 2014 reissue using Moss's cutting notes, he told me in an interview for my "previous endeavor".

I never did buy or review those records. However the Moss cut records are brighter than the same tracks on original U.K. issues and Moss applied some compression, or at least to me that's how they now sound.

Going into these two expanded to three LP sets, the first thought was, why not give listeners the original "hit" documents among the tracks and not the recent or new remixes? But once listening began, especially on the "Red" record's more primitively recorded tracks, all was fine. In fact, "de-mixing" the mostly hard left/right early tracks "Please Please Me", "From Me to You" (etc.) and remixing them to "stereo" works reasonably well, though these tracks take on the odd "hologram effect" noted on Revolver. And Martin has retained some of the original brightness in his "Red" album remixes.

Moving on to the "Blue" album points out the Giles Martin re-mixing issues many older Beatles fans had and have—yes, the placement is better on many tracks but they lack the originals' transparency, "sparkle" and excitement due in part to excessive compression and Mr. Martin's softer top end approach, plus of course the digits—compare "Here Comes the Sun" for instance. Ringo's cymbals sound like air brakes, the snare sounds weak and bass is excessive—which is an issue on other tracks as well. I can't understand why Ringo Starr would be happy with how his drums now sound on these remixes.

The guitar rawness on "Revolution" is gone. Compare the immediacy of the original "Hey Jude" with the new softer, but spatially improved one. Your choice of course. And I'm done with these comparisons because this set is really aimed at younger vinyl buying listeners who will surely find the sound outstanding, especially compared to the sonic swill of most contemporary productions (though I must admit it's getting better, getting better all the time).

Everyone will appreciate the expanded song choices, though of course for some of us breaking up Sgt. Pepper's... and Abbey Road just doesn't work and best proves my original point about "hits" compilations. Another observation based on the newly remixed tracks here: Giles Martin's EQ choices have definitely improved and become more subtle. As for "Now and Then", it's here, your choice and for me it completes the song selection so happy to have it included.

I figure older Beatles fans, for stereo recordings at least, will stick mostly with their original pressings, particularly if they own the U.K. originals, and younger listeners, especially the really young ones will be as attracted to this music as have previous generations. That's The Beatles magic and it appears to be as strong as it ever was. How lucky many of us were to have experienced it from The Ed Sullivan Show and "Beatlemania" forward to today. This nicely packaged, well-pressed six LP box set selling for the very reasonable price of $149.00 (or $25 per record not counting the packaging) emphatically makes the case, if you at all need it to be made. This set wraps up The Beatles reissues—(at least until we get the original stereo records cut from tape).

It's difficult to imagine anything like The Beatles will ever again happen.

Music Specifications

Catalog No: 0602455920539/0805

Pressing Plant: Optimal


Speed/RPM: 33 1/3

Weight: 180 grams

Size: 12"

Channels: Stereo

Source: Digital Remixes

Presentation: Multi LP


  • 2023-11-20 05:28:33 PM

    JACK L wrote:


    "Digital Remixes" qtd M .F.

    Not intended to be a digital cold blanket..!

    Thanks but no thanks for my vinyl-tube spoiled ears. AAA for me please like the original Red Album I got some 20 years back for only $10 from a closing-down record store locally.

    Digital remixes ? Again. thanks but no thanks. I am yet to be impressed as much as my vinyl LPs, by my 40+ original digitally mastered LPs, let alone digital remixes.

    That said , as already posted here before, the only digitally remastered LP I was so luckily picked from my favorite thrift store locally which virtually blows away my 40+ digitally mastered LPs sonically, was an AAA but direct-cut using the unique Teldec DMM (direct metal mastering) on a high-purity copper plated non-magnetic steel master disc. Not those remixes still employing the conventional lacquered coated aluminum master discs !!!!

    It is the master cutting technology employed that matters the sound UTmost even on AAA tape masters. That's my aural experience !!!

    Again, my vintage Red Album worth a million to me !

    Listening is believing

    JACK L

    • 2023-11-21 04:40:14 PM

      JACK L wrote:


      "Entice Yet Another Young Generation?" qtd M.F.

      "Another Young Generation" means what ? Generation X (1965-1980), Millennials (1981-1996) or Generation Z (1997-2110) ???

      Take the example of my elder son (of Generation X), he does not show much appreciation while listening my vintage Red Album with me despite my enjoying it so much. Could it be he being a disciplined classical pianist ??

      JACK L

      • 2023-11-21 04:50:38 PM

        Malachi Lui wrote:

        zoomers and zillennials listening to their airpods on the subway will probably love these new mixes.

        • 2023-11-22 03:02:58 PM

          JACK L wrote:


          Provided they are already exposed to Beatlemania media before? IMO. But are there any yet? I don't know.

          JACK L

  • 2023-11-20 08:26:34 PM

    Lemon Curry wrote:

    There's a lot of knocks in that review to give the sound an "8"!

    I can't stand the hologram effect myself, and it's all over the Red album. And it gets worse.. I feel pretty much every ballad has been ruined by the explosion of the bass notes coming in. It's a big Red toy, really. And the Blue is really "Giles' Greatest Hits" of the remix albums, which, other than the White Album, have been a string of disappointments. Of everything on these two disks, only Magical Mystery Tour really took off, bringing the mono power to a stereo mix. I give the sound a 5. I'm sure the kids will love it.

    • 2023-11-20 10:45:37 PM

      Michael Fremer wrote:

      Should have been 7

  • 2023-11-20 10:21:40 PM

    john utell wrote:

    Sorry, I these songs fun and refreshing. I've listened to them for 60 some odd years since they were first released (on an AM radio). I like the space between the musicians and their instruments which hasn't always been evident in other versions. Thanks Giles, I'm renewing my acquaintance with the boys.

  • 2023-11-21 06:32:27 AM

    Tim wrote:

    I have only heard the digital release and its very, VERY compressed.

    I understand the vinyl is less 'loud' but 8 seems a bit on the high side (putting compression aside) from what Ive heard.

    The all analogue re-release of the Red and Blue albums from a few years ago sounded so good, its hard to make this make sense.

    If its for a new generation, sure... but does the new generation need to have it loud? Perhaps there needs to be a new wave of thinking on mastering. Lets "bring back the bits"... (bad joke)

    • 2023-11-21 08:03:27 AM

      Michael Fremer wrote:

      The 8 was a placeholder to get story saved on site backend. It should have been 7

      • 2023-11-22 02:48:12 AM

        Jake wrote:

        Miles Showell should have his record cutting licence revoked

        • 2023-11-22 11:44:55 AM

          Tim wrote:

          I think this has less to do with Miles' cutting and more to do with Giles' remix

    • 2023-11-22 08:12:10 AM

      Mtglass wrote:

      I agree, I think the all analog 2014 reissues sound great. The new remixes do not erase the originals if that’s what you prefer.

    • 2023-11-22 08:12:12 AM

      Mtglass wrote:

      I agree, I think the all analog 2014 reissues sound great. The new remixes do not erase the originals if that’s what you prefer.

  • 2023-11-21 08:06:57 AM

    SiliconTi wrote:

    "and younger listeners, especially the really young ones will be as attracted to this music as have previous generations"

    They are definitely aiming these new releases at a younger audience - they even released copies for a child's audio device called Yoto (digital downloads via NFC cards, not able to determine the bit rate, but I'd expect it to be low).

  • 2023-11-21 08:33:39 AM

    Tom wrote:

    Anything that introduces The Beatles to younger generations is a good thing. Count me as not a fan of Giles Martin’s remixes. Although I’ve bought all the deluxe box sets (both the LP and CD) it was only for the bonus material. I have numerous UK copies of all of their material and they are my go to for listening. However what really perplexes me these expanded sets now have been expanded to six lp’s, for a band that only produced 13 albums during their time, why expand it?

  • 2023-11-21 01:14:11 PM

    Azmoon wrote:

    Listened to the Red and this sounds pretty bad overall. The 2014 release is way, way better in all respects. I did an A/B with all 4 sides and not even close. I will never play this again. How Giles could play these versions and think they sound good is just unbelievable. But I'm sure he's making a bundle and money does not buy credibility. McCartney should be ashamed for letting this travesty occur. Played on a VPI Classic 3 with McIntosh separates into B&W speakers.

    • 2023-11-21 03:02:47 PM

      PeterG wrote:

      Have not heard these, but this reads like like my take on the gM Revolver. Stay away from all this stuff, it will only make you sad

  • 2023-11-21 02:27:39 PM

    Rashers wrote:

    I bought the 2014 AAA versions and was delighted. Of course, I haven’t listened to them in years (nor the 2 CD versions that I have or 1970s reissues!). Essentially you’re paying for the extra disc. The 2014 albums are available in my local record store for half the price of the new ones. Vinyl-flation. I streamed the high res version of Red (with its new track listing - which is differently sequenced (chronologically) from the vinyl version. I really enjoyed the experience. And that’s where folks like me are likely to listen to these albums: strea,ed, in sequence during long car journeys. I doubt this is then end of the reissues - betcha there will be a new version of Rubber Soul next holiday season using the Jackson technology.

  • 2023-11-21 02:44:49 PM

    Fred Morris wrote:

    I generally agree with the point about greatest hits compilations, but I think there may be couple of exceptions. One is when the artist’s best work consists of singles and their album fillers are not as good (e.g., Chuck Berry, though YMMV). I would jump at a Lovin’ Spoonful Greatest Hits. The other is when your only experience is with the compilation, so there is no album context to undermine it.

  • 2023-11-23 05:19:49 PM

    John French wrote:

    As someone who has all the original UK and European EP’s as well as many UK , German, Japanese and South American Beatles releases, reel to reel US tapes and every series of releases from AAA mono to stereo to remasters transferred to vinyl, mp3 to WAV file digital, The greatest thrill came from listening, in real time, to all this music on my AM $1.99 transistor radio that played in my bedroom for all of 1964. Having said that I want to add that all the musicians I know who are Beatles freaks tend to love all the stereo versions and the remixes because it lets them hear the individual instruments better so they can understand how to play the songs. They listen very differently than non musicians and for that, Thank Giles for the work he has done. I can’t imagine all this newly created old product is done for a money grab for all the Beatles separate estates. I would like to believe that they all have a desire to keep the music alive by using technology that can appeal to newbies. I will always listen to my Mono AAA versions because that is how I heard them Also, years ago, Capitol US release CD’s of the exact stereo mixes on the original albums with the extra reverb added. That is also the way we heard it back in the day on WABC , WMCA and WINS. I will probably play the new Red and Blue packages as often as I will play the new track Now & Then which is probably not more once or twice before it will sit on a shelf….until the next set of remixes….Do I hear “Rubber Soul”????

  • 2023-11-25 11:48:47 PM

    CHRIS PERRINE wrote:

    An audiophile buddy and I did a shootout between a ‘73 promo UK set, a US Capitol set and this new set.

    Here are some observations: a) 2023 mix of She loves You sounds like a blanket was placed over the speakers. Whomever approved this mix should be ashamed. We’ve heard bootlegs that sound better. b)Yesterday is really jarring. The opening guitar has moved from extreme right to left. c)Nowhere Man is MUCH better on the YS Songtrack as well as on the ‘73 mixes. d)Revolution sounds lifeless on new mix. e)The effects loop changes on Walrus are unnecessary. Those of us waiting years for a proper full stereo mix of this track are still waiting… Surprisingly, the Capitol pressing of ‘67-70 is better than we remember, although the bass is somewhat lacking. The older mixes are very familiar and we’re not planning to stop listening to them any time soon.

  • 2023-11-29 07:38:02 AM

    JoE Silva wrote:

    As Michael rightly points out: "I can't understand why Ringo Starr would be happy with how his drums now sound." Neither can we. Depending on either his or Paul's ears at this point to approve mixes doesn't make much sense

  • 2023-12-03 01:43:08 PM

    JTR wrote:

    Comments made with disdain toward the current generation of youngsters.

    Believe it or not, every generation since the 60s have bought and listened to the Beatles catalog. So Giles remixes are flawed, but it's not because the current generation is flawed. Bunch of old farts or acting like an old fart.

    Here is proof much of the OG stereo mixes of the Beatles early catalog is flawed: No one has used that approach since except for specific examples that are out of the ordinary.

    I don't have the 23 mixes and likely won't buy them, but I thought Yesterday and Strawberry Fields were both very nice. Yes, the compression is over the top, and there are many flaws with the Giles Martin mix, but it's not all bad, and the OG UK or even the 2014 mono pressing are excellent. But they are prohibitively expensive for most people just getting into Beatles records.

  • 2023-12-09 02:08:29 PM

    AlexB wrote:

    The Beatles mixed their tracks in ways that create certain sound. They were looking for an impact. And they were really big on the beat. After all, "beat" is in their very name, no?

    For that reason, they chose to pack the drums, the bass, and the rhythm guitar on one channel. That way, they created the highest possible impact. Those three instruments sound like a single super instrument on their original mixes.

    To tease the drums, the bass, and the rhythm guitar apart and separate them to give them 'space' is an abomination. It totally kills the world famous Beatles sound.

    Hard pass on anything Gile Martin did, is doing, and will ever do. The dude is absolutely clueless.

  • 2023-12-26 05:56:28 PM

    Kevin wrote:

    Flat flat flat. That is how these records sound to me. I’m lucky enough to have the blue BC13 box as well as many other variations of the original UK catalog.