GUEST REVIEW: The Beatles – Stereo Box Set LP version


THE BEATLES – Stereo Box Set (2009 LP version, Apple/EMI)

By: Lemon Kurri Klopek

I’m a sucker for a good boxed-set. I own several. A couple from The Beach Boys, and The Who, one from David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, heck, even The Monkees. When we’re talking The Beatles though, I have a number of them. The original bread box set of CDs, the Singles Collection, the E.P. Collection, the Anthologies, The Capitol sets, the Mono box and the Stereo box. Then of course the individual solo sets. The Lennon box, Onceuponatime, the Darkhorse Years, the list goes on. I have the special editions from each member’s solo catalogue. All Things Must Pass, Band On The Run, etcetera.  So when I saw the giant LP collection sitting there staring at me in the record store, it was no surprise when I found myself lugging it, double bagged out to the trunk of my car.

I must say it is an impressive set. All original UK releases plus Past Masters, all stereo versions, and all on 180 gram vinyl. These sets of vinyl are on the retail shelves for close to $350. I bought mine from a local establishment that was running a sale that weekend. I walked out having parted with 276 of my dollars. That’s tax included too. Not a bad deal considering there are 14 records (two of which are doubles.) That is less than $20 per record if you’re keeping track.

BEATLES

One small added bonus is, there is a foam cushion in the box that when removed makes room for the Yellow Submarine Songtrack and the #1s double record released years ago. Now I’m sure you could put other releases in there like, I don’t know, Love, or Yesterday and Today but I put in #1s and Yellow Sub. You put in whatever you like, it’s a free country… Anyway…

I figured the thing to do was to start at the beginning. So after unsheathing the box from its’ cellophane wrapping, (one of the best parts of buying a record and sadly something a generation will miss out on entirely) out came the beefy 180 gram stereo version of Please Please Me. I placed it on my Rega turntable and dropped the needle. In an instant it was the 11th of February 1963 and I was standing in EMI Studios on Abbey Road in London. Listening to what for all intents and purposes is a recording of The Beatles live set at the time. George Martin’s stereo mix of “I Saw Her Standing There” which was released a month after the original Mono mix, was filling my living room. The second release With The Beatles followed and then of course, A Hard Day’s Night. Stellar the lot.

5/5 stars

Contents:

Please Please Me (1963)
With The Beatles (1963)
A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
Beatles for Sale (1964)
Help! (1965)
Rubber Soul (1965)
Revolver (1966)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
The Beatles (1968)
Yellow Submarine (1969)
Abbey Road (1969)
Let It Be (1970)
Past Masters (1962–1970)

Further reading:
THE BEATLES – In Mono (2009)

11 comments

  1. I seem to buy mostly ‘previously enjoyed’ vinyl these days but I agree completely – the joy in that moment of unpacking the new record and putting it on keeps us buying (or investing!), Nice review.

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    1. Gently previously enjoyed vinyl is the way to go, cost wise. And I don’t mind reissue vinyl because 180 gram records are very nice. You can imagine how full these albums sound on 180 gram. I also used to enjoy that “new CD smell”. Remember that?

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      1. That I do!

        I don’t know if you’ve read Jian Ghomeshi’s 1982, he’s got a good section on the process of buying a record back in the day.

        Walk to the bus stop, bus to the subway, subway downtown, walk to the record store, physically purchase the record and head home. It was such an investment of time (time well spent I’d say!) that the downloading generation is missing out on.

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        1. Have not read Jian Ghomeshi but much respect for him. I will check that out. It’s true…I used to walk to the mall, buy the tape (!) and I’d have to wait to get home to hear it because I didn’t have a walkman that worked.

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        2. So much for of a satisfying experience though – as you had to be patient with no walkman! With the instant gratification of click and there it is, just not the same anymore.

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  2. I’ve been thinking about filling the corner in my apartment with either a fish tank or a record player. This definitely makes me want to go for the record player.

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  3. Thatis a gorgeous box set. Simply beautiful. Lovely to have it all together, and sounding as good as possible. Yummy! I’d always thought I’d prefer old original LPs (even if they were 4th or 5th printings – and in fact I’m contemplating that very thing for my Mom for Christmas this year), but there is a lot to be said for getting everything in one pretty package like this!

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