Beatles International
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09-09-09 stereo collection09-09-09 mono collection


As a young boy (10) I bought the Beatles albums on the first day of release. Well I must confess I started with the 3rd album "A Hard Day's Night", the first 2 followed later. But from then on every 6 months I saved the money to buy the next one: Beatles for sale, Help!, Rubber Soul and so on. Little did I know about mono let alone stereo and with the first albums there was no question on that subject. I just played them on and on until the next one arrived and knew them by heart. Every beat, every guitar sound.

This changed with Revolver in 1966. I heard things far away on my record player that were loud and clear at my cousin's. And the other way around. So I was puzzled! Also on the next one, Sgt.Pepper's LHCB, I heard the horns far away on my player and again loud and clear at my cousin's.
I discovered 'stereo' and found out that our old radio just gave us the 'left speaker'. Now I had to save even more money to be able to buy a turntable with 2 speakers. Well, this didn't happen until 1969. So when the White Album came out I frequently listened to it at my cousin's because their radio gave 'both speakers' through only 1. It was better than nothing.
Then I got my stereo turntable+speakers and a new world opened up for me. What a sound! As soon as I knew about re-releasing the old albums in stereo I went down to the shop and wanted to have them as well. To earn some money for that I sold the old mono albums. Yes, sorry, how could I know then what I know now! I first played my favourite album "A Hard Day's Night".... hey what happened to the harmonica bit in the "I should have known better" -intro. They left something out there!

The next thing I noticed was a difference in length of some of the songs! An extra "Mr.Moonlight", a longer fade in "Michelle" but then again a shorter fade of "Words of Love". Then I discovered another vocal(-part) in "Help!" the song. Now on the stereo version John sang "Ch'nge m'mind" in the first verse, instead of "Change my mind" on the mono version, yes it was sung differently, so I immediately regretted selling the mono albums because as I was starting to collect their music I wanted all versions, all notes, all differences in their music.
From 'Revolver' on I only bought the stereo albums (not knowing they were released in 2 versions) so I never knew until years later that The Beatles' mono and stereo albums could have lots of differences because they used different takes.
Now we have everything, both mono and stereo versions of all Beatles songs that were mixed twice.
Of course 'my' old differences (until 'Rubber Soul') are still there although some songs last a second longer. And listen to "She loves you". In the old cd-version you heard all 7 cuts they did to put takes together, especially the one at 1min.22sec. Technicians did a nice job to cover these cuts on the 2009 remasters.
Finally we can hear "I want you (she's so heavy)" without the ugly scratch on 4min.29sec. Great! Thank you.

There are many differences on Revolver, Sgt.Pepper and the White Album if you compare the stereo and the mono versions.
I'll just mention a few, it's up to you to discover the rest.
on "Revolver":
different guitar sounds in "I'm only sleeping",
an almost 10 seconds longer fade of "Love you to",
a very different ending of "Got to get you into my life".
On "Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band":
a different mix of "Sgt.Pepper 1"
a different mix of "Being for the benefit of Mr.Kite"
a different mix of "Within you, without you" (more laughing in the end)
a different in-start of Sgt.Pepper 2" and mix to "A Day in the life".

On The "White Album":
a different mix of "Back in the USSR",
a different mix of "Ob-la di, ob-la-da" (no handclaps, 1 vocal of Paul),
a different mix + longer fade in "While my guitar gently weeps",
a different mix + ending of the bird in "Blackbird" (check 1min.38sec.)
a different mix + ending of "Don't pass me by",
a different mix of "Birthday" (louder vocals),
a longer fade of "Yer Blues",
a stronger mono mix of "Sexy Sadie",
a different (better) mix and no reprise of "Helter Skelter",
a different mix of "Goodnight" (stronger start)
And a few loose ends: "Hey Jude" (mono) has a longer fade,
"The Inner Light" has different beginnings.
"I'm down" (mono) has a longer fade.

My final conclusion: I'm glad everything has been released, even the 1965-stereo mixes of "Help!" and "Rubber Soul". Now we can throw away all bootlegs with 'different mono/stereo mixes' of the regular songs.

Of course APPLE Corps left us with something to wish for. How about a fine 5.1 remix of the complete Beatles Catalogue (for example: listen to "Songs For Beginners" by Graham Nash), or at least a remix like they did on the "Yellow Submarine Songtrack" album. "Only A Northern Song" is still the most brilliant example of a brilliant remix! Why didn't they use this stereo version in the stereo box! Now we have a (better) mono mix twice. And isn't there really a nice stereo track of "She loves you/I'll get you"?