Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music announced Tuesday the long-awaited release of the original [artist id="969"]Beatles[/artist] catalog, which has been digitally remastered for the first time, for worldwide CD release on Wednesday, September 9 (9-9-09), the same date as the release of the widely anticipated “The Beatles: Rock Band” video game. Each of the CDs is packaged with replicated original U.K. album art, including expanded booklets containing original and newly written liner notes and rare photos. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. On the same date, two new Beatles boxed CD collections will also be released.
The albums have been remastered by a team of engineers at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in London over a four-year period, utilizing modern recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment in an attempt to maintain the authenticity of the original analog recordings. While some tracks have been remastered in the years since the Beatles catalog was released on CD in 1987, fans have been clamoring for the full albums to be remastered for many years.
The collection comprises all 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in the U.K., along with the U.S. version of the Magical Mystery Tour LP. In addition, the collections Past Masters Vol. I and II are now combined as one title, for a total of 14 titles over 16 discs. This will mark the first time that the first four Beatles albums will be available in stereo in their entirety on compact disc. These 14 albums, along with a DVD collection of the documentaries, will also be available for purchase together in a stereo box set.
Within each CD’s new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes. With the exception of the Past Masters set, newly produced mini-documentaries on the making of each album, directed by Bob Smeaton, are included as QuickTime files on each album. The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and studio chat from the Beatles.
A second box set has been created with the collector in mind. The Beatles in Mono gathers together, in one place, all of the Beatles recordings that were mixed for a mono release. It will contain 10 of the albums with their original mono mixes, plus two further discs of mono masters (covering similar ground to the stereo tracks on Past Masters). As an added bonus, the mono Help! and Rubber Soul discs also include the original 1965 stereo mixes, which have not been previously released on CD. These albums will be packaged in mini-vinyl CD replicas of the original sleeves with all original inserts and label designs retained.