The Beatles "1+" Video Collection Coming Early November

Had enough Beatles? Then don't read this and whine about it. But if you never have enough Beatles, this new 27 song singles collection on DVD, Blu-ray, CD and eventual double LP (the latter two audio only obviously) is for you. You will fall in love all over again.

Yes, these are the same 27 songs found on the previous 1 collection, but the audio has been remixed from the original multi-track tapes.

I was invited yesterday to a lower-Manhattan screening room where Apple Corp Ltd.'s Jonathan Clyde explained in great detail what's in the package, how the film and videos came to exist in the first place, and what was done to restore some very faded visuals and to re-imagine the audio.

All of those kinds of details are best covered in a full review that will happen when the package ships, but the hour long presentation guests got to see included split screen comparisons of unrestored and restored footage and the results were remarkable.

The sound has completely been redone under the supervision of Giles Martin, who produced from the multi-track analog tapes (mostly of the recordings we all know and love) new mono (where best), stereo and surround sound mixes.

The "A/B"s we heard between the 2009 remasters (that we know and don't very much like) and the new mixes produced results that were nothing short of "wow". Mr. Martin was faithful to the originals in terms of overall sonics and especially relative track levels, but he's mixed vocals center where they used to be mostly hard-right but he's done so without jarring your imprinted sensibilities.

Every sample we were played was a significant improvement over the 2009 re-master to which it was compared—with improved dynamics, clarity and overall detail.

But the star of the show are the videos—many of which are, by today's standards, primitive but that allowed the four guys to assert their personalities in ways today's videos stifle—assuming the 'stars' have personalities. I can't think of anyone today who possesses the on-screen wit and off-handed yet extreme personality seen in these videos.

In an age of "every image is up online instantly", it's easy to forget that back then, we had only fleeting glances of our musical heroes and even when music videos (mostly if not all originating on film) were prepared they could be seen almost almost nowhere, which is what makes this collection so exciting—though of course some of it was seen, largely in snippets, in "The Beatles Anthology" set, though without the restored picture and sound.

For me, the highlight was seeing "Hey Bulldog" being recorded in the studio. It's one of the only "live in the studio" performances recorded to film and/or video and it's a treat. Another was the concluding, bittersweet video for George Harrison's "Something". John had already announced to the others that he'd quit the band. Each Beatle insisted on filming his segment at home and each features the boys intimately paired off with their spouses as if to say to fans both that the group was over and that it was time for fans to realize the love affair between them and the Fab Foursome was over.

It was not made clear whether or not the Blu-Ray would include uncompressed, high resolution audio in stereo and surround sound but let's hope so! From what I saw and heard, yet another splendid time is guaranteed for all. How almost all of this happened in the space of around six years remains a mystery. It was hardly possible then and it's damn well impossible now. No doubt you can guess what The Beatles were singing while the hula dancers swayed around them.

firedog55's picture

Will Giles Martin ever get permission to remix the rest of the catalog?
I'd love to hear a hi-res or a vinyl remix for all the albums.

firedog55's picture

Will they also be available?

rakalm's picture

There is also a 124 page included with the package deals. You can get either the 2 Blu-ray/CD/Book package or the DVD/CD/Book package. Would love to find out more about the vinyl, but obviously can't resist the video package and complete it later with the vinyl. Rumor was they were going to use the 2009 remasters, glad they changed their minds. The Blu-ray deal (I think the plus indicate the packages) is selling for less than $50 right now (or about $50 with tax). Seems fairly priced. 4K resolution for those with that set up. I just ordered Love, Let It Be Naked, and the New Keith Richards from the UK all on vinyl. Catching up with the old stuff 1st. Will have to see if the Richards vinyl is different than the US, it's pressed at GZ, not sure about the US version. I am guessing this Beatle vinyl release will be pressed at Optimal Media in Europe and hopefully here. Quite happy with my Stereo Box from the UK via Canada compared to the Rainbo pressings. I have heard there
with be several choices for the mixes to choose from but don't know the detail (5.1, New Stereo/Mono, Old Remix?). Can't wait.

rakalm's picture

The mix choices will be "fantastic new stereo and 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS HD surround audio mixes by Giles Martin and Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios." Maybe the CD includes one of the older mixes, I am fairly certain I read that some time back (but who knows).

elliotdrum's picture

The amazing thing about how the Beatles grew musically
so fast was for having a genius producer like George Martin.
Then there is the fact that LSD* was not only a influence on
the Beatles but on just about most of the great artists from
late 1966 to at least the late 70's.
For fun lots of people would listen to their stereo's and go
to concerts under the influence. I read that in Rolling Stone.
*LSD -Mescaline-Peyote-Mushrooms etc. etc.

Michael Fremer's picture
Looks quite "fresh" in the earlier videos but by "Paperback Writer" and/or "Rain" he looks somewhat happily wasted.
McFaden's picture

I really really really hope that they are working on a AAA Abbey Road. Considering how favorable the Mono Box reviews were, we gotta have Abbey Road. And none of this 45rpm nonsense people have been asking for, Just give us the best sounding Abbey Road you can muster, true to the original and we'll all be happy as clams.

Michael Fremer's picture
I suggested that to Guy Hayden, one of the producers, for the 50th anniversary in 2019. Only 4 more years!
Vinylghost's picture

One day they'll have as many different versions of "greatest hits" as Elvis.

mraudioguru's picture

...enough Beatles!

HalSF's picture

...there can never be.

StonedBeatles1's picture

Have 35 year old VHS, then 15 year old DVD boots of this stuff. I'm sure the video will be present I jus hope the audio is open sounding and not limited as the 2009 stereo CD's..

StonedBeatles1's picture

OK, now I've read through and see it's remixed. Should have left perfection alone..

Michael Fremer's picture
The 2009 remasters or new mixes from multi-track masters? I'd go for the new mixes and when you hear them based on what I heard, so will you!
Michael Fremer's picture
The 2009 remasters or new mixes from multi-track masters? I'd go for the new mixes and when you hear them based on what I heard, so will you!
Jack Gilvey's picture

Should be fantastic. I'm assuming AAA for the LP's will be too much too hope for. More Beatles, more better.

Yovra's picture

I think with many tracks the remixing is done digitally. There may some original tracks available (some of Sgt. Peppers' track tapes have 'leaked' to the outside world and "She's Leaving Home" has some sensational home-made remixes:)), but I guess many remixing will be done using high-res files....

JJK1954's picture

Looking forward to it. Now if they would only restore and release let it Be on Blu-Ray, I would die a happy man!

Toptip's picture

"How almost all of this happened in the space of around six years remains a mystery. It was hardly possible then and it's damn well impossible now."

That is true. But since then there have been a few other British bands who have produced consistently memorable music over short -- and some longer -- periods. Amongst them I would count Pink Floyd, The Smiths and, more recently, the Muse (and Depeche Mode, if you do not mind the all-electro instrumentation). Almost all albums by these bands are filled with hooks, lyrics that strike a chord with the listener and very few misses.

What really blows my mind is how bands who can barely include ONE memorable song per album can occupy more headlines than the above. Examples? U2, Coldplay and -- dare I say? -- The Rolling Stones.

DavidFell's picture

Clarification on Mr. or Ms. rakalm's comments;
The films were remastered in 4K, but that doesn't mean the Blu-Ray will be that format. It will be a 1080p disk. Still, far better than anything we've ever seen before. I can't wait to get mine.

GeorgesCrochet's picture

But I thought the only way to listen to The Beatles was in MONO (except for Abbey Road). Those mixes were the only ones The Beatles themselves approved, etc. etc. What's with a new stereo (with a few MONO tracks) remix? Essentially, how is it any different, in aesthetic theory, from what Capitol did when they first started pressing Beatles records: jerking around with the original sound, though, of course, in a less sensitive, knowing manner. Michael, you said yourself that you once loved Sgt Pepper in the stereo, but when you heard the latest MONO, there was no comparison. I'm no snob: I often prefer the Beatles in stereo (The Ramones actually said that their sound was heavily influenced by that weird stereo separation in early Beatles records) but it raises the timeworn question, who was responsible for that original stereo and can you make that, legitimately, even MORE stereo now?