Mono White Album - Beatles' Involvement and Intent

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Janet, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Janet

    Janet Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    United states
    We already know the Beatles were present for the mono mix of Sgt. Pepper and sat out the stereo mix. George Martin and the Beatles have been quoted as saying they viewed the mono mix of Pepper as definitive. What about the White Album? Did they attend the mono mix sessions or the stereo sessions? Which mix did they originally intend to be the definitive version?
     
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  2. bherbert

    bherbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Africa
    I think they attended both mixes
     
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  3. Janet

    Janet Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    United states
    The differences on the mixes are so significant, it's hard to reconcile them being solely mixed by the same entity. For example, if they wanted Helter Skelter to fade and come back in, wouldn't they have done it for both mixes?
     
  4. bherbert

    bherbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Africa
    I read an article stating that Paul McCartney suggested differences in the stereo mix to the engineer because he wanted Beatles fans to buy the mono and stereo LP’s.
     
  5. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    I did a Hoffman forum search, "mono white album" and came up with a lot interesting information.
     
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  6. Janet

    Janet Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    United states
    I did the search you suggested and also came up with a lot of interesting information...Just not an answer to whether they intended the mono mix to be the definitive one. If one goes by the prior years' productions, they would have only attended the mono mix.
     
  7. culabula

    culabula Forum Resident

    Location:
    Belfast, Ireland

    I'm afraid that I regard this as total nonsense, invented after the fact (if at all) by Macca.

    If it were true, then why did they not issue The Beatles in mono in their biggest market, the USA?
     
  8. Keith V

    Keith V Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jersey City, NJ
    Right. Like Blackbird was a civil rights song.
     
  9. Aftermath

    Aftermath Forum Resident

    Mono releases had essentially been phased out in the US by early 1968.
     
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  10. craymcla

    craymcla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    I think it's pretty dang cynical to see so many decisions from another time as driven by money (today's value system). I doubt at the time that any of the Beatles thought of mono vs stereo as a collector's situation to be capitalized on. People moved to stereo as soon they could afford it and mono was just a relic from the past to them. The industry stuck to mono as long as they did because most listeners of that kind of music had mono players, being that's all that they could afford. That all changed when the Japanese started making cheap stereo record players.

    I've read recently that the Beatles were invloved in the stereo mixes of the White album.I don't know if that's true or not, but if so, it shows that they were starting to take stereo seriously.
     
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  11. craymcla

    craymcla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Just to go off on a tangent to my previous comment, I knew times had changed when I read an article in 1997 on the 30th anniversary of Sgt. Peppers and they only talked about its greatness in terms of how many copies of the album were sold. No mention AT ALL of its musical quality, significance, or impact on all music that followed.

    SAD!
     
  12. George Blair

    George Blair Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    There's been tons of detail written about the differences between the Mono and Stereo, but I can't ever recall anyone explaining WHY these differences exist. :confused::confused:
     
  13. mpayan

    mpayan Forum Resident

    Everything Ive read that Mr Scott has written about this leads me to believe that the Beatles were involved in both mixes. Just because they (all or a couple of them or one at times) were involved in the stereo mixing doesnt negate the high probability that they were involved just as much (perhaps more so) with the mono mix. This stereo mix thing was still probably fairly new to them. At times exciting, yet most likely frustrating to a degree.
     
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  14. tages

    tages Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    What makes you think it isn't?
     
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  15. Lance Hall

    Lance Hall Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    McCartney himself said they wanted differences between mono and stereo at this point. They knew it would increase sales if there were big differences.
     
  16. daveidmarx

    daveidmarx Forem Residunt

    Location:
    Astoria, NY USA
    Well, you can regard it however you want, but Ken Scott recalls it differently. It's doubtful that he has an agenda to push to fabricate a story like this. He states how Paul asked him to create noticeably different stereo and mono mixes about four paragraphs into the article below.

    The Beatles "White Album:" The Untold Story
     
  17. Keith V

    Keith V Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jersey City, NJ
    I don’t know. I’ve been a big fan since the early 80s and I’ve never heard anything that would corroborate that until fairly recently.
     
  18. Veech

    Veech Space In Sounds

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    McCartney stated as much. Along the lines of the lyrics to "Glass Onion" (which were purposely written to bemuse the Beatle geeks) the Beatles were very aware of how their music was being analyzed. McCartney, knowing this and looking for the greatest number of sales for Apple's first LP release, instructed that there be significant differences in the stereo mix vs the mono.
     
  19. Mr_Vinyl

    Mr_Vinyl Forum Resident

    Interesting article!
    The mono has this clear, clean, lovely jet sound while the stereo is an abomination of a jet sound. Actually, they were once again visionaries: in the stereo version, it's actually a spaceship.
     
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  20. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    I've read this also.
     
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  21. Monasmee

    Monasmee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    "Art for art's sake money for god's sake."
     
  22. Glass Candy

    Glass Candy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Greensboro
    McCartney talks about the song's subject as civil rights at the 1968 studio acoustic jam with Donovan and Mary Hopkin.
     
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  23. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston MA
    That sounds pretty farfetched, though McCartney may have said something of the like in retrospect. People in 1968 brought mono or stereo because that's the kind of record players they had-- Nobody played mono records on a stereo system. (If you had a mono player, you wouldn't know how different a stereo mix was, because it would sound like crap-- vocals missing, etc). The differences between the mono and stereo WA mixes were barely discussed at all at the time-- truly, did anyone know or care there were different violin parts in "Don't Pass Me By" until the US Rarities album came out?
     
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  24. daveidmarx

    daveidmarx Forem Residunt

    Location:
    Astoria, NY USA
    Did you read the above-linked article?
     
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  25. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Didn't Paul play it to Diana Ross and say " this song's about you"?
     

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