The Beatles "Help!" and "Rubber Soul" original 1965 stereo mixes?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by AlanDistro, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident

    Rockford, MI
    The only reason I would personally ever want to hear another remix of RS or Help would be out of pure curiosity. I think it is kind of pointless because no matter how you mix to stereo for these albums, it is clearly *NOT* the original representation of how The Beatles wanted it to be heard. Additionally, the stereo mixes that were done have a historic value to them. So really, in my opinion any kind of stereo remix of these albums would just be the opinion of whoever was doing the mix. Even if that person is George Martin, I don't care - I want what was originally intended and I don't think people should be screwing with The Beatles mixes. Harsh? Probably? Crazy? maybe. But hey, I'm kind of a purist.

    Does that mean we can't enjoy stereo mixed Beatles albums? Of course not. I have all the current stereo mixes myself and enjoy them. I just don't see the point of adding somebody else' opinion of what they should sound like into the mix, unless those people were John, George, Paul, and Ringo and we all know that isn't possible.

    In my opinion, remixes should not be done unless they are done with direct involvement and sign off from the original members that made the album in the first place. For example, I love the 5.1 remix of Brothers in Arms and Dark Side of the Moon on SACD. I heard that Knopfler and members of PF had direct involvement in those mixes (not sure how much of that is true)
  2. GV1967

    GV1967 Well-Known Member

    Northeastern US

    I love that album as well but I think the point is- after a full LP of original material- "BFS" and it's six cover tunes ala "Please Please Me" and "With The Beatles", was a throw back.
    john morris likes this.
  3. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident

    Rockford, MI
    Well to each his own right...I mean there is no "right" answer as everybody has different taste. For me, what is important is that I like the sound and I love the sound on BFS regardless of the titles they are performing.
    D.B. and GV1967 like this.
  4. crossroads69

    crossroads69 Forum Resident

    London Town
    An alternate remix helps bring out certain elements in the music that were masked due to limitations of the original equipment and/or primitive outlook towards stereo in general. It helps improve clarity and fidelity of the music by going back to original multi-tracks and avoiding the then critical practices such as pre-bouncing individual elements. A great example for me of this is the remix of Eleonar Rigby on Love - love the way the strings envelope the song and allow each different string arrangement to breathe and shine in its own space.

    For purists, the original vinyls and remasters should always be available to enjoy and appreciate the music in its original form. I've never supported the idea of completely replacing those with new works (as was done with Lennon catalog in early 2000s). But the purist thought shouldn't prevent the music to be presented in new alternate ways.

    Finally, while its great to have the original members be involved in such a process, its not always going to be possible for many reasons. But that doesn't always result in a bad product. For example, the latest 5.1 mix of Layla was done by Elliot Schenier without any involvement from Eric Clapton or Bobby Whitlock but sounds great and helps the album shine in a different light. The involvement of all original members does not necessarily mean a better listening experience. It sure gives it more credibility but for that purpose, we have the original mixes to enjoy!

    Sorry to digress away from the OP, but as with any Beatles thread, its generally a long and winding discussion :)
  5. SteveS1

    SteveS1 Forum Resident

    Weald, England, UK
    Yes, their cover of "Rock & Roll Music" has a raw drive that gives a hint of why they were exciting even before the songwriting came through. I also like "I'll Follow The Sun" and no more to be said about "Eight Days a Week" - superb.
    vmajewsk and D.B. like this.
  6. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident

    Rockford, MI
    Hey Crossroads - You have an interesting and valid point! My concern is the concern you also voiced - where original mixes are mysteriously gone out of print as soon as the new one comes out. Especially in the case of The Beatles, this would be and has been a crime. Perfect example is the topic of this thread! The 1965 stereo mixes of RS and Help! were completely unavailable in any kind of modern digital and legal format until 2009 when the mono box came. They were essentially "replaced" with the 1987 remixes. In that specific case it was as if EMI wanted to forget they ever existed and THAT to me is unacceptable.

    Going back to my Dire Straits example - Had the 5.1 remix REPLACED the original 2 channel mix as we saw with Rubber Soul I'd be pissed! More dramatic sure, because it is a 5 channel mix vs a stereo mix, but same concept!
  7. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    Good question. I'd have to consult the Lewisohn book to be certain, but my guess is the rhythm section was cut on a single track.
  8. Michael P

    Michael P Forum Resident

    Parma, Ohio
    The booklet from The Yellow Submarine Songtrack sheds some light on what was available to remix. In the case of RS there were few, if any, "underdubs" (3 or 4 track multis that got mixed down to one track of the final master). With less to work with the RS tracks that got remixed were to center the vocals and separate instruments where possible. Newer tracks all had underdubs, that is how they were able to mix the double string quartet on "Elenore Rigby" in true stereo for the first time.

    So remixing is not all bad. It's just a different version that when done right can be pleasing to the ears.
  9. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Liverpool, England
    Rubber Soul's original 1965 mix becomes a thing of beauty if you load it into your favourite audio program and alter the stereo separation from 9 O'clock and 3 O'clock to 10 O'clock and 2 O'clock. Try it. (Also works for Please Please Me).
  10. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Detroit, Michigan
    The 2005 Capitol Rubber Soul fold-down ain't half-bad has that XTC Skylarking promo fold-down vibe all over it....
  11. oxenholme

    oxenholme High Quality Posts™ a speciality

    It's considered by this punter to be every bit as strong as A Hard Day's Night.

    We are all different. I love the original 1965 stereo mix of Rubber Soul, but there are many on here that don't seem too enamoured with it.
    tages, FJFP and nikh33 like this.
  12. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Liverpool, England
    I have mixed together the Parlophone mono, 65 stereo and 87 stereo to make one 'stereo listening experience' and it's pretty interesting! Some tracks do a bit of swimming at the start!
    pantofis likes this.
  13. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Liverpool, England
    Better, to me.
    DrJ and slane like this.
  14. oxenholme

    oxenholme High Quality Posts™ a speciality

    I'm sat here thinking about Rock And Roll Music followed by I'll Follow The Sun. I'll go and put it on right now!
    DrJ and nikh33 like this.
  15. ohnothimagen


    I prefer both Rubber Soul and Please Please Me in mono, but for the sheer hell of it I did that very thing using Sony Sound Forge and Audacity and they do indeed sound wonderful!

    My biggest issue with the '87 Rubber Soul is that (IMO) gawdawful, unnatural sounding reverb they slathered onto those tracks...not as bad as the original '64 U.S. "I Feel Fine" but the dry, reverbless '65 RS mix sounds very warm to me, much better than the '87.
    SKATTERBRANE and bluemooze like this.
  16. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Brighton, England
    I'm with you. So long as the original mixes remain I can't see any harm in it.

    'Love' is easily proof enough that a full remix of the catalogue would be well worth it. If any Fab fan here has yet to hear the DVD-A of that album you owe it to yourself to. The tracks that were pure remixes (ie, not mash-ups) -- eg, 'I Am The Walrus', 'Revolution', 'All You Need Is Love' are sonically stunning. Pure sonic bliss.

    If Apple allowed Giles Martin to do full re-mixes in stereo and 5.1, bang them out on HD audio/Blu-ray/whatever they couldn't take my money fast enough.
    IronWaffle likes this.
  17. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Brighton, England
    Oh, and on this topic. I only heard the original 1965 stereo mixes for Rubber Soul/Help when I got the remaster box-sets. Really suprised me actually, I was so used to the 80's digi reverb plastered all over the original CDs that they were quite a revelation.

    The dryer vocals are a pleasure. 'Yesterday' in particular took me aback without all the reverb I was used to. These versions are my go to for these albums.
    nikh33 likes this.
  18. DrJ

    DrJ Forum Resident

    Davis, CA, USA
    I could not disagree more, though admittedly many people seem to feel this way.

    To me, these are simply very different albums, and I have never understood how anyone could view BFS as a low point of any kind.

    Personally I think BFS is a masterpiece, as was AHDN - my favorite two Beatles albums by far, and in many ways polar opposites. The fundamental approaches and feels of these two albums are really totally different - remarkably so given how close together they were recorded. One is, by and large, quite sunny and projects a "top of the world and enjoying it" type of feel, the other is much darker and projects the distinct feel of young people who've "reached the top" and are starting to realize it's not all roses and "So, now what do we do?" One has a dash or two of country feel ("I'll Cry Instead"), the other is infused throughout with country and folk influences. One has no cover tunes; the other, for the last time on record, pays homage to their earlier stage shows and some key influences with a number of affectionate and highly successful covers (I love Buddy Holly but the Beatles simply own "Words of Love," and I think "Mr. Moonlight" gets a total bum rap - one of their BEST covers, totally committed and affectionate and charming and with an absolute killer of a vocal by John). And what about the cover artwork differences - bright and sunny and silly versus somber, autumnal. Etc etc etc.

    So it's odd how people seem to make comparisons that seem to equate the two. Truly, apples and oranges.

    Throw in the Long Tall Sally EP (which has, again, yet another feel to it - tough, edgy, hard hitting, the distillation of their years of chop-busting hours long stage performances - the cover art again perfectly mirroring the mood of the music) - not to mention the sublime "I Feel Fine/She's a Woman" single - and you have, for my money, the most amazing year's worth of recordings any pop group ever had - all killa, no filla.
    bhazen, goodiesguy, tages and 8 others like this.
  19. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Cambridge, MA
    Sssh...You're gonna create a stampede for that issue and price it into the stratosphere.
    Joe McKEe likes this.

  20. I agree. Great defense a terrific album and "Mr. Moonlight" has a killer vocal delivery from John that redeems the cheesy element and The Beatles KNEW it was cheesy--playing up that element for fun.
  21. ibanez_ax

    ibanez_ax Forum Resident

    Dr. Ebbetts did an "outfake" stereo remix of Rubber Soul where he centered the vocals and bass. The bass is a bit on the boomy side and there is some track bleed-through.

    Give me the mono every day and twice on Sundays.
    dlokazip likes this.
  22. DrJ

    DrJ Forum Resident

    Davis, CA, USA
    True there were covers but I stand firm that this was more of a conscious decision than running out of steam...remember there were several other originals recorded or being worked on at various points in 1964 that could easily have been used to flesh out an album to keep with the "all originals" approach - "I Feel Fine," "She's a Woman," "I Call Your Name," "You'll Know What To Do," and "Leave My Kitten Alone." All of these were high quality songs (at least in my view - maybe the Harrison tune is arguable, OK, but I think it had real potential), but most would not have fit very well with the feel of BFS, except, ironically enough, Harrison's "You Know What To Do" - I think that could have been worked into the album very nicely, given the sort of Buddy Holly feel, but at that point John and Paul just didn't seem very interested in helping poor George along with his composing.

    So anyway what I think is that for the first time, with BFS, the Beatles were starting to conceptualize an ALBUM rather than approaching the release as just another collection of songs (no matter how good). As great as AHDN is, it is ultimately a "functional" album - collecting the soundtrack songs and some others they had around but without a clear sense of theme.

    By contrast I think with BFS, they simply decided to pick covers that did fit well with the overall feel/flow, rather than making another "all originals" album just for the sake of it that would have ultimately felt more like a patchwork.
  23. DrJ

    DrJ Forum Resident

    Davis, CA, USA
    Oh and I forgot there are also a number of original Beatles tunes they GAVE AWAY to various artists for recording in 1964 - from Joseph Brennan's web page:

    A World without love (Lennon--McCartney)
    Single by Peter and Gordon, February 1964.

    One and one is two (Lennon--McCartney)
    Single by the Strangers with Mike Shannon, May 1964. A Beatles demo has been bootlegged.

    Nobody I know (Lennon--McCartney)
    Single by Peter and Gordon, May 1964.

    From a window (Lennon--McCartney)
    Single by Billy J Kramer with the Dakotas, July 1964.

    It's for you (Lennon--McCartney)
    Single by Cilla Black, July 1964.

    I don't want to see you again (Lennon--McCartney)
    Single by Peter and Gordon, September 1964.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  24. jacden

    jacden Forum Resident

    "Leave My Kitten Alone" is a cover too.
  25. Six Bachelors

    Six Bachelors Troublemaking enthusiast

    Kitten is a cover. Also, I know there was a thread on it a while ago but it seems likely No Reply and/or YKWTD had a shot at being the 14th song on AHDN.

    I love both albums: I much prefer the sound and the originals on BFS but I find it hard not to consider AHDN just about the perfect album up to then: endless excitement, even on they more somber songs.

    Back on topic, I'm mono all the way with these two but the original mixes are infinitely nicer sounding than the remixes. It's bizarre that the remixes survived the 80s. If the stereo mixes of PPM and WTB were considered good enough to remaster, it seems illogical that the stereos of Help! and RS weren't revived just because George Martin had remixed them 20+ years earlier.

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