The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's 50th Anniversary (Content, Sound Quality & Discussion Thread Only!)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by hodgo, Apr 5, 2017.

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  1. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Forum Resident

    New York
  2. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd

    Mahwah, NJ
    What elevates Revolver for me is simple: that amazing guitar tone that is ubiquitous throughout the record. To this day, I'm floored by the crunch of the guitars in songs like And Your Bird Can Sing, and She Said She Said. It's a very unique document in this way. They would revisit such tones in the future, but not in such a relentless manner.

    To my ears, it is the very definition of the "Brit-Rock" sound.
  3. If I Can Dream_23

    If I Can Dream_23 Forum Resident

    United States
    That's true! It's the reason I love Revolver so much as well. This really became apparent to me when I heard the mono mix! It was like hearing the album with the glaze removed (not that the stereo mix is necessarily bad). There is a razor-sharp vitality to Paul's solos in "Taxman" or the ending guitar licks on "Got To Get You Into My Life". Great stuff!

    I think why I prefer Pepper though is that it builds on Revolver's studio innovations but really is forming a whole new cohesive work that we haven't heard before. In a very grand and vivid way, it isn't trying to just be another "Revolver" (or any other pop album before it) but is really using primitive studio limits to the fullest under a whole new lavish and thematic approach.

    But both are landmarks. And both stand alone. I'm glad we get to enjoy both all this time later and marvel at how they helped changed the course of popular music!
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
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  4. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    The colors are more vivid and striking in the remix. And I can't disagree with the "saturation" being there.

    It's almost like a multi-colored quilt, filled to the brim with ever changing colors.

    Very Striking Colors.

    I think it's the movement of the original 1967 stereo. The depth, dimension, and life.

    That I especially like.

    That contrasts with the striking upfront colors of the remix.

    I can't disagree that "Within You Without You" is a highlight of the remix.

    I would have preferred a bit more stereo/panning for this remix...but I know that's not currently in favor.

    Even as it's more difficult to get Three Dimensional Atmosphere.

    With Mono being your inspiration.

    The way you present the argument for the remix is as convincing as I have heard.

    Even as I prefer the stereo 1967 to the stereo/mono hybrid of 2017.

    The remix might be more Technicolor.

    But the 67 stereo has, for me, more Motion.

    Like a colorful and psychedelic movie.

    Compared to a Peter Max...painting from the late Sixties.



  5. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

  6. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Senior Member

    New York
    Totally disagree. The stereo is more straightforward without much of the effects that the mono has.
    A well respected man, Gila and 2141 like this.
  7. pinkrudy

    pinkrudy Forum Resident

    In terms of albums for me,
    rubber soul is the seed.
    revolver is the bud.
    sgt pepper is the flower.
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  8. If I Can Dream_23

    If I Can Dream_23 Forum Resident

    United States
    A great post! And great paintings. This makes me want to watch "Yellow Submarine" now. :)
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  9. applebonkerz

    applebonkerz Forum Resident

    I'm hoping your point showing the paintings -- since all but one are from long after the late 60's -- is how his remakes of colorful images have never equaled the original work that made him famous in the 60's. :shh:

    bluemooze likes this.
  10. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    You are right, I also hear it like this: All these sound and lesser important instruments that were just in the background in the original stereo mix, now are brought up to the front, and up to the same volume as the focal instruments and lead vocals.
    That's why everybody now can hear these former details of background easier and clearer on the new re-mix. Because, they are no background anymore.
    That may be a good thing if you listen in noisy environment, or at really low volume, like Muzak.
    It surely is a bad thing if you like to enjoy the music at reasonably loud volumes, or in a silent environment, like my living room. The new mix makes me want to turn down the volume. And then, still it doesn't sound good.
    The new re-mix has the lowest DR values ever: lowest maximum DR, lowest minimum DR, and lowest average DR, of all releases before.

    Best regards
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  11. Sgt Pepper

    Sgt Pepper Forum Resident

    United Kingdom

    I listen in a living room which is perfectly silent, loud or quiet the sound is sublime and one that those at Abbey Road have achieved through months of work, thanks to the likes of Giles Martin, Sam Okel, Miles Showell, Paul McCartney, Ringo Star, and many more who should feel very proud of their hard work and rightly so.
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  12. SJB

    SJB Beloved Parasitic Nuisance

    In 2014 there was a 50th anniversary concert, with a tribute band replicating the Beatles' set list. There was also a performance by one of the original opening acts. The venue was saved from demolition but has been repurposed and is no longer a sports/concert venue.
    schnitzerphilip likes this.
  13. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd

    Mahwah, NJ
    That would make MMT...the compost?
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  14. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd

    Mahwah, NJ

    If you want to listen loud, thou needest the vinyl.
  15. Onder

    Onder Forum Resident

    The (English) garden.
  16. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Thank you.
    If I Can Dream_23 likes this.
  17. acdc7369

    acdc7369 Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    Pretty ironic that the guy running an audiophile reissue label was half deaf. But that doesn't explain the excessive bass those releases tended to have.
    Tim Müller likes this.
  18. schnitzerphilip

    schnitzerphilip "Custom Title" Unlocked Award

    NJ USA
    I'll never be a Vinylist or a Monoist but am curious, what do you listen to in the car?

    Do you burn a CDR of the mono vinyl? Give in and listen to the stereo CD? Acquiesce and listen to an iTunes digital download?
  19. milco

    milco Forum Resident

    The obvious solution to all the compression ob
    This simply isn't true. The very first comparable I looked at from the dynamic range database was 'Yellow submarine songtrack':

    YSS: Min 06, Max 10, Ave 09
    Pepper 2017: Min 06, Max 10, Ave 08

    'Yellow submarine songtrack' and Pepper 2017 are virtually identical. OK, the Overall figure is one point lower, but the min and max values are the same. I have seen this 'lowest min / max / average dynamic range' fallacy repeated on here so many times that people just assume it's fact. No, it's just part of the Agenda.
    majorlance likes this.
  20. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    YSS isn't 'Pepper'. I was talking about all the Pepper releases.

    Best regards
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  21. If I Can Dream_23

    If I Can Dream_23 Forum Resident

    United States
    The funny thing about all this is that I personally feel the new Pepper remix is stellar and yet I've only heard the CD. And have been basing my impressions from just the CD. From many reports, the vinyl is even better, which means I really need to get a copy! :)
    Shaddam IV and mrgroove01 like this.
  22. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    I think that the pop section of EMI studios in Abbey road were not intended as an "audiophile studio" in the 60s.
    They were technological wise behind other studios in London, they were late to accomodate to 4 track tape, and also late with 8 track tape.
    As I recall from the book of Geoff Emerick, an audio engineer who worked at EMI studios and mastered records, and recorded some of the Beatles records, EMI received singles from Capitol as that - pressed singles, not tapes.
    They had to do needledrops, cut out the worst crackles, and those tapes were used to master the britsh single releases of Capitol artists. That's why britsh versions of Capitol singles never sounded as good as the american versions.
    I think, he also wrote in his book, that the Beatles hated EMI studios. They named their album Abbey Road not as honour for the studios, but for different reasons.

    From his book I learned, that the situation at EMI studios improved, partly because of the Beatles success. That's why enigneers were alowed to experiment with microphone placements, depart from strict studio rules, and to try out "crazy" things. Like, use a speaker chassis as a microphone for Pauls bass amp on "Paperback writer". That's why, and because of Pauls playing, the bass sound on Paperpack writer is improved upon earlier Beatles recordings.
    There was a rule at EMI studios, that for mastering Beatles records, the bass frequency range had to be reduced, to avoid skipping of the needle on cheap record players.

    For Pepper, Emerick wrote on the accompanying paper work for the master tape the wish to "transfer flat". Which caused some turmoil, because the "balance engineer" Emerick was saying the "mastering engineers" how they had to do their work. Finally, Emerick was allowed to be around when Pepper was mastered.
    (All my recollections of Emerick's book.)
    Because Pepper was mixed from reduction tapes at least one or even more generations remote from the original session recording, Pepper could not be an audiophile album, anyway. The orchestral overdub of Day in the live, as I recollect from books, was recorded onto a different tape than the tape with the band recordings. And it was kind-of-syncronized to the band tape by an experimental method just made-up by EMI studio technical staff: record a 50 Hertz (cycles per second) signal on both a vacant track on the band's recordings tape and the orchestra tape. However, to make both tapes start simultaneously when mixing, was not so easy. However, it kind-of-worked, because, that orchestral overdub was intended to be an atonal improvised rise in pitch, so it was not a pity, if it was not perfectly in time...

    What I think, during recording, a lot of energy was spent to work-around the technological limitations of EMI studios. Had they only had 8-track tapes...

    I feel, the mono mix of the album was meant with an eye and an ear for cheap mono children's record players. All, or at least most of the various sounds of Pepper should be at least be recocknisable or listenable on cheapo crappy players. And, to make that happen, a lot of time and effort is required, because that is diffcult. The result was a mono mix, where everytime a new effect or sound enters the scene, it get's full volume to make it clear, that a new element or sound is there.

    It was consequently much easier, I think, to create the stereo mix afterwards for record players capable of Hi-Fi or at least somewhat close to Hi-Fi. After the mono mix was completed.
    However, to create a stereo image of a 4-track tape where a number of instruments and vocals are already pre-mixed on tracks, is not that easy. That's why the original stereo image has some strange stereo panning or imaging, according to today's standards. However, I don't think that mix is bad at all. (They also printed proudly on the cover, "this is a stereo recording.")

    What I think is a pitty, is: They didn't take the chance this time, when they re-mixed from (digital transfers) of syncronized first-generation (original) session tapes, to create a true audiophile version with "unlimited dynamics" alongside an ear-bud-friendly heavily compressed version. There'd be enough space on the CDs or on the downloads.
    And, why they did not create a true surrounding surround re-mix. Alongside the conventional halfhearted 5.1-re-mix with soundstage all in the front speakers, that we only get on this release.

    In fact, I run a few of the stereo Pepper mixes (or the out-takes) through my ProLogic decoder, and I get more a surround feeling than with that Pepper 5.1 surround re-mix.

    Best regards
  23. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    I listen now through the outtakes discs (discs 2 and 3 of the Deluxe Box Set), where the outtakes are arranged in chronolical order of start of recording...

    They started off with some extremely good songs:
    Strawberry fields.
    (Sixty-Four, a song McCartney wrote when he was a teenager. Maybe just a song, McCartney used because he needed to provide a song after Lennon popped up with the great Strawberry Fields.)
    Penny Lane.
    Day in the Life.
    Sgt. Pepper.

    And then, the quality of the songs, or their arrangements, became worse than the songs mentioned above:
    Good Morning (at least there's some 5/4 beat bars in it, unusual for the 4/4 beat feel of standard rock songs).
    Fixing a hole. The outakes show and reveal how clueless McCartney was on the direction how this song should go to...
    Mr. Kite. (Lennon already had at least a clue of direction for this song.)
    Lovely Rita (a pop tune by McCartney).
    Lucy in the Sky (a tune, where Lennon made up the tune as he sang lead through the first few takes).
    Getting better.
    Within you without you.
    Leaving Home (another McCartney's sweeties).
    Little help from my friends (a good song with not-so-good arrangement. Joe Cocker tought them later at Woodstock how to perfom that song right.)
    Sgt. Pepper Reprise (quite good, but just a reprise of an earlier song).

    The programming of the album, with the greatest song Day in the Life being the last, introduced by the long segue of Good Morning and Pepper reprise, makes up a bracket with the intro segue of Pepper and Help from my Friends. However, there's still some not-so-good songs in between.

    The two outakes discs of the Deluxe Box Set make that clear, as the outtakes are presented in chronoligical order of recording. As opposed to the 2-disc Anniversary Set, where selected outtakes are presented in the order of the programming of the released album.

    I feel, that the sound of the drums is better on the outtakes of Pepper than on the "released" version or mix.
    On the outtake, the drums really have punch and power.
    On the released version some of that power is lost.

    I atrribute some of that drum's power to the not-so-much reduced dynamic range of the outtakes, compared to the released versions. From my experience, percussion instruments gain their power from dynamically unlimited first transients. Decay of sounds may be dynamically compressed, but first transients should retain their full impact, with peaks well above the average loudness.

    Best regards
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2017
  24. A well respected man

    A well respected man Forum Resident

    Madrid, Spain
    Actually, the name of the studio was not Abbey Road. They changed it to that some time after the album came out.
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  25. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    Yes, you are right. The name was EMI studios. Or maybe, E.M.I. studios.
    I didn't want to extend my posting overly lengthy...
    That's why I left out a lot of details...

    Best regards
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