This venerable member of vinyl aristocracy, Sgt Pepper, turned 50 last week.
I was a late discoverer of The Beatles master piece, but like many, had a fairly thin sounding CD stereo version from the 1990’s. I actually never listened to it much, the sound quality was so mediocre.
Then in 2014 I bought a new record deck, and shortly after, the Beatles Mono box Set. As all Beatles devotees know, the mono mixes were the ones that the Beatles and George Martin themselves oversaw. The stereo versions were generally a quick after thought, often dashed off by the engineers with little band or producer input, with some pretty crude stereo panning and other effects added. The mono version though is as originally intended, with a bolder, forthright sound, and vastly superior to the old stereo version.
Fast forward 50 years, and the almost un-thinkable has happened – an officially sanctioned re-mix by George Martin’s son, Giles. Un-thinkable, as re-mixing such a revered classic is a risky proposition, potentially up-setting legions of dedicated fans.
Happily, this new version has the fullness of the mono original, but with an updated stereo sound. All of the tracks are as if they were recorded yesterday, but stand-out for me would be “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” which like everyone, I’ve heard countless times, to my ears has never sounded better than this new mix.
Above is my video tribute to “LSD” played, appropriately enough, on my Funk Firm LSD (Little Super Deck)