THE BEATLES / THE COLLECTION
The Beatles: The Collection was a vinyl boxed set of every Beatles album remastered at half speed from the original stereo master recordings, except for Magical Mystery Tour which was mastered from Capitol Records’ submasters with the last three tracks in rechanneled stereo. Released with much anticipation in early October 1982, The Collection was lauded by critics and Beatles fans worldwide for the superb sound, and sold-out completely within the first year. (More from Wikipedia)
As for the Beatles, I took care of them by ordering the acclaimed Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab box set The Beatles / The Collection in 1982, with half-speed mastered copies of all of the British Beatles albums that were taken from the original master tapes. Copies of the album covers were also made directly from the original album art and were printed in a booklet; the album covers instead were photos of the master tape boxes plus the song rosters and check-out listings that were pasted inside the boxes – pretty exciting! They even left a couple of slots blank for future albums of songs that weren’t included in The Collection, though as far as I know, none were ever released. It was a while before I realized that one of the songs that wasn’t on any of the albums was none other than “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, the Fab Four’s first big American hit.
Sadly, the albums (all but one) from The Beatles / The Collection were the last that I found from Katrina. They rested, still in their metal rack, beneath the waters of the little bayou behind our former house for probably six months before I finally noticed them. Some of the discs even have barnacles on them. I pulled them out of the water and cleaned them up as best I could with a hose, but I haven’t tried to do the final cleaning on any of them yet.
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I have a confession to make though. When I first heard the “Stars on 45 Medley” (Beatles medley), there were several songs that I was actually not familiar with. I don’t think that I have ever told anyone this before now; I wonder how many other Beatles fans were similarly chagrined. My own experience with the band is being caught up in the excitement in late 1963 and early 1964, but I quit buying Beatles albums sometime in 1965, though I still bought a lot of their 45’s. Naturally, I bought Sgt. Pepper right away, and it wasn’t long before I figured out how good the preceding album Revolver was. However, I didn’t buy Rubber Soul until I got the box set, The Beatles / The Collection. Basically, between “Yesterday” and Sgt. Pepper, if it wasn’t on the radio, I hadn’t heard it. Thus, for this music fan at least, Stars on 45 reawakened my interest in the Beatles, and I definitely took to heart their exhortation: “Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t forget!”