Anthologies, BBC collections and those weird mixes haven’t shown up yet… Below, listen to a stream of a mono version of “Dear Prudence” – while ya can!
By Uncle Blurt
As you might imagine, that breaking news yesterday about the Beatles’ Christmas surprise – as of 12:01 a.m. today, Dec. 24, aka Christmas Eve day, they would no longer be withholding their music from online streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music – pretty much dominated all music news for a full, uh, news cycle. Nine different such services are presumably now offering the Fab Four’s albums for your streaming pleasure, and media outlets are, accordingly, rolling out their own dissertations, although when you think of it, coverage listicles like this one from Billboard about the group’s so-called “non-singles” (wait, what? wouldn’t that be, like, 90% of all the music?) do seem a tad redundant; how many times can you dissect “Norwegian Wood” anyway?
Expect some enterprising bootleggers to have their own variation on all the foregoing very soon. Meanwhile, over at The Verge we actually found a rather helpful story that zeroes in on the Beatles albums that are NOT included in the streaming onslaught. For reasons only known to the Beatles braintrust, these titles, some of them very popular and others not so much, can’t be had, at least just not yet:
*The Beatles Anthology Vols. 1, 2 & 3
*Let It Be… Naked
*Live at the BBC Vols. 1 & 2
*The Beatles In Mono
The latter in particular seems to be a critical omission (something I can’t imagine ever being said about that silly Love CD, but that’s just me). As The Verge’s Chris Welch duly notes, “When the Beatles catalog was remastered in 2009, the band also released a boxset of its albums in mono. All the same obsessive care had gone into making those recordings sound as good as possible, so why aren’t they here? I’m not about to argue over which version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is better or more “true” to the group’s vision, but the mono recordings should be made available for the fans that want them. There are a few mono tracks on the newly-remastered 1 compilation, but it’s not really the same thing as listening to entire albums that way.”
All that aside, in the final estimation, a huge wrong has been righted, and there’s no longer a disturbance in the rock world’s Force. Stream on, grasshoppers…. Below, listen to The White Album track “Dear Prudence” – in mono. EMI and Apple has managed to block a ton of mono content that is streaming elsewhere online, such as at YouTube, so there’s no telling how long this particular fan’s upload will last. Apologies in advance if my news post here results in a takedown.