I was at work today and there was a promo CD for the new Beatles/Cirque du Soleil extravaganza in Las Vegas sitting on the desk of my program director. The show “Love” looks pretty amazing (and for the ticket prices, it better be), but I was more interested in what was done to the Beatles’ music for the show. I fully expected to be disappointed by the final product, but I wasn’t. What had taken George and Giles Martin two years to mix has been well worth the effort. I’m not sure anyone really needs to hear remixed versions of Beatles classics, but this CD has the distinction of being novel in that the Martins were given access to everything he ever recorded with the Beatles. As George Martin was saying in the video of the making of the album, the ability to have all those sounds available to him offered him a larger pallet to touch up these songs and make them sound like they were meant to be heard — albeit with quite a few tweaks.
What does that mean to say that songs should “sound like they were meant to be heard? Well, if you’ve ever been in a recording studio, the playback on the recording will sound quite a bit different from the stereo recording you have on a CD (or any other format). The range of sounds, that emanate from the speakers is so much richer than you can imagine. Since I’ve been working with multi-track recordings (and granted these are just radio commercials), the difference in sound quality from a multi-track recording to a 2-track stereo recording is very apparent.
It’s difficult to describe, but if I can make one analogy it would be this: if you have ever visited a museum and viewed original paintings, you know that you can see so much more of what the artist intended than looking at a book of the same painting in the museum bookstore. The reproduction in the book looks close, but there are so many things that a photograph just cannot capture. That’s what a 2-track stereo recording is like to me. It’s a representation of the original recording that’s close to what you hear on the multi-track recording, but it’s missing the full range of sounds that one would hear in the studio.
What George and Giles Martin have done is to surprise the listener by bringing in guitar, drum, vocal, and other parts into songs that did not originally feature them. This method of remixing has the potential of being a horrible mash-up of sounds, but they made it work.
Since I don’t have the full CD, I’ll feature the two best songs that came with the promo disc.
Strawberry Fields Forever (Love Version) Download HERE
Lady Madonna (Love Version) Download HERE