The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band [2009 Stereo Remaster]

The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band [2009 Stereo Remaster]The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band [2009 Stereo Remaster] (EMI/Capitol)

Phil and I bonded over our love of “I Am the Walrus” in tenth grade art class. We’ve been obsessing over music together ever since. We used to ride our bikes to each other’s houses to listen to records and tapes. We no longer live a bike-ride away from each other, but fortunately technology allows us to still have virtual record parties. The following is a conversation between two guys who’ve been yammering about music for over 20 years. The first in a series.


[11:26] Jake: you listen to any of the mono discs yet?

[11:26] Phil: waiting for my box

[11:27] Phil: should be here next week

[11:27] Phil: 5 – 9 days

[11:27] Jake: not going to download them first? patient man.

[11:27] Phil: I am trying…

[11:28] Phil: been digging through the stereo recordings

[11:28] Phil: it’s a lot of material!

[11:28] Jake: i’m just amazed how much you can hear in the stereo

[11:28] Jake: they sound like a band, four guys playing instruments

[11:28] Jake: love it

[11:28] Phil: oh yeah

[11:29] Jake: even on pepper (now playing)

[11:29] Phil: it’s awesome

[11:29] Jake: and the bass on the white album is so crunchy.

[11:29] Jake: i was like whoa!

[11:29] Jake: never noticed it on ussr

[11:30] Jake: someone on the steve hoffman forums said the bass was raised 10db compared to the 87 cd

[11:30] Jake: on that song

[11:30] Jake: ha ha

[11:30] Phil: maniacs

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band

[11:30] Phil: NP: Pepper

[11:31] Phil: Guitar tones on opening track sound dope

[11:31] Phil: that crunchy rhythm guitar

[11:32] Jake: should i go back and we can start over?

[11:32] Phil: sure

[11:32] Phil: just skip back to Help from my friends

[11:32] Jake: or let me know when you get to with a little help

With a Little Help from My Friends

[11:32] Phil: just started

[11:32] Jake: ok go

[11:32] Phil: yep

[11:33] Phil: God damn bass again!

[11:33] Phil: Listen to that!

[11:33] Jake: i know!

[11:33] Jake: backing vocals.

[11:33] Jake: you can totally tell it’s john

[11:33] Phil: oh yeah

[11:33] Jake: oh and there’s paul

[11:33] Jake: ha

[11:33] Phil: again, the depth of these remasters is freaking me out

[11:34] Jake: i know

[11:34] Phil: granted, I am listening with my Bose cranked, but still

[11:34] Phil: you’re IN there

[11:34] Jake: yes

[11:34] Jake: the things that used to bother me about pepper are no longer here

[11:35] Jake: the 87 cd made me hate this album

[11:35] Phil: Ha, isn’t that funny

[11:35] Phil: I remember so clearly being blown away then by the clarity

[11:35] Jake: not hate, but dislike

[11:35] Jake: and never want to listen

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

[11:35] Phil: LSD

[11:36] Jake: the droning guitar sounds cool

[11:36] Jake: bass sounds like a bass.

[11:36] Phil: that weirdo keyboard that opens the song sounds more trippy somehow

[11:36] Jake: RINGO

[11:36] Phil: Yes, I really think that’s the biggest deal. The instruments sound real and present

[11:36] Phil: that depth is making all the difference

[11:37] Jake: is that just a harpsichord?

[11:37] Phil: I don’t think so. It sounds electronic to me

[11:37] Jake: yeah me too

[11:37] Phil: like a Clavichord

[11:37] Jake: so: real and present except for that thing

[11:37] Jake: ha ha

[11:37] Phil: which was likely the point!

[11:37] Phil: surreal!

[11:37] Jake: ringo’s cymbals don’t just sound like white noise now

[11:38] Phil: and we’re listening with an added layer of compression

[11:38] Phil: sheesh!

[11:38] Jake: i know!

[11:38] Jake: aw yeah, a little flange on the drums

[11:38] Jake: fading out. paul going nuts on bass

Getting Better

[11:39] Phil: I love that it’s actually TWO guitars in the intro

[11:39] Phil: always sounded like one

[11:39] Jake: yep

[11:39] Jake: you can totally distinctly hear two

[11:39] Jake: paul’s bass is from heaven

[11:39] Phil: background vocals

[11:39] Jake: hand claps

[11:39] Phil: also an electric piano

[11:40] Phil: Like that dude said: No wonder Macca was knighted

[11:40] Jake: yes

[11:40] Phil: such a simple little song

[11:40] Jake: i love that drony sitar or whatever

[11:40] Phil: indian freak out!

[11:40] Jake: ha yes.

[11:41] Jake: and then paul’s amazing bass carries us back

[11:41] Phil: the anchor

[11:41] Jake: almost sounds like an upright bass in this song

[11:41] Jake: esp at the end

[11:41] Jake: fat and round

[11:41] Phil: bongos!

Fixing a Hole

[11:42] Phil: one of my all-time faves

[11:42] Phil: so fucking Macca!

[11:42] Phil: digging that reverb

[11:42] Jake: you can hear the guitar part so clearly

[11:42] Jake: you can hear where he takes his fingers off

[11:42] Phil: and that tone is 100% def

[11:44] Phil: backing vocals nicely placed

[11:44] Jake: yeah

She’s Leaving Home

[11:44] Phil: I sometimes forget what a Paul album this is

[11:44] Phil: three in a row

[11:45] Jake: the stereo version is slowed down a little.

[11:45] Phil: Paul’s vox is WAY up there

[11:45] Jake: the mono is faster and actually sounds better.

[11:45] Phil: hey John!

[11:45] Phil: good to see you

[11:45] Jake: there he is

[11:45] Jake: right over there

[11:46] Jake: the strings are really nice

[11:46] Jake: and the harp

[11:47] Phil: oh yes. lush

[11:47] Jake: but it’s all about the vox

[11:47] Phil: Did Martin score that?

[11:47] Jake: must’ve.

[11:47] Jake: who else?

[11:47] Phil: lovely

[11:47] Phil: dude deserves to be the 5th Beatle

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!

[11:48] Jake: whoa weird reverb

[11:48] Phil: keyboard on the left sounds more like carnival music than what’s up front

[11:48] Phil: so QWW

[11:49] Phil: Schwarz’s template

[11:49] Jake: ha

[11:49] Phil: oh, tambo

[11:49] Phil: Paul and Ringo in the pocket

[11:49] Phil: like old pros

[11:50] Phil: I love that there’s so much more space now. This album doesn’t sound like a mess of noise

[11:50] Phil: anymore

[11:50] Jake: exactly

[11:50] Phil: it’s four guys and a few odds and ends but not a mass of noise

[11:50] Phil: uh oh

[11:50] Jake: and that’s kinda my problem with the mono mixes

[11:50] Phil: sure

Within You Without You

[11:51] Phil: this could get freaky

[11:51] Jake: love the bongos

[11:51] Jake: or whatever

[11:51] Phil: they have a different name

[11:51] Phil: tablas or something

[11:52] Jake: right

[11:53] Jake: this was one of those songs i felt i never needed to hear again

[11:53] Jake: but this sounds dope

[11:53] Phil: oh I like what’s going on behind this extended instrumental bit

[11:53] Phil: so Bollywood

[11:54] Phil: before Bollywood

[11:54] Phil: George invented Bollywood

[11:54] Jake: help!

[11:54] Phil: ha, yes

[11:54] Phil: which was a matter of months earlier?

[11:54] Phil: sheesh

[11:55] Jake: seriously

[11:55] Jake: are you one of them?

[11:55] Jake: whoa.

[11:55] Jake: hope not, george.

[11:55] Jake: how old is george here?

[11:55] Jake: 22?

[11:55] Jake: 21?

[11:55] Phil: imagine

[11:55] Jake: know it all!

[11:55] Jake: ha ha

When I’m Sixty-Four

[11:56] Jake: still goofy

[11:56] Phil: of course, Paul was 25…

[11:56] Jake: i don’t like the tone of his vocals

[11:57] Phil: he’s always loved those old timey radio hits

[11:57] Jake: doesn’t sound old-timey

[11:57] Jake: just sounds lame

[11:57] Phil: I see this as a song he wrote for his dad or something. Like showing he can write songs like that too!

[11:57] Jake: ha

[11:57] Jake: just heard the brogue in “on your knee”

[11:58] Jake: never noticed that

[11:58] Phil: he returns to this style throughout his solo career

[11:58] Phil: Magnito and Titanium Man

[11:58] Jake: does it better on honey pie

Lovely Rita

[11:58] Phil: RITA!

[11:58] Jake: ahhhhhhh

[11:58] Phil: there’s that bass again

[11:58] Jake: does john have ANY songs on this album?

[11:59] Jake: jeez

[11:59] Phil: Nope

[11:59] Phil: just wait for the big closer though, my friend

[11:59] Jake: ha ha

[11:59] Jake: oh yeah, that

[11:59] Phil: John’s keeping his powder dry

[12:00] Phil: “Yeah, Nice Paul. Check this out!”

[12:00] Jake: this isn’t doing much for me

[12:00] Jake: not much interesting stuff going on either

[12:00] Phil: a duck a duck???

[12:00] Jake: ha. except that

[12:00] Jake: good outro

[12:01] Phil: John got hold of the reverb machine again

Good Morning Good Morning

[12:01] Phil: Good Morning sounds weird

[12:01] Phil: unnaturally flattened

[12:01] Jake: those intro “good mornings” should be louder

[12:01] Phil: I wonder if it has anything to do with the masters?

[12:02] Phil: like this was bounced down so far there wasn’t much they could do to get depth

[12:02] Phil: hmmm

[12:02] Phil: it sounds so out of place

[12:02] Jake: this is one that i thought sounded AWESOME on the mono

[12:02] Phil: ‘zactly

[12:02] Phil: that solo…

[12:02] Phil: hell yes

[12:02] Jake: yeah, but this shouldn’t be that much more “dense” than anything else on here

[12:03] Jake: guitar, horns, drums,

[12:03] Jake: where’s the depth?

[12:03] Jake: where’s the bass?

[12:03] Phil: gone

[12:03] Jake: replaced by chickens

[12:03] Phil: that’s what I mean. I wonder if there’s a technical explanation

Sgt. Pepper (reprise)

[12:04] Jake: 1.2.3.4!

[12:04] Phil: Now this sounds good again

[12:04] Jake: second favorite song on the album

[12:04] Phil: I think something’s up with Good Morning

[12:04] Jake: that’s bs

[12:04] Jake: fix it

[12:04] Phil: ha!

[12:04] Phil: only major disappointment thus far

[12:05] Jake: yes

[12:05] Phil: I should say, the first major disappointment

[12:05] Phil: still wading through

[12:05] Jake: what happened to paul’s background screaming?

A Day in the Life

[12:05] Phil: here we go: prepare for take off

[12:05] Phil: Love hearing John breathe in between words

[12:06] Phil: acoustic sounds brilliant

[12:06] Jake: yes

[12:06] Phil: and that bass again

[12:06] Phil: Paul’s killing me

[12:06] Jake: ringo’s so fucking good

[12:06] Jake: perfect

[12:06] Phil: I like to think of John and Paul sitting face to face playing these tracks

[12:06] Phil: and yes, Ringo’s fills are brilliant

[12:07] Phil: maybe the perfect combo of John and Paul

[12:08] Jake: yes

[12:08] Jake: best in years, anyway

[12:08] Phil: man those drums sound good

[12:08] Phil: the tone

[12:08] Jake: where’d the acoustic guitar go?

[12:09] Jake: “i’d love to turn you on”

[12:09] Jake: done.

[12:09] Phil: whew!

[12:09] Jake: mission accomplished, john

[12:10] Phil: he’s like the guy who shows up on the last day of a project with the solution you’ve been your hair out over for weeks

[12:10] Jake: funny thing is this doesn’t seem that “psychedelic” to me anymore

[12:10] Jake: makes me want to redefine that word even

[12:10] Phil: it’s not stupid

[12:10] Jake: ha

Video: The Beatles – Making of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

 

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7 thoughts on “The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band [2009 Stereo Remaster]”

  1. Thanks! Were you guys reading my mind while I was falling back in love with the Sgt in stereo? Will be meeting him in mono soon, wonder if I will like that even better.

  2. I had an extremely scratchy old copy of mono Pepper on vinyl, and that sounded far, far superior to the 1987 stereo CD. But to me the 2009 stereo CD sounds better than the 2009 mono CD.

    The stereo definitely has more depth and clarity. It’s sometimes shocking the details you can hear.

    The mono is cool though. Some of the songs just sound tougher, tighter. “Lucy,” “She’s Leaving Home,” “Good Morning,” and “Reprise” all sound great in their mono mix.

    But, for me, overall, the depth of the stereo mix is jaw-dropping and amazing. The clear winner.

    The mono is cool though, and everybody deserves a chance to hear it. Shame the only (legal) way is to purchase and $200+ box set.

    I’m curious to hear what other people’s impressions are though.

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