The Beatles – Past Masters [2009 Stereo Remaster]

The Beatles - Past MastersThe BeatlesPast Masters [2009 Stereo Remaster] (EMI/Capitol)

The following is a conversation between two guys who’ve been yammering about music together for over 20 years. We no longer live a bike-ride away from each other, but fortunately technology allows us to still have virtual record parties. The fourth in a series. Previously: Pepper, Revolver, Magical Mystery Tour.

[13:55] Jake: back to the beatles

[13:57] Jake: i’m going to listen to the past masters now

[13:57] Jake: interested?

[13:57] Phil: can you wait ten min?

[13:57] Jake: oh yeah

[13:57] Phil: need to get my soup on

[13:57] Phil: brb

[14:08] Phil: OK, I am ready

[14:12] Jake: wanna do disc 2? i’m not that into disc 1 right now

[14:12] Phil: where does that start?

[14:12] Phil: it’s all one album on what I have

[14:13] Jake: day tripper

[14:13] Phil: We really should do the whole thing though, it’s all about rediscovery!

[14:13] Jake: true

[14:13] Jake: ok

[14:13] Jake: say go

[14:14] Phil: go

Love Me Do

[14:14] Jake: this is mono.

[14:14] Jake: and it’s apparently a needledrop

[14:14] Jake: since the masters have been lost

[14:15] Phil: right, which is interesting in itself

[14:15] Jake: yeah

[14:15] Jake: poor ringo, dissed again

[14:16] Phil: given what a machine EMI was/is I am surprised anything gets lost

[14:16] Jake: do you hear ANY diff with the drumming between this and the “official” version?

[14:16] Phil: yeah, it sounds tepid

[14:16] Jake: they redid it better, why keep the inferior version!

From Me To You

[14:16] Phil: big echo!

[14:16] Jake: wow, big difference sonically

[14:16] Jake: fake stereo

[14:17] Jake: sounds terrible

[14:17] Phil: yes

[14:17] Phil: guitars in left channel are cool to hear though

[14:17] Phil: guitar and harmonica sound cool together

[14:18] Jake: yeah, i suppose it’s cool to have these

[14:18] Phil: but the fake stereo has to go and that echo sounds digital, which I am pretty sure it is (from ’87)

Thank You Girl

[14:18] Phil: I love this song

[14:18] Jake: again with fake stereo

[14:18] Jake: yes, good overlooked song though

[14:18] Phil: just one step removed from a skiffle song

[14:20] Phil: whoa, what is that weird echo pan?

[14:20] Phil: hear it at the end?

[14:20] Jake: i don’t know but it’s weird

[14:20] Jake: cool harmonica bit at the end

[14:20] Phil: yeah

[14:20] Jake: not on the mono

She Loves You

[14:21] Jake: also mono: the stereo master has been lost

[14:21] Jake: so weird

[14:21] Jake: the two-track tapes lost

[14:21] Phil: very weird

[14:21] Phil: and you can totally tell on these

I’ll Get You

[14:23] Jake: “oh yeah, oh yeah”

[14:23] Phil: Oh yeah

[14:23] Phil: great harmonies

[14:24] Jake: george sounds great

[14:24] Jake: you can totally hear him in there

[14:24] Jake: even in mono

[14:24] Phil: George is awesome

[14:24] Phil: so cool

[14:24] Phil: snide

I Want to Hold Your Hand

[14:25] Phil: Paul coming in on vox sounds cool

[14:25] Jake: this is an exciting song

[14:25] Jake: i don’t care what anybody says

[14:25] Jake: the handclaps

[14:25] Phil: Yes, you can see how it sparked everything

[14:25] Jake: the guitars

This Boy

[14:27] Phil: Blew my mind the other day

[14:27] Phil: Oh yes…those harmonies

[14:27] Jake: yep

[14:28] Phil: Shit. Listen to that bass drum

[14:28] Phil: BOOM

[14:28] Phil: BOOM BOOM

Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand

[14:30] Phil: Kraut Rock

[14:30] Jake: silly

[14:30] Phil: marketing

[14:30] Jake: funny though that this is stereo

[14:30] Phil: yes

[14:30] Phil: wtf?

[14:30] Jake: oh wait, it’s she loves you that’s been lost

[14:30] Jake: or whatever

[14:31] Jake: still goofy

[14:31] Phil: goofy

Sie Liebt Dich

[14:32] Phil: Dudes did owe a lot to Germany

[14:32] Jake: i don’t speak german but these guys sound like they don’t either

[14:33] Phil: ha!

[14:33] Phil: they knew how to say “take your shirt off”

[14:33] Jake: good enough

[14:34] Phil: Paul said it with his eyes

[14:34] Phil: John didn’t ask

Long Tall Sally

[14:34] Phil: Oh hell yes: Long Tall Sally

[14:34] Phil: I stopped listening to this stuff a while ago

[14:34] Phil: I am back

[14:35] Jake: yeah

[14:35] Jake: it is good

[14:35] Jake: so energetic

[14:35] Phil: great screamer

[14:35] Jake: i mean, sometimes i think the who and stones have made us think the beatles were soft

[14:35] Phil: of course

[14:35] Phil: listen to this and I’m Down and they can eat it

[14:35] Jake: they were clearly not going for maximum r&b

[14:36] Jake: but dude. little richard

[14:36] Jake: come on

[14:36] Phil: oh yeah

[14:36] Phil: they owe him some coin

I Call Your Name

[14:43] Jake: cowbell!

[14:43] Phil: makes you nod your head, doesn’t it

[14:43] Phil: Some great George solo

[14:43] Phil: loved that electric 12-string

[14:43] Jake: oh yeah

[14:44] Phil: who doesn’t?

Slow Down

[14:45] Jake: hey, you wrote this song

[14:45] Jake: !

[14:45] Phil: hey!

[14:46] Jake: john’s got a great scream

[14:46] Phil: oh yeah

[14:46] Phil: scary

[14:46] Phil: “Weeeeelllll…”

[14:47] Phil: His vox on this song are killer


[14:47] Jake: beatles loved carl perkins

[14:47] Phil: Oh yeah

[14:48] Phil: wanted to have his babies–like Visser

[14:48] Phil: It’s sound advice though: If you don’t want my peaches, honey, please don’t shake my tree

[14:48] Phil: Can’t argue with that

[14:48] Jake: country rock

[14:49] Phil:

[14:49] Jake: the stones and who wouldn’t get how great country music was until the 70s

[14:49] Phil: right

I Feel Fine

[14:49] Jake: perfect intro

[14:49] Phil: f-ing awesome

[14:49] Jake: god the high hat

[14:50] Phil: Ringo leaps ahead musically

[14:50] Jake: that riff though

[14:50] Jake: so fucking cool

[14:50] Phil: that’s a weird drum part

[14:50] Phil: so great

[14:50] Jake: i’d say it swings!

[14:51] Phil: indeed

[14:51] Jake: this is a perfect song

She’s a Woman

[14:52] Phil: Paul channeling Elvis

[14:53] Phil: liking the separation

[14:53] Jake: and little richard

[14:53] Phil: yes

[14:53] Phil: they were the same person, no?

[14:53] Phil: did YOU ever see them together?

[14:53] Jake: ha

Bad Boy

[14:55] Jake: this is my favorite john lennon vocal ever

[14:55] Jake: EVER

[14:55] Phil: tough!

[14:55] Phil: this guy will beat your ass

[14:55] Phil: for early stuff I love this and Mr. Moonlight for John’s vocals

[14:56] Jake: “til she’s ready to poop”

[14:56] Phil: poop!

[14:56] Jake: love that

[14:56] Phil: great back-beat on this song

[14:56] Phil: awesome keyboard back there

[14:56] Phil: probably that wacky Vox they had on stage

[14:57] Jake: i don’t hear it

[14:57] Phil: oh, it was way back there in the solo

[14:57] Jake: ah

Yes It Is

[14:57] Jake: i love this song

[14:57] Phil: When John gets down in this song it kills

[14:57] Phil: you know what I am talking about

[14:57] Jake: i love that volume pedal

[14:57] Jake: h likes it too

[14:57] Jake: he goes “waaah waaah”

[14:57] Phil: great song

[14:57] Phil: reminds me of Bill

[14:58] Phil: we used to sing this in his basement

[14:58] Phil: practicing harmonies

[14:58] Jake: yeah

[14:58] Phil: I was John, natch

[14:58] Phil: Bill was a good teacher for that sort of stuff

[14:58] Jake: i hate in the anthology version of this how it starts out acoustic and then they blend in the full band version

[14:59] Phil: yeah


[14:59] Phil: fer real

[14:59] Jake: i don’t care if it falls apart

[14:59] Phil: we HAVE the full band version

[14:59] Jake: yeah

[14:59] Jake: “oh yes it is!”

[14:59] Phil: that was it

[14:59] Phil: that part

[14:59] Jake: oh yeah

I’m Down

[15:00] Phil: here we go!

[15:00] Phil: kill it, Paul

[15:00] Jake: yes.

[15:00] Phil: I have no idea what he’s saying in half this song

[15:00] Jake: they decided “why pay little richard royalties when we can write our own song?”

[15:00] Phil: works for me

[15:02] Jake: that’s the end of disc one

[15:02] Jake: glad we listened to it

Video: The Beatles – “I’m Down” (Shea Stadium)

Day Tripper

[15:03] Jake: best riff ever?

[15:04] Phil: this is a perfect song

[15:04] Jake: don’t love how the vocals are recorded

[15:04] Jake: is that echo, or what?

[15:05] Phil: don’t know

[15:05] Jake: this is MULTI-track though, isn’t it?

[15:05] Phil: I love that crescendo: “Ahhh ahhhh ahhhhhhhhhhhh!”

[15:05] Jake: oh yeah

[15:06] Phil: yes, the vocals are a bit muddled

[15:06] Phil: muddy

[15:06] Phil: I’ll listen in mono and see what gives

We Can Work it Out

[15:06] Phil: One of my fave Macca songs

[15:06] Jake: another great song

[15:06] Phil: I love this song

[15:07] Jake: love that air organ, or whatever it is

[15:07] Phil: yes

[15:08] Phil: tried to get that on “Such Sweet Sorrow”

Paperback Writer

[15:09] Phil: best bass on tape

[15:09] Jake: the bass finally gets the respect it deserves

[15:10] Jake: frere jacques

[15:10] Jake: love that

[15:10] Phil: I have no idea what you are talking about

[15:11] Phil: speak english

[15:11] Jake: the backing vocals. they’re saying “frere jacques”

[15:11] Jake: you’ve never heard that?

[15:11] Phil: they do?

[15:11] Phil: no

[15:11] Phil: never

[15:11] Phil: not even just now

[15:11] Jake: let’s go back

[15:11] Jake: ready?

[15:11] Phil: go

Paperback Writer (again)

[15:11] Jake: i’ll point it out

[15:12] Jake: get ready for it

[15:12] Jake: right there

[15:12] Phil: I hear it!

[15:12] Phil: hahahahahaha

[15:13] Phil: that’s really funny

[15:13] Jake: smoke pot smoke pot

[15:13] Phil: bunch a highons

[15:13] Jake: tit tit tit tit

[15:13] Phil: hilarious


[15:14] Jake: RINGO!

[15:14] Jake: this has to go on the ringo list

[15:14] Jake: the whole damn song

[15:14] Phil: oh yeah, a showcase for ringo

[15:14] Jake: jesus, he’s awesome

[15:14] Phil: yes, awesome

[15:15] Phil: and gets so little respect from the masses

[15:15] Phil: Like he was lucky to have been there

[15:16] Jake: seriously

[15:16] Jake: oh but that bass!

[15:16] Jake: damn!

[15:16] Jake: so perfect

[15:16] Jake: nair!

Lady Madonna

[15:17] Phil: I can’t believe Lady Madonna was recorded around the same time as Revolver

[15:17] Phil: it sounds so much later to me

[15:17] Phil: White Album

[15:18] Phil: which I know wasn’t THAT much later in the timeline, but musically it seems further down the road

[15:18] Jake: is there nothing between pbwriter/rain and this?

[15:18] Phil: see what I mean?

[15:18] Phil: seems weird, doesn’t it?

[15:18] Jake: yes

[15:19] Jake: wait a sec

[15:19] Jake: singles-wise, nothing

[15:19] Jake: but there was a TON between

[15:19] Phil: But when it was recorded

[15:19] Phil: lady madonna was in the same session as Hey Bulldog, no?

[15:19] Jake: pb writer: 13 April 1966

[15:20] Jake: lady madonna: February 1968

[15:20] Phil: released, right?

[15:20] Jake: released in march

[15:20] Jake: recorded in feb

[15:20] Phil: I need to know when it was recorded and what else was recorded around then

[15:20] Jake:

[15:20] Phil: Recorded Feb ’68

[15:20] Phil: hmmm

[15:20] Phil: so it is a ways down the road

[15:21] Phil: in both senses

[15:21] Jake: yeah

Inner Light

[15:21] Jake: another george trip to india

[15:21] Phil: I loved this song when I first heard it

[15:21] Jake: this is my least fave of the three

[15:21] Phil: it’s energetic

[15:21] Jake: remember when past masters came out?

[15:21] Phil: sure I do

[15:21] Jake: hearing this shit for the first time

[15:22] Jake: amazing

[15:22] Phil: Vikki had it before I did

[15:22] Jake: aw yeah, vikki had it

[15:22] Phil: fer real

Hey Jude

[15:22] Phil: D sings this all the time

[15:22] Phil: he loves this song

[15:22] Phil: makes me proud

[15:22] Jake: don’t make it bad.

[15:22] Jake: you were made to go out and get her

[15:22] Jake: don’t be afraid

[15:22] Jake: i think paul was singing to you about vikki

[15:23] Phil: and then channeled through your mama

[15:23] Jake: what?

[15:23] Phil: she was the one whom told me not to be a dope

[15:23] Phil: “It’s so obvious, Phil…”

[15:23] Jake: oh

[15:23] Jake: ha

[15:23] Jake: i thought you meant my mom told you to seal the deal

[15:24] Phil: ha, jesus…

[15:24] Phil: imagine

[15:24] Phil: good god

[15:24] Jake: shit i’ve got to go in 5 min.

[15:24] Phil: me too

[15:24] Phil: last song

[15:25] Jake: kinda fitting

[15:25] Jake: good song to go out on

[15:25] Phil: yes

[15:25] Phil: epic

[15:26] Jake: you know it didn’t get this song at all? elvis

[15:26] Jake: his version sucks

[15:26] Phil: yes

[15:26] Phil: got stuck on the “Ju ju juudy judyy…”

[15:26] Phil: he loved that bit

[15:27] Phil: missed the rest of the song

[15:27] Jake: i can dig that

[15:27] Jake: my favorite part

[15:27] Jake: is the part

[15:27] Jake: where paul goes: “jude? hey jude? WAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

[15:27] Phil: yeah like he lost Jude for a minute and then found him again

[15:28] Jake: totally

[15:28] Phil: I love the yeahs at the end

[15:28] Jake: or he’s got something really important to tell him

[15:28] Jake: and that turns out to be: “WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

[15:28] Phil: hahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaa

[15:28] Phil: he’s losing his shit

[15:28] Phil: OK, I am out

[15:29] Jake: me too.

[15:29] Phil: I am currently away from my computer.

We picked up where we left off a few days later…


[15:23] Jake: goddamn that guitar and scream are perfect

[15:23] Phil: I hear the lead guitar is “tougher” on the mono mix

[15:23] Phil: this sounds pretty evil already

[15:23] Jake: did you know that ALL singles in the US were mono?

[15:23] Jake: isn’t that crazy?

[15:23] Phil: “Something” even?

[15:24] Phil: the Abbey Road stuff?

[15:24] Phil: that’s a crime

[15:24] Jake: i dunno

[15:24] Jake: looking for a source

[15:24] Jake: i like how the double track vocals just sort of come in and out

[15:24] Jake: love that solo

[15:24] Phil: yes, much clearer now that it’s double-tracked

[15:25] Phil: and that solo KILLS

[15:25] Phil: all howling

[15:25] Jake: and the piano sounds great back there

[15:25] Phil: yes, and the drums sound more “room” miced than close miced

[15:25] Jake: all right!

Get Back (single mix)

[15:26] Jake: i can never remember what the difference is

[15:26] Jake: between this and the album version

[15:26] Phil: I like the interplay of the guitar and Billy’s electric piano part

[15:26] Jake: yes

[15:26] Phil: the separation helps on that

[15:26] Phil: little trills and punches

[15:27] Phil: “ooh, get back Joe!”

[15:27] Phil: that piano part is phat

[15:27] Phil: plain and simple

[15:27] Phil: gives this song that needed bit of soul

[15:27] Jake: yeah, great decision to bring in an outsider

[15:27] Phil: like the ray Charles song it wants to be

[15:28] Phil: right there is where they switch to studio tracks, no?

[15:28] Phil: right to the fade

[15:28] Jake: no idea

Don’t Let Me Down

[15:29] Phil: Maybe my favorite Lennon vocal

[15:29] Jake: i love this song

[15:29] Phil: loose harmonies

[15:29] Jake: and paul is so great on it

[15:29] Phil: so f-ing boss

[15:29] Phil: such a great performance all-around

[15:30] Jake: oh yeah

[15:30] Phil: listen to George’s guitar in the verses

[15:30] Phil: that is god damn perfect arranging!

[15:30] Phil: so tight

[15:30] Phil: Paul and George playing that counter melody on the “I’m in love for the first time…”

[15:31] Phil: this song is perfectly constructed

[15:31] Phil: Macca’s bass sounds so dope

[15:31] Phil: the haters can eat that!

[15:31] Jake: the overdriven vocals on and “she done me”

[15:31] Jake: love that

[15:32] Phil: here comes The Scream

[15:32] Jake: paul!

[15:32] Jake: both of them screaming

[15:32] Phil: that scream and the chick wiggin’ out on “Gimme Shelter” are two of my favorite freakouts on record

Ballad of John and Yoko

[15:33] Phil: John was right

[15:33] Jake: this songs scoots!

[15:33] Phil: you know it ain’t easy

[15:33] Jake: this is all john and paul

[15:34] Phil: I oike those wiggly guitar parts going back in forth in the right and the left channels

[15:34] Phil: sounds like Paul’s drumming

[15:34] Jake: “only trying to get us some peace! christ, you know it ain’t easy”

[15:34] Jake: i love that

[15:34] Jake: i love paul’s bg vox. he sounds INTO it.

[15:34] Phil: I can hear Carlos and Pete doing this

[15:34] Jake: that maraca sounds very present in this

[15:35] Jake: oh man, i’d love to hear a Libs cover of this

[15:35] Jake: it’d be perfect

[15:35] Phil: can’t you hear it??

[15:35] Phil: awesome

[15:35] Phil: right down to that guitar outro

Old Brown Shoe

[15:36] Phil: Ringo is awesome on this song

[15:36] Jake: why do the vocals sound like that?

[15:36] Jake: so lo-fi?

[15:36] Phil: great fills and cymbal crashes

[15:36] Phil: I have to wonder if the vocal is from a rehearsal track

[15:36] Phil: maybe George just dug his performance so they kept it

[15:36] Phil: it’s distant

[15:36] Jake: george never got any respect

[15:36] Phil: almost off-mic

[15:37] Phil: “hey!

[15:37] Jake: they didn’t let him use the good room

[15:37] Phil: I love the sound of that guitar through a leslie

[15:37] Jake: oh yeah

[15:37] Jake: and there’s an organ back there

[15:37] Phil: interesting how clearly you can hear the second guitar flwon in on the end of that solo

[15:38] Jake: yeah. it’s right there.

[15:38] Phil: I like that old-timey piano in my right ear

[15:38] Jake: yep

[15:38] Jake: that low guitar part (bass?) is awesome

[15:38] Phil: the whole mix of this song is weird, like it was a demo mix that they decided to release

Across the Universe (chirpy version)

[15:39] Jake: this is hippie drivel

[15:39] Phil: ha

[15:39] Jake: come on

[15:40] Phil: nothing’s gonna change my world…wanna bet?

[15:40] Jake: oh man

[15:40] Phil: is this only John?

[15:40] Jake: i don’t like those little girly background vocals either

[15:40] Jake: could be

[15:41] Phil: backing vox are Apple Scruffs, no?

[15:41] Phil: I am so out of practice on my Beatle mythology, it’s sad

[15:41] Phil: 16 year old me would be so disappointed

[15:41] Jake: ha. you’d be laughed out of beatlefest

[15:41] Phil: rightly so

[15:41] Phil: but I’d get laid afterwards

[15:42] Phil: still a weird song and I’m not moved to like it anymore than ever

[15:42] Jake: ha

[15:42] Jake: me neither

[15:42] Phil: no Sgt. Pepper revelation here

Let It Be

[15:43] Jake: single version

[15:43] Phil: Paul really does have a lovely voice

[15:43] Jake: i know this has a different guitar solo than the album version

[15:43] Phil: it goes without saying…but I said it

[15:43] Jake: but again it’s one of those things i never notice

[15:43] Jake: (the guitar solo, not the voice)

[15:43] Phil: yes

[15:43] Jake: the voice is 100% awesome

[15:44] Phil: Piano, electric piano, guitar>>>pipe organ

[15:44] Phil: nice

[15:44] Jake: it’s easy to forget what a good song this really is

[15:45] Phil: yes and what a subtle, but important addition Billy was to these songs

[15:45] Phil: George had the best tones, period

[15:46] Phil: those bad ass SGs

[15:46] Jake: john had the best coat though

[15:46] Phil: yes

[15:46] Jake: on the rooptop

[15:46] Phil: furry

[15:46] Jake: that awesome fur thing

[15:46] Phil: George’s was sweet too though

[15:46] Jake: looks like he got attacked by a yeti

[15:46] Jake: i love that

You Know My Name

[15:47] Phil: Enter: Vikki

[15:47] Phil: reminds me of her every time

[15:47] Jake: should we just talk about her ?

[15:47] Phil: she had Past Masters before I did

[15:47] Jake: yep

[15:47] Phil: yes, I am

[15:47] Phil: anyhow…

[15:47] Jake: i so clearly remember you playing this for me without telling me who it was

[15:48] Phil: I remember taping her CD and playing it in Monte

[15:48] Phil: “Guess who this is…”

[15:48] Jake: ha

[15:48] Phil: It was so weird to have a Beatles song we’d never heard before.

[15:48] Jake: yeah

[15:48] Phil: I mean, we were EXPERTS

[15:48] Jake: and such a goofy song

[15:48] Jake: paul is hilarious

[15:48] Phil: they were goons

[15:49] Jake: exactly

[15:49] Phil: I mean, they put this out as a legit B-side

[15:49] Phil: WTF?!?!?

[15:49] Jake: yeah

[15:50] Jake: i recently read that john wanted to release this with “what’s the new mary jane”

[15:50] Jake: as a plastic one band single

[15:50] Phil: did he not want to sell records?

[15:50] Phil: I am sure EMI loved that idea

[15:50] Jake: they even sent out a press release

[15:50] Jake: and assigned it an apple records catalog #

[15:50] Phil: ooops

[15:51] Phil: <end>

[15:51] Jake: yeah, but they put THAT on the b-side of the lovely let it be

[15:51] Jake: i mean, come on

[15:51] Phil: John always roughing up the edges

[15:51] Jake: john was clearly done with that band

[15:52] Phil: he was always a bit of an over compensator

[15:52] Phil: all the screaming and howling and willful weirdness

[15:52] Phil: God love him…

[15:52] Jake: indeed

[15:53] Phil: too bad he’s in hell

[15:53] Jake: ha

Video: The Beatles – “Rain”


The Beatles: Amazon, Insound, wiki

7 thoughts on “The Beatles – Past Masters [2009 Stereo Remaster]”

  1. FYI…

    I don’t know who used my name, but I didn’t post that comment about “what does it feel like to kill a man”.

  2. I didn’t use your name. Mine is spelled differently. Note the “e” in mine as opposed to the “i” in yours. Back to carting Butch’s sweaty ass around.

  3. Just a personal opinion on these “remasters”…

    Is it just me, or has anyone else noted that in order to get the “richer tones”, they’ve slowed down the recordings?

    The beats are marginally, but completely off.



  4. This isn’t a simple answer. In many cases (from what I’ve heard), the original CDs were mastered at incorrect speeds, and are corrected this time around. But if the speed of the remastered CD differs significantly from the original LP, you might have a point. I’m sure someone a hell of a lot geekier about the Beatles can fill you in.

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