The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus*
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- This vintage British pressing was doing practically everything right, with both sides earning KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them
- An excellent source for many of the Beatles' greatest hits up to 1966 - with 8 songs per side you are geting a lot for your money with this one
- Several tracks, including "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Day Tripper," "We Can Work It Out," and "Paperback Writer" were given their first stereo mixes for this very album
- Amazing sound for "From Me to You," "We Can Work It Out," "Yesterday," "I Feel Fine," and the list goes on
- Marks in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these vintage LPs - there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you
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*NOTE: There are alternating marks that play at a moderate to loud level for approx. the first 1:00 of track 5 on side 1, "Michelle." There is also a mark that plays 18 times lightly near the start of the last track, "Yellow Submarine."
As is usually the case with compilations like this, there is quite a bit of variation in sound quality between tracks -- what works well for a song from 1963 may not quite suit a song from 1966 -- but from start to finish on both sides this record strikes a much better balance than most.
And the choice of songs is outstanding, with just the right mix -- almost as if you had compiled the thing yourself from all the best tunes from that era of The Beatles. They're almost all favorites of mine, and I hope yours too.
This collection has a number of songs that are not on the original British LPs: the first three on side one for starters; also "Can't Buy Me Love," "I Feel Fine," "Bad Boy," "Paperback Writer" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand."
Tubey Magic Is Key to the Best Songs
This vintage British pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to "see" the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It's what vintage all analog recordings are known for -- this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it -- not often, and certainly not always -- but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What The Best Sides Of A Collection of Beatles Oldies Have To Offer Is Not Hard To Hear
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes beginning in 1963
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there's more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
What We're Listening For On A Collection of Beatles Oldies
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren't "back there" somewhere, lost in the mix. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next -- wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information -- fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass -- which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency -- the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Where Can I Find Your Mono Beatles Records?
We do not sell Beatles records in mono.They spent time on the mono mixes because getting the levels right for all the elements in a recording is ten times harder than deciding whether an instrument or voice should be placed in the left, middle or right of the soundstage.
And they didn’t even do the stereo mixes right some of the time, in our opinion. But wall to wall beats all stacked up in the middle any day of the week.
If you like mono Beatles records you will have to do your own shootouts for them, because we have never heard a mono Beatles record sound good enough to compete with our Hot Stamper stereo pressings.
Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that's certainly your prerogative, but we can't imagine losing what's good about this music -- the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight -- just to hear it with less background noise.
The Tracklist tab above will take you to a select song breakdown for each side, with plenty of What to Listen For advice. Other records with track breakdowns can be found here.
A Tough Record to Play
A Collection of Beatles Oldies is a Difficult Record to Reproduce. Do not attempt to play it using anything other than the highest quality equipment.
Unless your system is firing on all cylinders, even our hottest Hot Stamper copies -- the Super Hot and White Hot pressings with the biggest, most dynamic, clearest, and least distorted sound -- can have problems. Your system should be thoroughly warmed up, your electricity should be clean and cooking, you've got to be using the right room treatments, and we also highly recommend using a demagnetizer such as the Walker Talisman on the record, your cables (power, interconnect and speaker) as well as the individual drivers of your speakers.
This is a record that's going to demand a lot from the listener, and we want to make sure that you feel you're up to the challenge. If you don't mind putting in a little hard work, here's a record that will reward your time and effort many times over, and probably teach you a thing or two about tweaking your gear in the process (especially your VTA adjustment, just to pick an obvious area many audiophiles neglect).
- She Loves You
- From Me to You
- We Can Work It Out
- I Feel Fine
- Yellow Submarine
This song will never be Demo Quality, but when it's mastered correctly using low-distortion cutting equipment, as it seems to be on the better copies, it can actually sound quite good.
One of the better test tracks for side one. The overall sound should be airy and spacious. On the best copies you'll hear lots of ambience around the harmonium. This is also one of our favorite songs from Paul McCartney's Unplugged, again with a wonderful sounding hamonium.
This track and Day Tripper were the first "double A sided single" The Beatles released, the two songs having been recorded during the Rubber Soul sessions. (Some good sessions those!)
When we did a shootout for Help! a little while back, we noticed that this song never sounded quite right on the Brit copies; the vocals had a hollow quality on every Brit copy we played. On this album it sounds MUCH closer to correct. The German Helps are still king for this song, but a good copy of this album is a close second.
- Can’t Buy Me Love
- Bad Boy
- Day Tripper
- A Hard Day’s Night
- Ticket to Ride
- Paperback Writer
- Eleanor Rigby
- I Want to Hold Your Hand
One of the best sounding tracks on the album. When this song is right, it REALLY ROCKS -- Demo Quality for sure.
The stereo mix of this song leaves much to be desired. We're waiting to be blown away by a superb mono mix.
One of the toughest tracks to get right. On almost every copy you'll have to deal with aggressive upper mids and at least a bit of distortion. It has some of that sound on the original album as well.
With a high-resolution copy you'll really hear the texture of the strings of the octet (four violins, two cellos, and two violas) accompanying Paul. On an exceptional copy it's pure magic. Paul's voice should be rich and full with lots of ambience.
It was Christmas time, 1966. Though hard at work on the beginnings of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, the Beatles had nothing for EMI to put out during the holiday season (aside from the annual Christmas record for the fan club). Revolver had come out in the first week of August, too early to exploit. What to do? So EMI issued this stopgap collection of 16 older recordings for the European market, in effect creating the first "Beatles Greatest Hits" album.
Actually, it's not a predictable hits anthology, for it omits obvious hit singles like "Please Please Me" and "Love Me Do," and includes popular album cuts like "Yesterday" and "Michelle" that were not issued as singles in the U.K. But it doesn't skimp on quantity, offering 16 songs instead of the usual 14, taking the saga all the way up to Revolver, and collecting some British singles into album format for the first time. As for English fanatics who simply had to have everything but might balk at purchasing an album entirely composed of retreads, EMI thought of them too, slipping in the Larry Williams song "Bad Boy" for the first time in Britain (it was included on Beatles VI in America in 1965).