As a present to myself I cashed in some of my Best Buy certificates and picked up the 5th anniversary edition of The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Sure, I have the album on vinyl, and on CD in both the stereo and mono box sets, so I really didn’t need to pick this ub, but then again, Yes, I did.
Alright, so the remastering itself is not what got me to spend the money. And it was not a small amount. Having the albums remastered (again) in both stereo and mono may be great for some but I can live with the mixes in the 2009 box sets. Then again, let’s see what I say about that after I listen to the (slightly) older versions and these newer ones in a comparative setting.
What piqued my interest was the three discs of extra material. Alright, so it’s actually 4, but I’m not including the DVD because the Blu-ray includes the same material. This six disc release of the album includes a new stereo mix on one disc, a new mono mix on another (with a few bonus tracks), two discs of outtakes, and then a video disc that is duplicated on DVD and Blu-ray.
Some of the material on the two discs of bonus material has been made available on the 1996 compilation Anthology 2, but now there’s a much more complete and almost comprehensive set of sonic vignettes that help the listener find out how the album came together.
On the DVD or Blu-ray disc we get a 5.1 surround sound mix of the album (which seems superfluous to me) and the promotional videos for “A Day In The Life”, “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” plus the 1992 documentary Making Sgt. Pepper (which, if I remember correctly was made for BBC television and runs just under an hour).
I have not listened to any of the discs, but I am eager to do so. Actually, and I know this is not going to be optimal conditions, but, I am going to listen to the box set on my way to vacation. We are driving to the Oregon coast and have a lengthy drive which is perfect for such an endeavor.
Since I am not listening to the album yet and can not give an opinion on its contents, I did however record my initial impressions upon opening the box set.