So, last week I picked up the remastered Beatles box set. Wanting to get into the groove with it, I started listening from Please, Please Me through the entire catalog in chronological order.
I didn't actually make it the whole way...I stopped for a break after Magical Mystery Tour for a listen to Damn Yankee's self-titled debut. Yeah I know, I almost stripped the gears on that shift.
The mixes on all the albums are really clear, as advertised. However, the early records, frankly, lack the technical "punch" that make you sit up and go, "wow!" I mean, really...they were recorded on 4 tracks in the early 60's, they simply cannot hold up to even "minimalist" productions we hear now. I always chuckle at how on, say, the first four records, ALL the vocals are on the right track for every song. It's a nice time capsule for a production team that wasn't thinking about stereo mixes, at all, and was so limited in what they had to work with.
The really revelatory moment, for me, came during Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, on the track "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," I suddenly heard the bassline. I was kind of in awe, I had never in my life really heard that bassline, of course it was there, but it was very interesting and kind of left-field. So, that was my first "sit up and say,'wow'" moment.
I'm going to jump back in to The Beatles (a.k.a The White Album) sometime in the next few days, and just ride it out to the end. It's a great ride, I gotta say, but, man, pace yourself, it's easy to overload on the Fab Four.