Don’t Ask Me What I Want It For

I know it’s probably verging on blasphemy for some when I say I’m really digging Giles Martin’s new stereo mix of Revolver. Thinking very seriously of grabbing it on vinyl.

3 Replies to “Don’t Ask Me What I Want It For”

  1. I have GM’s recent Abbey Road mix; it sounds very good to me despite the predictable online bitching. No reason to think anything would be wrong with Revolver, and every reason to think it would be better than the original stereo mix. What I can’t say is whether it’s better than the 2009 stereo remix (I haven’t heard it), which should also be way better than original. I’m guessing that the differences aren’t a deal breaker; they rarely are for any halfway sane person. But it might be fun to compare them.

    The mono mix of Revolver will always be my go-to because it wired my brain for this album from age 9 onwards, and anything else will sound slightly wrong. But I lived with the goofy original stereo mix on CD from the mid 80’s through 2009, and I emerged unscathed. First World problem.

    It also might be fun to compare the 2009 mono with an original mono lp, but not enough to pay the insane prices of originals. I’d predict that the 2009 is better anyway, as the original had to roll off more bass to make it playable on typical record players of the time.

  2. Correction: the 2009 releases were not remixes but remasters only. Sorry for the misinformation.

    I noticed this last night when I did some comparisons. I fished my 80’s Revolver CD from young Renfield’s room. I compared “Taxman” from that CD to the 2009 stereo release (via streaming). They are the same Stone-Age stereo mix, with the basic instrumental track panned hard left, and all overdubs panned hard right. Very annoying when you’re used to the mono mix. Of course I could have just Googled all this, which I did afterwards, and sure enough, the2009 is just a remaster, done to update the Iron-Age digital remasters of the 80’s.

    Then I compared the the 2009 stereo with the recent Giles Martin stereo remix (also via streaming). The GM slays the older stereo mix; there’s no contest.

    Then came the interesting part. I compared GM with the hallowed mono mix (I streamed the mono mix to keep things fair). The GM surpasses the mono in a couple of ways: it opens up the sound (as good stereo does), and there’s better instrumental definition. I think most people would prefer the GM stereo to the original mono. I still slightly prefer the mono, because it has that punchy, forward, midrangey sound that I’m used to in this music. I’m so conditioned by it that I cannot listen objectively.

    Two conclusions: I’m biased, so listen for yourself. If you want Revolver in stereo, GM’s your huckleberry.

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