The Beatles

Mono Masters

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When the Beatles' catalog was remastered and reissued in 2009, it appeared as two separate box sets: one featuring all the group's stereo albums and one containing all the mono masters. Previously, the band's non-LP singles had been gathered for the two 1988 CD compilations Past Masters -- collections that were duly remastered and reissued as part of the stereo set -- but there was no analog for the mono singles, so The Beatles in Mono box contained a bonus album called The Mono Masters: two discs that collected the 34 non-LP mono singles. When it came time to release The Beatles in Mono on vinyl in 2014 -- both as a heavy-duty box set and as individual LPs -- this double-CD set was pressed as a triple-vinyl set. The Mono Masters doesn't follow Past Masters' track listing exactly, primarily because the singles released after 1966 didn't necessarily have mono mixes: there are no mono mixes for "Get Back" or "Let It Be," but there are mono versions of the new songs from the 1968 Yellow Submarine soundtrack, and they're all here. Perhaps this, along with the inclusion of the German singles of "Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand" and "Sie Liebt Dich," gives Mono Masters a slightly off-kilter feel, but it's a subtle one that's easy to ignore because the compilation overspills with great 45s, almost all of which sound better in their tight, punchy mono mixes. This means Mono Masters is not only a useful collection, it's an entertaining one as well.

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