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The reissue game is one of the few tricks the music industry has left, so it’s only natural that the Beatles would eventually get the treatment. Their complete catalog is being remastered and repackaged to be sold alongside The Beatles: Rock Band starting on September 9th. Naturally, the packaging is immaculate…but we can’t help but worry about what’s inside.

Mastering is more style than technology, and that style has trended towards the unlistenable in recent years. So putting some of the most beloved recordings in popular music back under the knife is enough to make anyone nervous. Apple Corp was involved in the reissue, so we can only hope Sir Paul kept the tracks from being too hopelessly compressed, but we won’t know until we hear them.

And even if the albums make it through unsquashed, there’s still one more Sgt. Pepper floating around than the world needs. There’s something to be said for definitive editions (just ask Ridley Scott), and for our money, there’s nothing wrong with the originals.

Of course, that doesn’t mean much stacked up against the bundle they’re likely to make this fall. But we wouldn’t get rid of your vinyl just yet.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom