In 1996 Sean Connery thriller The Rock, Nicolas Cage’s character spends $600 on a Beatles LP. When asked by a co-worker why he didn’t just spend $13 on the then-popular medium known as compact disc, Cage responds presciently. “Well, first of all, it’s because I’m a Beatlemaniac,” he offers, deadpan as always. “And second, these sound better.”
Cage’s character should be pleased on November 13, when, according to the New York Times, the Beatles’ remastered stereo albums will be reissued on vinyl. EMI previously released remastered versions on CD and as downloads in 2009. The 180-gram vinyl editions of all 12 of the Beatles’ British albums and their two-disc Past Masters set of singles and non-album tracks will be available separately or as a box set. Limited to 50,000 copies globally, the box will come with an LP-size, 252-page hardcover book by BBC producer Kevin Howlett.
All but two of the albums will use versions of the 2009 CD masters. Help! and Rubber Soul will be based on remixes that the Beatles’ producer, George Martin, helmed in 1986. The packages will replicate the vintage ’60s artwork.
Still, Cage’s cinematic Beatlemaniac might not be entirely pleased. The music on the LPs will have gone through a digitizing process, rather than being drawn from the original analog masters. The mono recordings of the albums, which also came out on CD three years ago, won’t be available on vinyl until 2013.
It isn’t yet clear how much Beatles fans will have to pay for the vinyl remasters, but it will probably be a lot less than Cage’s $600. An advance listing, since taken down, at Music Direct said the full box set would cost $399.99, as Beats Per Minute reported last week, but that has not been confirmed.
Meanwhile, a restored version of the Beatles’ 1967 film Magical Mystery Tour hits certain movie theaters starting today. A list of participating theaters is on the band’s website. A DVD release will follow on October 8, and according to the Guardian, it will include a commentary track from Paul McCartney. The Walrus speaks!