Beatles revisited - in mono

The Beatles in 1963
The Beatles in 1963

John Murray on the enduring appeal of the Fab Four ...

The first week in October always has Beatles fans in Kirkcaldy looking back with a sense of nostalgia.

It was after all on October 6 in 1963 that the Fab Four played two shows in the old Carlton picture house in Gallatown.

Only this week I met someone else who was there and still the subject stirs up stories from those days.

Of course surely now all musical references to the boys have long been heard? After all they stopped touring in 1966 and finally broke up before 1970 had ended.

But no, the unquenchable thirst for things Beatles continues. This month the sound engineers went back to the master tapes again to produce a new master – but this time in mono.

They claim this is how John & Paul would have wanted it. In short, all UK released albums plus the US made LP for Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack plus an additional collection of non-album tracks will now be available in mono only and only on 180 gram vinyl with reproduced artwork like it used to be.

Back in the day The Beatles albums were made in both mono and stereo versions with varying degrees of rarity. Mono record players were the norm for young people back in 1963 whereas the parental generation would invest in a ‘stereogram’ which came in a long wooden cabinet designed to blend in with the furniture of the day.

They had stereo speakers at each end and a radio typically with AM, long wave and short wave should you ever wish to tune into shipping messages from your trendy home.

Collectors can also buy all 11 albums as a set and will get a 108 page hard back book ‘Beatles In Mono’ as a bonus.

I also hear that White Horse Pictures are about to document the touring years. Award winning director Ron Howard will oversee the project and has appealed for fans footage or audio from those years from 1963-66 and just 166 concerts.

Of course it all started with those early tours that included their visit to Kirkcaldy.