The Holy Vinyl Grail, Part 1 officially arrived in stores November 13. I was blessed to get the Beatles’ original studio album remasters stereo vinyl box delivered to me a full month early, and I still feel that I haven’t spent enough time with the 14 albums contained therein. (To paraphrase a song title, I’m no longer sleeping.) There is so much to love within and without this full-on 180-gram cavalcade. A deeper dive is forthcoming once the mono box set is in hand in early 2013, but I did zero in on a few touchstones. Paul McCartney’s loping bass line that fuels “Tax Man,” the opening track on Revolver: Check. The creaky chair heard at the apex of Sgt. Pepper’s “A Day in the Life”: Check. Ringo Starr’s squeaky drum pedal on, well, too many songs to mention: Check. I'll be grilling mastering engineer Sean Magee in the near future — for one thing, it is said that he used the original 24-bit remasters rather than the 16-bit versions that were required for CD production. In the meantime, four words: Get. This. Box. Now.
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