The Beatles' entire catalogue digitally re-mastered

Nearly 40 years after The Beatles split, their entire catalogue has been digitally re-mastered at Abbey Road Studios, although there is no agreement yet to make the Fab Four available on iTunes.

By Amanda Andrews
Last Updated: 9:15PM BST 07 Apr 2009
The Beatles at Candlestick Park, San Francisco in 1966: Beatles entire catalogue digitally re-mastered
The Beatles at Candlestick Park, San Francisco in 1966

With a little help from their friends in the technology department, The Beatles allegedly sound better than ever before.

t took a team of engineers four years, using state-of-the-art recording technology and vintage studio equipment to improve the sound while ensuring the "authenticity and integrity" of the original analogue recordings was not lost.
"The result of this painstaking process is the highest fidelity the catalogue has seen since its original release," Apple Corps and record label EMI said today.

However, despite the digital enhancement, no agreement has yet been reached to make The Beatles back catalogue available on Apple Inc's iTunes.

Sir Paul McCartney said late last year that he wants The Beatles' catalogue to appear on Apple's iTunes store, but that negotiations have currently "stalled".

"Discussions regarding the digital distribution of the catalogue will continue. There is no further information available at this time," said EMI and Apple Corps in a statement.

Industry sources said yesterday that the digital enhancement of the catalogue could pave the way for a future download deal with Apple or music streaming services.

The Beatles are already looking at a number of digital solutions for their music, with their branded edition of video game Rock Band available in September.

The re-mastered CD collection, which will be released on September 9, comprises all 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in the UK, and Magical Mystery Tour.

This is the first time that the first four albums will be available in stereo in their entirety on CD. These albums, along with a DVD collection of the documentaries, will also be available for purchase together in a boxed set.

Within each CD's new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes.

With the exception of the 'Past Masters' set, newly produced mini-documentaries on the making of each album, directed by Bob Smeaton, are included as QuickTime files on each album.

The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-heard studio chat from The Beatles.