Because I’m an individual with limited impulse control, I tend to unwrap the Christmas presents from my family (who live halfway across the country) as soon as they arrive. And man was there some awesome stuff this year!
It seems it was the Year I Got Beatles Stuff. My grandmother gave me a rather nifty Beatles wall calendar. Mom got me a Beatles Christmas ornament and an Eskimo Joe’s t-shirt with a Beatles theme (Joe, his dog, a polar bear, and a moose crossing…well, not Abbey Road, actually, but the street in front of Eskimo Joe’s, which is pretty clever, really). And, the coup de gras, the Beatles Box Set: all thirteen original albums (well, Magical Mystery Tour is American version of the record rather than the British because the British version was just an EP of a half dozen songs and the American version has been the standard since the Beatles catalog was issued on CD back in 1987) plus the two Past Masters discs (non-album singles…mmm, non-album singles). And holy crap, does this stuff sound good.
I know a lot of people (myself included) have been clamoring for a remastered edition of the Beatles albums for the past ten or fifteen years (I mean, the original CD issues were from ’87, when CD remastering was still in its infancy, and the sound quality on those original CDs, while not bad, is pretty weak sauce compared to the technological improvements that’ve been made since. I mean, listen to the remastered Dylan or Van Morrison or Elvis Costello stuff to see what a difference it can make). Let me tell you, the wait was worth it. The only better way to hear these albums now is to bust out the vinyl. I’m really excited to use my new Bose headphones to give these a close listen, because even through my laptop speakers these songs sound amazing.