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Beatles Anthology audio newly remastered for streaming

The three Beatles Anthology albums have been made available on streaming services for the first time.

The three compilations consisted of outtakes and demos from across the band’s entire career and the double albums were released over a year, starting in November 1995. In America the Fab Four chalked up three more number ones although only Anthology 2 reached the top spot in the UK. Free As A Bird, the single that featured the ‘Threetles’ adding to a John Lennon demo, was also kept off of number one by Michael Jackson‘s Earth Song. A second (and final single) Real Love (utilising another Lennon demo) peaked at number four in Britain.

The music is now ‘live’ on many services, including Deezer, Prime Music, Spotify, Tidal and others. For the SDE reader, what is significant is that these albums have been remastered at Abbey Road Studios by the same team of engineers responsible for The Beatles’  2009 studio album remasters. I’m not a betting man, but one suspects physical reissues of these newly remastered sets are highly likely at some in the near future.

One question remains however, and that is, what is to become of the six Anthology-era tracks that were issued on the CD singles of Free As A Bird and Real Love? These bonus tracks were, and remain, exclusive to those releases and are now something of an anomaly. They aren’t on the streaming services, but might they be included as bonus tracks on some physical Anthology reissues? The version of Here, There and Everywhere on Real Love is particularly good. There aren’t many commercially released Beatles tracks unavailable in remastered form, but these are amongst them.


Free As A Bird bonus tracks

  1. I Saw Her Standing There (Lennon–McCartney) – 2:51
    • Recorded 11 February 1963 at EMI Studios, London
    • Produced by George Martin
    • This version (take 9) was recorded after the version released on the album Please Please Me (take 1). The introductory count-in from take 9 was edited onto the start of take 1 for the album.
  2. This Boy (Lennon–McCartney) – 3:17
    • Recorded 17 October 1963 at EMI Studios, London
    • Produced by George Martin
    • Two incomplete versions (takes 12 and 13), which both break down into laughter.
  3. Christmas Time (Is Here Again) – 3:02
    • Music recorded 28 November 1967 at EMI Studios, London; Christmas greetings recorded 6 December 1967 at EMI Studios, London

Real Love bonus tracks

  1. Baby’s in Black – 3:03
    • Recorded live at the Hollywood Bowl: 29 August 1965 (spoken introduction by John Lennon) and 30 August 1965 (song performance).
  2. Yellow Submarine – 2:48
    • Recorded at EMI Studios, London: 26 May and 01 June 1966. A new remix with a previously unreleased “marching” introduction with the sound effects mixed higher in volume throughout
  3. Here, There and Everywhere – 2:23
    • Recorded at EMI Studios, London: 16 June 1966. This is a combination of take 7 (a mono mix of the basic track with Paul’s guide vocal) with a 1995 stereo remix of the harmony vocals as overdubbed onto take 13 superimposed at the end.

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37 responses to Beatles Anthology audio newly remastered for streaming

  1. Andreas says:

    And please give us “Now and Then” on Anthology 3 :-) ….. Paul mentioned he might finish it off with Jeff Lynne (Documentary “Mr. Blue Sky”). In case of physical releases, Anthology 1 and 2 would definitely have enough space for these bonus tracks (but to be honest, I do not expect any bonus tracks on a Beatles release)…

  2. vikerii says:

    I was so disappointed when I heard Free As A Bird. Jeff Lynne took a beautiful and haunting demo and Wilbury-ized it. Same goes for Bryan Adams’ latest album and any other artist he produces. STOP HIRING JEFF LYNNE.

    • Andreas says:

      @vikerii, I don’t agree (although I understand not everyone likes his distinctive sound). I think no one else could have pulled off new Beatles tracks in this great way. I love when that guitar solo and the harmony voices kick in. In fact I like both 90s tracks. And I do think they sound very “beatly”.

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        I had a problem with the drum sound at the time, but tend to agree with you Andreas. Jeff Lynne is a brilliant songwriter, musician and producer.

        • vikerii says:

          I’m really looking forward to the full sets being released on CD. I remember being completely amazed when I first heard “In Spite of All the Danger”. What a great song. And with the roughness of the recording, I really felt like I was hearing a piece of Beatles history. Can’t wait for these to come out.

          One final note about Mr. Lynne. He IS an amazing songwriter and musician. I first got introduced to ELO from the Xanadu soundtrack of all places! That got me hooked, and I became a fan. Fast forward to Jeff Lynne the producer, and that’s where I get frustrated. To me, the best producers help the artists achieve the artists’ goals for the albums… and get the sounds they are hearing in their heads onto tape. No one can genuinely convince me that any artist would say “I want our next album to blend in with ELO’s catalog.”

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            You have a point, but ‘the artist’ in 1994 was a tricky beast. With one or two big egos. Like it or not, Jeff does have his ‘sound’ but his stature, skills, his affability and the fact that he’d already worked with George Harrison (and later Paul, of course) meant he was in a unique position to make it work. The romantic in me would have liked to see George Martin work on those tracks, but not having the baggage of the all that time together in the 1960s may well have been a plus point for Jeff. I suspect the fact that John had said nice things about ELO in the 1970s with reference to the Beatles must have helped too.

        • Adam shaw says:

          Agree Paul , that drum sound just makes it a Jeff Lyn record , but I think if you blame any one then it has to be George as he wanted him to produce them .

      • DaveM says:

        Andreas I agree as well. The work Jeff Lynne did with George is great and lets not forget how brilliant Paul’s Flaming Pie is without being overtly ELO. Looking forward to seeing JLs ELO in Leeds on Saturday to hear is own genius.

  3. Michael says:

    I really hope the three anthologies get a remastered physical release. I read a while back that they had been remastered for iTunes but would not get a re-release unlike The Beatles At The Beeb CD’s. So here’s hoping.

  4. Jason Paskowitz says:

    Of course they’re going to

  5. Michel D. says:

    I would buy the cds in a flash so yes please release this on cd!!

  6. DaveM says:

    Physical release please, been waiting since 2009:(

  7. Richie says:

    Count me in, my Beatles shelf is being expanded on a monthly basis. I must have at least 4 versions of every album on CD/LP, not to mention, but I have, 42 CDs of er, unrecognised providence on the way, so I reckon there will be room for 3 double Anthology remasters, oh I forgot, 3 treble LPs. I think I have a problem. And so do YOU!

  8. DaveR says:

    Did they actually remaster Anthology again? It was digitally remastered back in 2011 when it was first put on iTunes for purchase as a digital download. The story back at that time was that the remastered Anthology would not be made available as a physical release. If Anthholgy was remastered again, then maybe we really are getting closer to a physical release which would be great.

    • Tim Lindsay says:

      This is the same remaster, basically, as that which was undertaken in 2011 for iTunes (also repackaged at the time as a digital ‘Box Set’ and a ‘Highlights’ release). Only now it’s available across all streaming services — which is good for me because I get to hear it in lossless on Tidal HiFi.

  9. Andy says:

    Can’t believe it’s over twenty years since these came out. I got all three back in the day – each on lovely triple vinyl packages.

    • Simon F says:

      …And so did I, along with the two singles on CD, so I’ve got the lot and I’m buggered if I’ll buy them all over again….

  10. Stefano says:

    Thanks for this information Paul. I didn’t know.
    I already asked http://www.Qobuz.com if Anthology 1, 2 and 3 they offer in WAV are indeed the newly remasters or just the original 1995 versions.

  11. David Bricknell says:

    If my memory serves me well I seem to recall George Harrison insisted at the time that George Martin was “too old” and “his hearing was no longer up to the task”. I think Harrison used this criticism of Martin to support his existing stated prerequisite that Jeff Lynn produce any “new” tracks based on Lennon’s home demos provided by Yoko.

    On a side note, here’s my George Harrison story that comes out at dinner parties…

    Some time in the mid 90’s my wife was at the Hyatt Hotel food court in Collins St, Melbourne with her sisters and spotted her “favourite” Beatle having a casual meal with a bunch of famous Formula One drivers who were in town for the annual Melbourne Grand Prix race held at Albert Park.

    Apparently George used to quietly slip into Melbourne every year for the race as he was a well-known F1 nut. Not one to usually become star-struck or ever think to ask for an autograph, she approached their table with her sisters and broke both these rules with the attitude of “what the hell, it’s a Beatle!!! And…it’s my favourite Beatle!!!”

    When asked for his autograph, George said he would only provide it if he could sign her (very tight) t-shirt! She told him no way and produced one of her business cards. He then signed his name and drew a picture of her boobs on the back of the card!

    Cheeky, but true….

  12. joedick says:

    Ohhhh…I’d love to get remastered Anthology sets in slimmer, sleeker packaging, similar with what they did with BBC. Plus a box set of all 3!

    The Beatles have a big release every Christmas, so this is bound to make it out eventually (probably this year).

  13. Philip Cohen says:

    Remastered versions of Anthology Vols. 1,2 & 3 have also been offered by MP3, AAC & Lossless download sellers, but WITHOUT the bonus tracks. By the way, the bonus tracks are from the “Real Love” & “Free as a Bird” CD singles that were released back in the 1990’s.
    And, of course, the remasters are also available at unofficial download sites. I’m undecided whether or not to use(possibly waste) 6 CD-R’s to determine whether the remasters are audibly better than the three original 1990’s 2-CD sets. I’ll wait to read feedback from others.

  14. Mark says:

    Any chance you could ask some of your contacts at Universal if there’s a chance for a physical CD release of these, Paul?

  15. Wayne Klein says:

    I have the bonus tracks from the CD singles.

    I would also love to see these remastered along with a blu-Ray release (or 4K) of Anthology.

    In addition they should include audio for the tracks George, Paul and Ringo played together.

    Come on Apple make it happen!

    • Mike the Fish says:

      I’m not sure what there would be to gain about going to HD or 4K. The original edit is likely SD (and there’s some pretty low quality footage in there too). Unless they went for new transfers of everything (much of which would be way below 4k anyway), and reconformed the new clips to the original edit decision list (possible to automate, possible to go terribly wrong when automated), it would likely all be upscaled, but the disc menus would probably look great if that’s what you’re after.

  16. Paul says:

    They will undoubtedly be in those digipak eco-friendly packages similar to Past Masters and Red and Blue sets when they come back out.

  17. Tim says:

    It will be a bit ambitious to re-release Anthology 1,2,3 together on CDs this year, cause I think they need to save some room this year to release remastered/expanded Love (Cirque Du Soleil), and the upcoming Ron Howard’s Beatles Live (documentary movie) related product in late 2016. Don’t think they would want to flood the market with too many releases in the same year according to their past history. Time will tell.

  18. Pietro says:

    It would be great have expanded superdeluxeedition!

  19. Steve says:

    I can’t get too excited about streaming the Anthology albums. They aren’t that type of listening experience. I suppose this is for those unusual people whose main/only setup is digital or streaming music. ;)

    Agree with Pietro, a superb deluxe edition of Anthology would be great – audio, video, singles, exclusive silvery Beatle leather jacket! Well, maybe not the last.

    I’m not sure if Paul is in favor of the cardboard packages used since 2009, but I like them a lot – I think they look great and feel right in hand – better than jewel cases or the plastic tray/cardboard wrapper combos (like Universal’s deluxe editions).

    It would be humorous (to me) if Anthology was released in a mini-LP boxset. Funny because vinyl was never the primary format for these collections. Funny, but I’d still love it!

  20. Adrian Grove says:

    It would be good to have the Anthology all remastered in the same format as thr 2009 reissues. But could we also have THR BEATLES ANTHOLOGY ON BLU RAY, THE BEATLES AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL ON CD, LET IT BE ON DVD/BLURAY, LET IT BE….NAKED ON CD. I had hoped with Universal having the rights we would get more new product, all we have had is a revamped BEATLES 1 CD and 1 PLUS dvd/blu ray and THE BEATLES AT THE BBC VOL 2. I would like to suggest a CD reissue of the 1970 Let it Be Box set with the book. I hope Universal will make an effort with the 50th anniversary SGT PEPPER

  21. David Barron says:

    I hope that the remastered versions will be available on CD again with the songs from the singles. My guess will be is that they will become reissued on CD agan, then the Anthology documentary will become available on Blu-Ray.

  22. Gisabun says:

    The Anthologies CDs can still be found at half decent prices. I have the Free As a bird Cd, not Real Love. They’ll probably show up somewhere.
    As for the Anthologies, as they have been newly remastered, I would think it will be on CD again.
    I’m hoping the complete video set as well but on Blu-ray.

  23. Mick says:

    For starters, “remastered” likely only means louder, shrill-er, and lower DR.
    And any physical releases would probably be in those crappy digipacks.
    That said – I’ll stick with my original releases. My problem with the “Anthology” sets was all the live stuff. It really got in the way of the studio sessions IMHO. I ripped all the studio tracks (including the ones from the two singles) and put them on a USB drive. THAT’S my preferred “Anthology” listening experience.

    PS – if they’re re-released with any additional studio tracks that weren’t on the original releases, scratch all the above & expect me to be first on line to buy. ;-p

  24. ZoetMB says:

    In my opinion, these tracks don’t even really lend themselves to streaming. People who stream generally want to hear hits or music of a specific genre. These tracks are most definitely for collectors and rightly or wrongly, collectors want something in physical form especially something like this which is almost by definition, a collectible.

    I only ever bought one of the Anthology CD sets and I’ve been waiting forever for them to remaster them. If they put them out on CD, I’ll buy all three of them and if they put those extra tracks on them from the singles mentioned above, I won’t even wait for a sale. Here’s hoping that they not only get released on CD (and possibly LP), but that they put all three together into one really nicely packaged box.

    And if it’s possible, I’d also love to see the Anthology TV series remastered for Blu-ray. I don’t remember if any of it was shot on film or whether it’s all SD video.

  25. Adey says:

    I agree with Wayne, above. How about the anthology dvd set remastered on blu ray!

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