The suspense over which album by the Beatles might be next in line to get a remix and bonus-filled boxed-set treatment is over: It’s officially “Revolver.”
Apple Corps and Universal Music have confirmed that a deluxe celebration of the 1966 release — which, like the Beatle boxes that have preceded it, will include a Giles Martin remix — is in the pipeline for this fall.
An official announcement of the project is not expected to come until some time in September, at which point details about the deluxe package’s contents and a release date will be forthcoming.
“Revolver” had been widely speculated among fans as the next in the series. Previously, the boxed sets and remixes in the series started with 1967’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and continued chronologically with 1968’s White Album, 1969’s “Abbey Road” and, last year, 1970’s “Let It Be.” Having reached the end of the Beatles’ road as a group with that last release, it made sense that the series might go back to “Revolver,” the album before “Sgt. Pepper,” and possibly work backward in time from there — although the keepers of the Beatles’ catalog always refrain from confirming plans for future years in advance.
But, beyond any reverse-chronological planning that might be in order, it goes almost without saying that most fans were hoping “Revolver” would be next. Many consider it the Beatles’ finest work. Moreover, outtakes have not been widely bootlegged to the extent that they have with later projects like “Let It Be,” leaving enormous curiosity as to what may lie among the bonuses.
Some Beatlemaniacs had been skeptical, however, that Apple would be able to produce remixes of the pre-“Sgt. Pepper” albums that match what Martin had already done with the latter part of the band’s catalog. This was due to the fact that the albums through 1966 were recorded to more basic four-track masters, where multiple instruments or vocals were often squeezed into a single track. At a time when mono was still considered the standard, the stereo mixes prior to “Pepper” often sound bizarre to the modern ear, with key elements relegated entirely to the left or right side results, which is why many Beatles fans relish finally getting a more holistic mix of “Revolver” and the albums that preceded it (although, as always, there will be conscientious objectors among the fandom).
When Variety spoke with Martin in the fall of 2021 about the prospects of doing remixes for the pre-’67 albums, he made it sound like he thought the moment was nigh to tackle them, although he said he wasn’t yet underway on work on any of them.
“I think we have to do it,” Martin said at the time. “If you take something like ‘Taxman’ from ‘Revolver’ [a track often cited for its bizarre stereo separation], ‘Taxman’ is guitar, bass and drums on one track, and vocals and a sort of shaking and guitar solo (on the right). And it sounds good; they’re amazing recordings, and amazing mixes. You know, we have to look into what technology we can do to make things de-mixed and all this kind of stuff, which I’m looking into. So I’m looking for the technology to do it with, to do something really innovative with ‘Rubber Soul’ and ‘Revolver,’ as opposed to just a remastering job, because it’s been remastered already. So I think we will. I think we also will look at outtakes as well.”
He added then, “I think we’re getting there with technology. I think we are. I’m not doing it at the moment, though, I can tell you that much. But hopefully. So, yeah — watch this space.”
For those who have indeed been watching this space over the last year: Your patience has been and is soon to be even more rewarded.
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