Ultimate Ultra Rare Trax: Master Reels Remaster 2010 (no label)
Disk 1 : Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 1 Remaster [ Reel 1 ~ 6 ] ; I Saw Her Standing There / One After 909 [ Take 2 ] / She’s A Woman [ Take 2 ] / I’m Looking Through You [ Take 1 ] / if You’ve Got Trouble / How Do You Do It / Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields Forever / From Me To You / Besame Mucho / The Fool On The Hill / Paperback Writer – Reel 1 [ Zonal 675 ] Direct Transfer – I Saw Her Standing There / There’s A Place [ Take 3 ] / There’s A Place [ Take 4 ] / How Do You Do It? / Leave My Kitten Alone / One After 909 [ Take 2 ] / Misery [ Take 1 ]
Disk 2 : Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 2 Remaster [ Reel 1 ~ 6 ] ; Can’t Buy Me Love / There’s A Place [ Take 3 ] / There’s A Place [ Take 4 ] / That Means A Lot / Day Tripper [ 1 ] / Day Tripper [ 2 ] / I Am The Walrus / Misery [ Take 1 ] / Leave My Kitten Alone / We Can Work It Out / A Hard Days Night / Norwegian Wood [ Take 4 ] – Reel 2 [ Zonal 675 ] Direct Transfer – From Me To You / Can’t Buy Me Love / She’s A Woman [ Take 2 ] / A Hard Days Night / Day Tripper [ 1 ] / Day Tripper [ 2 ] / Paperback Writer
Disk 3 : Ultra Rare Trax – Rest Of The Master Reels – Reel’s 3, 4 & 5 [ Ampex 456 ] Direct Transfer ; We Can Work It Out / Strawberry Fields Forever / Not Guilty / That Means A Lot / If You’ve Got Trouble / Your Mother Should Know / What’s The New Mary Jane? / The Fool On The Hill / I Am The Walrus / It’s All Too Much / Blue Jay Way / Christmas Time [ Is Here Again ] / Christmas Time [ Is Here Again ] – Reel 6 [ Maxell 35-180B ] Direct Transfer – Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da / Penny Lane / Norwegian Wood [ Take 4 ] I’m Looking Through You [ Take 1 ] / Besame Mucho – Bonus : Abbey Road Studios cassette direct transfer : Strawberry Fields Forever.
21 years after the original CD release of these sets then the master reels have been found, run through modern equipment & re-released without the edits & fades that were present on the originals presented how the tapes were first given to the bootleggers. The presence of these sets can’t be underestimated – presenting to fans for the first time, pure in sound, without any other studio trickery that the official releases are often plagued with (apart from Swingin’ Pig’s ‘No Noise’ technology ) & without the presence of any other official “outtakes” albums (“Sessions” having being nixed from release previously. ) The original releases deservedly require their own reviews & write ups so here we’re just going to stick with the differences in each track that this new remaster presents.
Disk 1 :
1. I Saw Her Standing There – No difference. Has no ‘No noise’ treatment – sounds hissier than the original.
2. One After 909 [ Take 2 ] – Lasts a little longer, fading just after John’s “Solo” comment.
3. She’s A Woman [ Take 2 ] – A little brighter but still with tape hiss. Muffled guitar heard after final “She’s A Woman” – possible tape bleed.
4. I’m Looking Through You [ Take 1 ] – No difference.
5. If You’ve Got Trouble – Sourced from vinyl! Longer tracking time but track is only as long as the original.
6. How Do You Do It? – No difference.
7. Penny Lane – Slower than Swingin’ Pig version. No different otherwise.
8. Strawberry Fields Forever – No difference. Taken from Vinyl?
9. From Me To You – No difference.
10. Besame Mucho – From the Decca rehearsals. These have been better served via the Decca-Gone singles , Yellow Dog & Vigotone.
11. The Fool On The Hill [ Demo] – Sourced from Vinyl but not No Noised. Sounds cleaner but with a bit more hiss.
12. Paperback Writer – no difference.
13. I Saw Her Standing There – Repeated from track 1. A direct transfer from Reel 1 but no difference in sound.
14. There’s A Place [ Take 3 ] – Originally on Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 2 – Slightly clearer than the original release but no great difference.
15. There’s A Place [ Take 4 ] – Same as previous track.
16. How Do You Do It? – A little brighter & Ringo’s cymbals seem a tiny bit clearer in the mix
17. Leave my Kitten Alone – Again, just a little brighter than it’s counterpart.
18. Misery [ Take 1 ] – Slightly cleaner.
Disk 2 :
1. Can’t Buy Me Love – No Difference
2. There’s A Place [ Take 3 ] – A shade quieter than disk 1?
3. There’s A Place [ Take 4 ] – As above.
4. That Means A Lot – A vast improvement on the murky & sludgy Swingin’ Pig Version. Still some distortion on the bass but infinitely better. Sourced from Vinyl
5. Day Tripper [ 1 ] – A little more presence than on the Swingin’ Pig version. A little more bass.
6. Day Tripper [ 2 ] – As Above
7. I Am The Walrus – Again, a lot cleaner than the Pig’s copy but sourced from Acetate. More bass on bottom end & wider sounding.
8. Misery [ Take 1 ] – Cleaner version but a couple more “clicks” present.
9. Leave My Kitten Alone – Cleaner version.
10. We Can Work It Out – Brighter. Organ parts more prominent.
11. A Hard Days Night – Cleaner. Fades quicker on John’s comment at the end.
12. Norwegian Wood [ Take 4 ] – Brighter & cleaner than the Pig version. Sitar slightly more forward in mix. Some Background noises more audible. More dead space on end of track.
13. From Me To You – Louder than the original but no different.
14. Can’t Buy Me Love – Sounds slightly sharper than the Pig’s
15. She’s A Woman [ Take 2 ] – Louder again but no difference.
16. A Hard Days Night – a little cleaner than the original.
17. Day Tripper [ 1 ] – Bassier than the original disk.
18. Day Tripper [ 2 ] – as above.
19. Paperback Writer – A little more punch than the original.
Disk 3 – Rest Of The Master Reels Reel # 3, #4, #5 [ Ampex 456 ] – Direct Transfer.
1. We Can Work It Out [ Take 2 ] – Same as disk 2. A little more volume.
2. Strawberry Fields Forever – A little richer than the original but still spoiled by hiss.
3. Not Guilty – From vinyl with clicks. Sounds bright but crackles are distracting.
4. That Means A Lot – Sounds pretty much like the version on disk 2 but with more bass.
5. If You’ve Got Trouble – Louder & cleaner than disk one but this only serves to pronounce the limitations of the source.
6. Your Mother Should Know – Unreleased on the original tapes. Same as Anthology. No better sounding than other bootlegs.
7. What’s The New Mary Jane? [ Take 4 ] – The long version that was edited down on Anthology 3.
8. The Fool On The Hill – Solo Demo. Same as Disk 1.
9. I Am The Walrus – Long version. Same as Disk 2 – sounds better with a little more body to the instrumentation.
10. It’s All Too Much – Not the much loved long version.
11. Blue Jay Way – Taken from Acetate.
12. Christmas Time [ Is Here Again ] – Again from vinyl. Version with various skits throughout.
13. Christmas Time [ Is Here Again ] – More from vinyl. Long musical version.
Reel 6 [ Maxell 35-180B ] Direct Transfer –
14. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da – Version from URT #3.
15. Penny Lane – From URT #3 – Sounds a little better.
16. Norwegian Wood [ Take 4 ] – Same as Disk 2. Little less hiss.
17. I’m Looking Through You [ Take 1 ] – More hiss but a little fuller sounding.
18. Besame Mucho – More bass than disk 1. Sounds better.
Bonus : Abbey Road Studios cassette direct transfer :
19. Strawberry Fields Forever [ Take 9 ] – The supposed highlight of this set. No real difference to the earlier version. Inordinate amount of hiss running through the track.
Unfortunately after the hubris that could be afforded to this set the reality is somewhat less fantastic. Most of the set is recorded with the mind for remastering & for the best part it does add a little more punch to some of the tracks here but unfortunately seems to over work the treble on some of the other tracks thus rendering some of them quite unlistenable. It presents no parts of the tape that are really new to collectors ( No studio chat, no loose rehearsals, no new tracks ). This was a worthy opportunity but in the end not worth the effort of it’s release.
The No Label Re-release is presented without the luxurious / ludicrous wooden box of the Idol Mind set but is instead offered in a fat boy jewel case with generic yellowed cover art with a nice clear track listing on the back. The inner slip features a fuzzy copy of the first two, original Ultra Rare Trax releases ( Colour Versions ) & on the flipside, the day – glo covers from the very first issues & a brief write up on the remastering of this new set. Where as the new versions of Ultra Rare Trax were 2 CD releases & the third disk was a CDR the whole lot is presented as 3 Silver CDs.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)