The Beatles Announce New Limited Edition All-Analog 7" Vinyl Singles Box With a Twist *

* (Not now convinced these were cut from tape). The Beatles just announced The Beatles: The Singles Collection, a limited edition, collectible box set containing 23 180-gram vinyl singles cut by Sean Magee from the original mono and stereo singles mix tapes. Between 1962 and 1970 The Beatles released 22 singles. Of the 44 A and B sides, 29 were not included on the group's British albums—singles were usually omitted in Britain, though the released albums contained more tracks than were issued per album in The United States (you probably already knew that!).

The "twist" here is that the picture sleeves are not the drab original, non-illustrated British ones (British singles rarely came in picture sleeves), but instead are faithful reproductions of more colorful and creative international picture sleeves used in other countries including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Denmark, France, Greece, Holland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, U.K., USA and West Germany) There's also an exclusive new double A-side single for "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love"..

The set also includes a Kevin Howlett penned 40 page booklet that includes photos and ephemera.

The "short and winding road" from 1962's "Love Me Do" to 1967's "Strawberry Fields Forever" to the group's somewhat bizarre 1970 singles finale that paired "Let It Be" with "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" and everything in between demonstrates the quartet's still difficult to comprehend creativity.

Here's the trailer (A splendid....etc.):

Jack Gilvey's picture

Love Me Do? Caldwellians want to know.

Michael Fremer's picture
it would be the original single.... and I believe he's on it not Ringo...
Jack Gilvey's picture

Caldwell says cool.

MalachiLui's picture

on the Mono Masters set that includes that original 1962 "Love Me Do" single version, they had to transfer an original 45 to 192/24 then dump it to the analog cutting master because the tape is gone (supposedly thrown away). so I assume that single is going to be from the same source? if so, that's ok because it still sounds good and the rest (except for maybe the Anthology single, but you can correct me on that) is AAA.

Michael Fremer's picture
It's all AAA. They did a needle drop to tape I believe.
empirelvr's picture

It's actually Ringo on the 45, Andy White on the LP version.

The tambourine is the giveaway. If a given version of "Love Me Do" has a tambourine, it's the Andy White LP version where Ringo was given one to bang so he wouldn't feel left out of the session.

The original 45 has no tambourine. So it's the Ringo version master tape that is MIA. :)

Kid A's picture

Good on Apple for doing these all analog. I’m not sure why they’re doing *THIS* release now when they should be doing a a proper, AAA, stereo boxed set of the original British albums.

Mazzy's picture

Because the masses already have their stereo LP box from the last decade or so. There hasn't been a full singles box for over three decades. Sure many here would like an AAA LP set but most civilians don't know the difference. Go for the Blue box or even any 70s UK LP.

MalachiLui's picture

as much as I would love a new AAA stereo box (maybe for the 60th anniversary in 2022?), I’ve picked up some 70s UK two box pressings of Beatles For Sale and Rubber Soul and both are beyond satisfying.

Michael Fremer's picture
Those are really good and not costly only because the label isn't original!
Snorker's picture

Michael: There is a vibrant debate on the Hoffman Forums about whether these were indeed cut from tape. I was wondering if you could provide some confirmation for the skeptical. Thanks.

MalachiLui's picture

as someone who's been banned from the SHF for exposing SH's years-old lie about Capitol Mastering (he insists they have a digital delay; in reality, they've NEVER had one and Ron McMaster proved it), I've been reading some of these threads from the outside from time to time. and let me tell you, Beatles threads there are a complete shitshow, loaded with misinformation from people who pretend to have more insider info than they actually do.

as for if these 7" singles were cut from tape, they were. if they weren't cut from tape, Apple Corps/UMe would've said "mastered from the original analog tapes" or "remastered from the original analog tapes" or "sourced from the tapes" or whatever terminology they use to have people under the false impression that something's cut from tape. when they specifically say "CUT from the ORIGINAL ANALOG TAPES," they mean "cut DIRECTLY from TAPE." I don't know if "Free As A Bird"/"Real Love" were AAA productions, nor do I know which "Love Me Do" they're using (if it's the 1962 single version featured on the "Mono Masters" comp, it's the original 45 transferred to 192/24 dumped back to tape; the original tape of that I think is either unusable or missing).

but for everything except maybe those things (and like I said, there's a chance those are AAA too), it's CUT DIRECTLY FROM TAPE!

Snorker's picture

I agree with you, but some found UMe’s language ambiguous. Based on the fact that they already used the tapes to cut all these tracks for the Beatles in Mono set, there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t do so again. Given Michael’s inside track with the 2014 mono releases, I was curious if he had the same with this set and could confirm they were indeed AAA (with possible exceptions you noted).

MalachiLui's picture

unlike the 2014 mono box, Michael didn't have any involvement in this one. it's all UMe's good decisions this time.

Snorker's picture

Appreciate it. I suspect Michael may write a full review of this set when he receives one. Perhaps at that time he will have additional detail on the mastering.

CatJuice57's picture

I second Malachi. SHF has devolved into a group of basement dwellers arguing over minutiae and kissing Hoffman's butt. You risk a shower of trolling if you express an opposing opinion or mention a rival mastering engineer.

Michael Fremer's picture
As for the "Love Me Do" Andy White version, there is no tape. Sean says: "All I know is that there isn’t one (tape), we took it from a pressing for all the remasters."
azmoon's picture

lots of misinformation from people who act like they are right about everything on the Beatles. While there are some god people posting also, it is hard to read because of the wankers! Thanks.

mb's picture

Does anyone have any actual confirmation - other than their interpretation of the press release - that this set was cut directly from the analog 45 masters?

Michael Fremer's picture
If Sean Magee tells me it's from tape, which he did, I believe him, and not the SHF wankers.
Michael Fremer's picture
They are among wankers with no real information or lives. Sean Magee says "from tape" and I believe him, not the wankers.
Snorker's picture

Ha! Thanks Michael.

Martin's picture

Can you confirm these are all analog cuts.
Or if it's mostly analog with a couple of digi cuts for early singles.
For me, like I guess others, an analog cut = Buy
Digital = No Deal

Snorker's picture

That seems pretty clear and unambiguous to me, unlike some of the marketing double-speak we often see like "sourced from the master tapes" or "remastered from the original master tapes."

See the headline in all capital letters here:

Martin's picture

very prominently. Or "No digital mastering step".
The Pink Floyd reissues also said "mastered from the original master tapes", while neglecting to mention that although they were indeed mastered direct from the original analog master tapes, the mastering process involved a certain step to 96/24 digital.
Just an oversight. A slip.

Snorker's picture

unlike with the Floyd titles, this explicitly reads "CUT FROM THE MASTER TAPES." It does not read "mastered" or "sourced" from the tapes, in which case I agree it would be ambiguous. How else can one interpret "cut from the master tapes?" I think it's clear as-is.

warmi01's picture

It actually does say "remastered" if you read past the headline on

"..are newly remastered from their original master tapes and cut for vinyl.."

Snorker's picture

it can be BOTH newly remastered AND cut from the tape. Those are not mutually exclusive, so the statements do not necessarily conflict.

Look, I don't know any more than anyone else, but they are claiming it's cut from tape, and IF that is true it must mean it's analog mastering. If it's not analog mastering, then they have lied in the press release.

warmi01's picture

Not to start a flame war, but you did say above that if it said "mastered" from tape it would be ambiguous. It does say that, although the shortened headline puts a more promising spin on it. Let's just agree that it is ambiguous, and knowing how big corporations are, I would not trust a fuzzy statement like that until we hear more concrete proof to support it (e.g. Sean MacGee interview detailing the process as he did for Mono Vinyl in 2014).

Mazzy's picture

The last single is of course Digital and I bet most here wouldn't even hear the different if these were digital IF mastered well.

Michael Fremer's picture
From Sean Magee: "The audio I used was the same as the Mono vinyl box that Steve (Berkowitz) and I did (WHICH WAS ALL ANALOG FROM TAPE). It was decided that this was best the way to go in the wake of the Mono Vinyl box. Any eq was based on the original cutting notes made by Harry Moss and the eq Steve and I had arrived at and with a few minor alterations to allow for the 7” medium. Whereas Mono masters LP was a master created for the LP as one didn’t exist , the singles were cut from the masters as there was no need to unpick then to create a 'master." (IN OTHER WORDS, THE PAST MASTERS LP WAS CUT FROM TAPE COPIES [necessary to produce a running master from which to cut lacquers] BUT THESE SINGLES WERE CUT DIRECTLY FROM THE MASTER TAPES). Love me do was direct from digits as the 7” sounded better than from a tape dubbed from our needle drop which was used for the Mono masters LP. I tested both. I hope this helps alleviate any doubt and lower folks blood pressure, Speak to you soon Sean OKAY EVERYONE????????????????????????????????????/
Tom L's picture

Now that we've heard solid information from a real source, I guess the quibblers will have no choice except to join me and order this sucker.

warmi01's picture

Thanks our the clarification. I suppose if there is still any room for doubt or ambiguity, it might be with those singles which were not released in MONO, like Something/Come Together. Would they have gone back through that process again for these few exceptions, or simply say "sod it, who's going to know?"

warmi01's picture

I misinterpreted the MaGee response. Got it now (I think ;))

Michael Fremer's picture
And mono will be mono as originally released
MrRom92's picture

you are THE man. Single handedly just confirmed so many preorders for this box with one email. Hope universal/calderstone thanks him properly.

The record industry got themselves into this mess. All the misleading verbiage they commonly like to use, pull that stuff enough times and then you alienate your customers who actually want to know what they’re buying. And here we are today, needing concrete proof and long statements like this that leave no room for doubt. That’s how we got to this point. Not our fault!

Martin's picture

AAA = Buy

JR465's picture

Michael- Thank you for speaking to Sean and providing an informative, and most importantly NON WANKER update!

Much Appreciated!

cdlp4578's picture

180 grams seems kinda heavy/thick for a 7-inch single.

Anton D's picture

Great pick up!

Are people thinking these are gonna be 7" 45 rpm audiophile pressings? Just like back in the day?

MalachiLui's picture

tho expect the same thickness as found on the 2014 Long Tall Sally mono EP.

seth's picture that in addition to the foreign picture sleeves, an attempt was made to approximate the original label designs that correspond to each sleeve respectively. Of course, no one who knows better would mistake them for the originals (due to the marginal text, etc.), but that's not the point.

One thing that's a little jarring, though, is that all the singles have the small hole and solid centers (no punch-outs), rather than corresponding to the original configurations for each country. You can see this in the trailer video. Not complaining, just an observation.

I loved the Who vinyl 45 boxes and am looking forward to this too (especially if they are AAA!).

StonedBeatles1's picture

The Sleeves will be nice. I still doubt it's AAA no matter how the folks phrase the mastering. Probably sticking with my blue box although this is a nice addition that I need like another whole in the head..

Michael Fremer's picture
It's AAA except for "Love Me Do"
Paul Boudreau's picture

Thanks for the info! Now to decide whether to buy it and add to the blue box and the previous black one. Who am I kidding, I’m sure I’ll get it.

Bigrasshopper's picture

Any clues on the manufacturer US or Euro ? Optimal ?

rl1856's picture

OK- I am convinced that the mono Single box is AAA (with exceptions noted). However the confirming message raises another question: Are the 44 tracks essentially the same as what was included in the 2014 Mono Box ? If so, there is nothing unique about this box.

The Mono box was a big deal because it was MONO, and AAA; a combination not seen in 40yrs. But if the content in the new box is just a repackaging of material from the old box.....

Regarding Stereo boxes; just get a clean Blue Box and be done. Pressings in the BB are the same as the early 80's Black "Two Box" pressings, which are AAA and sound wonderful. Any new AAA stereo box will have a very high bar to surpass and will likely cost more than a clean BB.

Paul Boudreau's picture

Except that at 45rpm vs 33 1/3rpm, those songs might sound a little better, who knows?

Ivan Analogue's picture

Well, I think there is quite a difference, as this seems to be 1 step above. This is what Sean Magee stated: Whereas Mono masters LP was a master created for the LP as one didn’t exist , the singles were cut from the masters as there was no need to unpick then to create a 'master." (IN OTHER WORDS, THE PAST MASTERS LP WAS CUT FROM TAPE COPIES [necessary to produce a running master from which to cut lacquers] BUT THESE SINGLES WERE CUT DIRECTLY FROM THE MASTER TAPES).

Martin's picture

do their single set from the original tapes?

AlienRendel's picture

Dang, that's gonna be some expensive fun. I really like what they did for the picture sleeves.

Trekmaster's picture

Sorry if I missed this somewhere which is it please?

seth's picture

45 rpm.

Ivan Analogue's picture

... and they are thick, 180g on 7 inch !!
Taken from website:

Collectible Boxed Set Presents 23 180-Gram Vinyl Singles in Faithfully Reproduced International Picture Sleeves, Exclusive New Double A-Side Single for “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love,” Plus 39-Page Book.

From 1962 to 1970, The Beatles released 22 UK singles; of those 44 A and B-side tracks, 29 were not included on the group’s British albums at that time. These singles, plus an exclusive new double A-side single for the mid-1990s-issued tracks “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love,” are newly cut for vinyl from their original mono and stereo master tapes by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios for a new limited edition boxed set. The Beatles: The Singles Collection presents 46 tracks on 23 180-gram seven-inch vinyl singles in faithfully reproduced international picture sleeves, accompanied by a 40-page booklet with photos, ephemera, and detailed essays by Beatles historian Kevin Howlett.

MhtLion's picture

Guys and Gurus. Please help me to decide. I'm a newbie when it comes to the Beatles. Should I get this?

Only Beatles I have now are the anniversary edition of White Album in both LPs and CDs. I also had 2009 Remastered Abbey Road, which I thought was trash in terms of sound quality. Yes I do pay great attention to the sound quality.

Paul Boudreau's picture

Sound quality is important to me, too, but the music must be paramount, otherwise I’m a gear head rather than a music lover, which I’d rather not be (one of the things I enjoy about MF is that he’s both, a rare combination).

So maybe the singles box would be something you’d want to buy after you’ve heard the original UK albums to get a familiarity for what they were about, year to year. In whatever format!

MhtLion's picture

Agreed. I think I will order this box set. It looks like a great way to buy all the Beatles singles. Also, the packaging looks great.

Martin's picture

From Amazon UK.

And to make it really clear to anyone in the industry who might be interested, I would not, no way, there is no way I would have ordered this box if it were digital. Not 96/24, not 192/24, simply NOT.

But all analog, AAA mastering from the tapes – this is an absolute no-brainer.
A complete collection of Beatles Singles, from the master tapes, done by Abbey Road, Sean Magee, taking the time to get it right, giving the stuff the respect it deserves. Yes.

A great final addition to the Beatles BC 13 Blue Box set and the Beatles in mono box set from a couple of years ago. Now, all the singles. Great!

I would have paid three times what this box is going for without hesitating.
Note for the Rolling Stones corporation. Do an All Analog box set!!!!!

Paul Boudreau's picture

Don’t forget the ‘80s EP blue box (there were singles and EP blue boxes in addition to the LP one).

Michael Fremer's picture
Not so sure.... I'm sorry. The info I received may have been misleading....please read the review
Martin's picture

I have cancelled my order. Immediately.

I find you very credible.
You have been playing this stuff since it was released.
You have comparisons.
You have good ears and know your stuff.

Quite frankly, having been a reader for quite a while, when you say something is crap, gives it a 5 for sound and say, basically, digital and bad digital, I believe you.

I have cancelled my order.

Thanks very much for doing the review and being straight up about what you heard.
This is HUGE.

Martin's picture

44.1 / 24 files pressed to vinyl.
didn't bother.

mmaterial1's picture

Were the Beatles single releases equalized for radio play?

AnalogJ's picture

Well just about all pop music at the time was produced to be sure that it would sound good on AM hand-held transistor radios, not to mention cheap record players.

It's possible, though, that like the Beatles In Mono box, these will be produced with a little more thought given to audiophiles.

mmaterial1's picture

Thank you.
Or, perhaps, they could distinguish it from the mono box by making it sound like it's coming out of a 1965 Mustang.

Ivan Analogue's picture

After all the good prospects, I still miss to know what pressing plant Apple has chosen for the singles collection. Most probably, Optimal may be the preferred choice, as per the nice quality offered until today. Pallas would be a treat.... Maybe Mr.Fremer could give us a hint on this.

Don Roderick's picture

I have various UK singles. I have never been enamored with the audio quality. Several book about Beatle recordings depict a purposeful lack of bass and undoubtedly some compression.

Audiophiles, I wouldn't get your hopes up.

And when released, it will be fascinating to compare these to the Mono LP box equivalents. Expect surprises.

Macman007's picture

While it is nice that UME/Apple have cooked up a nice, expensive, all analog 180 gram AAA box set of the 45 RPM releases, just in time for Christmas/ Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/The Holiday season, I echo one or two others posting above. Where the Hell are the Stereo vinyl AAA box sets, and why are they not a priority?

The 2012 stereo releases are a total shitshow, using 1980's digital 16 bit George Martin files for Help and Rubber Soul, and supposedly 24 bit files for the others.

Why does it continue to be such as issue for them to release what the fans WANT, instead of what they feel like giving us in dribs and drabs? I'm still quite sore from the recent Abbey Road 50th vinyl debacle, where the powers-that-be decided that the Deluxe vinyl box set (which is close to the price of the Digital Deluxe box) doesn't include the 'Making Of' book, so I've decided to skip that one altogether. I MIGHT pick up the single LP later when its price drops on Amazon.

Then there is the other issue, which remains an even bigger source of contention. That is the stupidity of limiting releases of the Mono Vinyl box set from 2014. Because of some bonehead's decision to limit those and the individual albums as well, people like myself cant even get close to them, unless we want to pay anywhere from high 600$ up to well over a thousand dollars for the 'privilege' of hearing the Beatles in an all analog in a box set, making it easier and less expensive to purchase them. I call total bullshit on that decision as well.

UME/Apple and the surviving Beatles need to take a page from the Pink Floyd camp's book. Their releases my not be AAA, since there is a digital step between the tapes and vinyl, however Pink Floyd do not limit the number of copies, other than Division Bell 25th Blue Vinyl 2 LP set, and RSD Mono Saucer Full OF Secret, that I know of. Their vinyl releases are not issued to where only a few of the chosen can afford them or have access after to them, the Hyenas suck up all available copies in preorder, then capitalise on their limited status. Pink Floyd are a class act in this respect. The Beatles vinyl releases in the 2010's not so much a class act.

The CD Vinyl and Mono Boxes suck. I own then having received them as gifts. That is the ONLY reason I don't sell them. The Stereo CD's sound bad, and Mono CD's doesn't translate well at all. Mono on digital is a waste..I'm not going to the trouble of tracking down individual original Mono and Stereo releases, then paying crazy fan prices. I'll stay stuck with my original US and reissue vinyl from Capitol and a few German Apple's from the '70's.

I AM a Beatles/ Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr fan, a big one from way back, though not as far back as Mikey, he's just a little older than me. No matter how big a fan I am, stuff like this makes me very angry, as history shows how things are going to go.

The crappy 2012 vinyl releases are still available. That shows how much they are wanted, and how good they are. The Mono Vinyl individual LPs are gone. Why flood the market with crappy cheap stereo releases, and cheap out on pressing the Mono individual releases. I've yet to hear a plausible real world reason, other than those based in greed and profit.

If Lennon and Harrison were still alive, I'd bet you a lot of this bullshit wouldn't fly. They cared about the fans far more than to simply fleece them for more money.