Anything that can be said about what is contained in The Beatles’ released compilation, “1”, would be redundant. In the first place, because its twenty-seven songs are music history in capital letters and are above any appreciation that one can make.
Is it necessary to once again praise songs like ‘I Feel Fine, ‘Paperback Writer’ or ‘Something’, to name just three that would not be the ones that would immediately come to mind if we were asked about their number ones? But the fact is that, in addition, this compilation album is nothing more than a reissue of the album published 15 years ago now and that sold more than 30 million copies.
To begin with, as incredible as it may seem in this commodified world, no one had stopped to collect the recordings of The Beatles in images or video clips for their songs.
It happens that now, at last, they appear officially compiled, endowed, how could it be otherwise, with an immaculate sound (thanks to the mixes of Sam Okell and Giles Martin, son of their usual producer George Martin) and quality of the image as it had not been possible to enjoy until now in all those other willful products but that logically they had not been able to count on the original tapes.
In 2015, the remasted version of 1 was released. In a 2015 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Giles Martin revealed he wanted to improve the songs for modern stereos. “You have to understand, the original Beatles mixes were designed for mono playback,” Martin explained. “The stereos that we all know and love were done very, very quickly. The band was never present when the stereos were made.”
At the same time, another edition called “1+” is released, which has another twenty-three alternative videos with lesser-seen images and a booklet with more than one hundred and twenty pages including commentaries on the videos by music journalist and author Mark Ellen and detailed annotations by historian and author Richard Havers.
Martin detailed how he approached The Beatles’ songs. “My approach was to be respectful of everything,” Martin revealed. “I had sessions and sessions where I flipped between previously remastered stereos, the mono remasters, and the remixes we’ve done. I flip between everything and make sure I prefer what we’ve done.”
“It’s vastly different,” Martin says. “The remasters went back to these final mixtapes and remastered them. They cleaned them up and then they EQ-ed them and released them. What we’re doing is remixing. We’re going not to the final mix, we’re creating our own mixes.”
He also noted how valuable the Beatles songs are to fans: “I don’t think these mixes change that in a big way, but you want to make sure you do the best job you can,” he said.