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The Student News Site of San Marcos High School

Knights News

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The Beatles Red & Blue 2023 “Album” Review

What Does It Sound Like 50 Years Later

For Beatle fans alike, it’s been 50 years since the release of the Red & Blue compilation album, and 50 years later, we now have a re-released version of these compilations with various alterations and changes within these compilation albums. How well do these new tracks compare to the old ones, and are these compilations worth our listening ears, a couple questions we will be getting into.

These compilations consist of two categories, a split between the early songs and the later songs. The earlier songs are in the “Red” LP, (Long Playlist) and the later songs are in the “Blue” LP. Each LP has 3 discs, and all together with these 6 discs contain 75 tracks in total, a lengthy compilation. I’ll start out with a song that I took a liking to. 

One of the charts that I noticed were fabulously remixed is “Magical Mystery Tour,” which was originally released as an album with the song title “Magical Mystery Tour” as the title for the album. When comparing the 2023 mix of Magical Mystery Tour to the 2009 remastered version of this number, which was the oldest version I could find, the difference in sound was more apparent than I expected. This remix does an astounding job with how clear the vocals are via the stereo system. The bass line in the 2009 version had a very present bass, many would say that the bass line was a bit too pronounced. The 2023 mix presents the bass line in such a way that it’s still clearly heard, but without overlapping the whole track. Another detail that stuck out especially to me was an unexpected guitar track within the new mix that isn’t heard in the 2009 remastered version. As someone who plays the guitar, hearing various guitar riffs throughout the song makes it even more enjoyable, even if it is just a small riff, these  small details are what makes any kind of song sparkle. 

Now there are also a number of tracks in this compilation that received mixed reviews. The most notable number from the Blue LP is “I Am the Walrus.” Throughout the song, John Lennon’s voice is very separated from the rest of the instrumentation. Also the instrumentals are sort of quieter, and more compressed  than the rest of the previous versions of this song such as the version showcased in the Beatles’ Love album released in 2009. Moreover, in the original release of this song in 1967, the end of this song had an outro featuring an orchestra. In the original, the outro included an orchestra combined with a descending bass line, which created the illusion that the strings are getting higher and higher in pitch, when in reality the strings are just looping over and over again. This is what’s called Shepard Scale. For one of the most psychedelic numbers on this compilation, it’s a shame that they didn’t include this detail in the outro. 

Aside from minor imperfections, the compilation still does a great job repainting past songs as more listenable tracks. For the listeners  who aren’t familiar with old artists from 50 years ago, the Beatles are a superb introduction to this realm of music. With the new re-release of the Red & Blue compilation, the new modern technology made it possible for the new generation to become more intune to older music, but with a more listenable quality. Overall, these compilations do a fantastic job with gratifying the listening ears of both the young and the old.

The Beatles Red and Blue Album 2023 Edition fan art made on Canva by Lea Macias. (Leo Macias)
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About the Contributor
Leo Macias
Leo Macias, Writer
Leo Macias is a Senior at San Marcos High School. He chose this class because he was a few points short of his elective credit requirement.

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