Who would have thought that in 2018 vinyl records would have made such a dramatic comeback?
I mean as of the late 1990s vinyl records were nearly an extinct format, or so it seemed at the time.
In this era of streaming, vinyl records are now seen as “hip” and “cool” by twenty-somethings (or so I’ve read, I’m not even remotely in that age bracket!), who would have thought?
AND vinyl sales hit a Nielsen Music-era high accounting for 14 percent of all physical music sales in 2017 – impressive. Most impressive (think Darth Vader/ James Earl Jones voice.)
Anyway, a spin-off of the vinyl trend has also reached die-hard Beatles collectors.
An Italian company called DeAgostini has issued what they call The Beatles Vinyl Collection which are available in newsstands or through mail-order subscriptions in eight countries – Italy, UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Spain and Japan.
These Beatles albums supposedly use the same mastering as the 2012 vinyl remasters that were issued worldwide and have been avaialble to purchase in newsstands because they’re accompanied by a small magazine that details the album in question.
I guess DeAgostini is well-known especially in Italy and the UK for their vinyl record issues and they have a good reputation for quality products/pressings. Since they’re not available in the States I’m not familar with them.
For the past year and a half or so I’ve read online mostly positive reviews of these mysterious pressings and hav been dt\ying to find one and try it out. (Not that I need any more Beatles vinyl but that’s beside the point!)
The following Beatles albums have been released in the DeAgostini collection:
Please Please Me
With The Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles For Sale
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
Let it Be
Live At The BBC Vol. 1
On Air: Live At The BBC Vol 2
I’ve read some people online think these discs sound a bit better than the 2012 vinyl reissues so of course that peaked my interest – A LOT! Plus I’ve also read that the Anthology discs sound a lot better than their original vinyl pressings from the 1990s which of course REALLY makes me want to find them – ahhh!
Actually I’m kind of thankful I don’t have easy access to these sets as I may not be able to control myself. I KNOW I can’t conteol myself!
BUT this past month I did finally track one of these mysterious DeAgostini discs down (A Hard Day’s Night) and as it happens it’s a Japanese version of the magazine box lol. I just can’t escape Japanese pressings!
Above you can see photos of this groovy magazine and album – it’s really a nice presentation, too bad I can’t read Japanese!
I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this pressing and I must say it sounds soooo good. It was perfectly quiet, not one pop or click and sounds pretty much like the 2012 vinyl remasters. I’ve not done a side by side comparison but it did sound a tad bit muted which is what the 2012 pressing sounded like as well.
I will say that it did not have a clipped first note on the song “A Hard Day’s Night” which I read was a problem with the UK and Ireland pressed discs. I guess they did a repress and the one for Japan – at least my copy – sounds just fine.
I actually loved how this disc sounded which of course wets my appetite for more DeAgostini discs – maybe with the magazine in English which would be nice. I’m guessing it’s pretty much in line with the 2012 discs but the sound improvements of the Anthology discs would make me break down and buy more for sure.
Until I find more DeAgostini discs though this one will do quite nicely.
A Hard Day’s Night is one of my favorite early Beatles albums as it just encapsulates Beatlemania for me and I don’t think they made a more joyous record – every song is a pop/rock gem.
If you’ve never heard or seen one of these DeAgostini discs, feast your eyes.
Until next time, be well!
Blangggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (If only I had sound, that opening cord to “A Hard Day’s Night” would be the perfect way to close this post!!!)