George Harrison didn’t like listening to Beatles music on CD. He preferred to listen to his band’s music in a different way.
George Harrison didn’t like listening to Beatles music on CD
During a 1987 interview with Charles Bermant (per George Harrison on George Harrison: interviews and encounters), George talked about how he thought the Beatles’ music sounded on CD. He liked the older versions better.
“I bought a CD player when they came out, yeah,” George explained. “I listened to some of them. I still prefer the old versions, as I remember them on vinyl. There’s a lot you can hear now that’s good.
“In some cases, there’s a lot of stuff that you shouldn’t be hearing that loud, that somehow gets in the mix. On Sgt. pepper I keep hearing this awful sounding tambourine coming out of the right speaker. Obviously, it was in the original mix, but it was never that strong.”
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As George would have released the rest of the Beatles’ music on CD
Bermant pointed out to George that there were still about thirty songs without a CD. He asked the former Beatle how he would make them available. George explained that it was no longer the Beatles’ business to decide how their music was distributed.
“Well, it’s none of our business anymore; when our contract expired, we lost the control we had over the Beatles product,” George said.
Still, George explained how he would have released the Beatles’ music.
“I suppose if you took all the songs, you could put them in sequence of years as they were recorded, as the technology progressed and our technique progressed, then you would hear them in the correct order. Or you could put all the singles in one, or the B-sides in another,” he said.
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The former Beatle later enjoyed what his 1991 Japanese tour sounded like on his live album
George played some of his Beatles music while on tour with Eric Clapton in Japan in 1991. They recorded it all and put it on a live album. At first, George thought recording a live performance would be difficult, but he thought the album turned out great.
He told Scott Muni on WNEW-FM (per George Harrison about George Harrison), “I’m happy with it anyway. I thought it turned out well; it sounds really good considering that live isn’t the easiest thing to record and mix and stay in the kind of, yeah you know, because you have a lot of it. power on stage with full amplification, but putting it back on a CD and trying to make it sound as powerful, it’s not that easy. But I think it turned out pretty well.
“I’m very happy. You know, the whole time I was mixing the record, like I said before, it’s not that easy to mix trying to get the feel from the show to the disc, but I’m really happy with how it turned out.
“The engineer, John Harris, was great, and I thought because he was being cautious, I think it turned out even better than I expected. And it was a great band to work with, and just I hope I can do it again sometime.”
George was pleased with how “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” sounded on the live album. “I think it’s far superior to the original studio recording, and Eric just digs in. It’s really good,” he said.
George was not happy with how the Beatles music sounded on CD. However, at least he thought his own music sounded good.
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