Wrong Masters for the ‘Glyn Johns 1969 Mix’, and Japan to the rescue.
by Mike Carrera
Universal Music in Japan received the correct master for disc 4 (GLYN JOHNS 1969 MIX) and this is available in the Super Deluxe Edition SHM LET IT BE 50th ANNIVERSARY edition. The European version that we will now call “REST OF THE WORLD” (ROW) is not what has been described, but uses a combination and several edits on many of the tracks with the Glyn Johns’ 1969 and 1970 mixes, possibly thinking that presenting a superior sound quality was a better choice, even though the mixes were not right ones. Making mistakes about which version of a song to release is not new to The Beatles’ catalogue. Several years ago Apple used incorrect mixes in the official Beatles discography, as in CAPITOL ALBUMS VOL. 2 and the “Love Me Do” Anniversary vinyl single, both of which were withdrawn and replaced with the correct mixes; we do not know if the same will happen with LET IT BE 50th, or if the Japanese boxes will now be the most sought after by collectors, but this could be the first time that the same official release has a completely different disk at the same time but in different markets.
There are very noticeable differences in each mix, not only in speed but in prominence of some instruments or a different vocal in one track. Here is a quick analysis comparing the JAPANESE and EUROPEAN versions of the Deluxe box of Let It Be, DISC 4, released last week, using software to play both versions at the same time.
Total length of each disc:
SHM JAPAN: 42:57
EUROPEAN ROW: 42:52
1 & 5- ONE AFTER 909 – I’VE GOT A FEELING
SHM JAPAN: 1969 MIX with the speed one second slower throughout the track.
EUROPEAN ROW: 1970 MIX with the speed one second faster throughout the track.
The frequency graphs of “One After 909” show different patterns in some sectors. “I’ve Got A Feeling” is completely out of sync.
2. MEDLEY: I’M READY (AKA ROCKER) / SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME / DON’T LET ME DOWN
SHM JAPAN: 1969 MIX
EUROPEAN ROW: 1970 MIX
There is no additional difference in speed.
3. DON’T LET ME DOWN
SHM JAPAN: 1969 MIX with slightly slower speed.
EUROPEAN ROW: 1970 MIX with slightly faster speed (00:19- 1:25 and corrected at 1:26) due to a ‘glitch’ in the tape that Apple used in 2021 and that it is possible to hear to between 00:19 and 00:20 during John’s words to Ringo: “Do a nice big pshhhh (imitates the sound of a cymbal) .. for me, you know, to give me the courage to come screaming in”, and now we hear the glitch at the moment of saying the word “big”, which is cut off. The phrase without this problem can be heard on the Japanese disk.
4. DIG A PONY
SHM JAPAN: 1969 MIX , but the glitch that appears in the original 1969 mix before starting the song has been removed.
EUROPEAN ROW: 1970 MIX with slightly faster speed.
6. , 9., 10. & 13. GET BACK, TWO OF US, DIG IT & THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD
SHM JAPAN: 1969 MIX with an ‘opaque’ sound and slightly slower speed.
EUROPEAN ROW: 1970 MIX with a completely brilliant sound from a higher quality tape and slightly faster speed.
7. FOR YOU BLUE
SHM JAPAN: 1969 MIX with George’s original vocal recorded in 1969.
EUROPEAN ROW: 1969 MIX (00:01- 00:14 from a different source with much more “hiss” noise than the Japanese version) + 1970 MIX (00:15- 02:54), with the vocal overdub of George from 1970, different in several verses combined with the 1969 vocal.
8. TEDDY BOY
SHM JAPAN: 1969 MIX with an ‘opaque’ sound.
EUROPEAN ROW: 1969 MIX with a completely brilliant sound from a higher quality tape.
There was no Glyn Johns 1970 mix for this song.
10. MAGGIE MAE
SHM JAPAN: 1969 MIX with an ‘opaque’ sound.
EUROPEAN ROW: 1970 MIX with a completely brilliant sound.
12. LET IT BE
SHM JAPAN: 1969 MIX: With an “opaque” sound and a speed one second slower, from the beginning the whole track is out of phase compared to the next one.
EUROPEAN ROW: 1970 MIX (00:01- 04:01) with brighter sound and one second faster speed + 1969 MIX (4:02- 4:09 during the final dialogue. The change in sound is very noticeable)
14. GET BACK
SHM JAPAN: 1969 MIX with slightly slower speed. The “hiss” on the tape is noticeable during the ending, which is not heard on the European version.
EUROPEAN ROW: 1969 MIX (00:00- 00:01 “hiss” sound) + 1970 MIX (00:02- 00:40) with slightly faster speed. The “hiss” noise is not present during the end compared with the Japanese version.
What are SHM CDs?
Since its first release of 2007, the SHM CD format has gained much popularity and been highly-acclaimed by audiophiles around the world, because of a supposedly higher quality sound. A SHM CD (Super High Material CD) is a superior quality CD, which is fully compatible with all CD players. SHM-CD utilizes a polycarbonate material originally developed for LCD screens, and the enhanced transparency of the SHM-CD is said to result in more clarity, depth and definition of sound, bringing the listener ever closer to the music of the original master. SHM CDs are more expensive than regular CDs and are manufactured in Japan.
Link to Japanese Super Deluxe Edition Let It Be on SHM CD. 18 000 yen, which equals $158.
That’s interesting, and hard to understand why they do that, however I am interested in the vinyl edition – what can you say? Is it equivalent to the ROW CD pressing? (I have only purchased the vinyl box).
I feel the same, too. I fall in love with this kind of music at the first time I heard it.
So the 1969 album remains unreleased – apart from Teddy Boy! It occurs to me they could have used the unused 1970 mix of Teddy Boy – by Phil Spector! You have only commented on the first 40 seconds of Get Back. Is it just possible that Universal might take the opportunity of releasing the genuine 1969 version on its own. At least that would give the opportunity of having the LP on its own, at a reasonable price……?
They should put out an individual release of the Get Back album on LP, with the correct 1969 mix. That would solve the mistake.
That’s what Record Day is for! 😉
they probably will; 2 months after i get the asian one — the whole JAP is limited on secondary markets and close to 200 bucks. After watching the “Get Back.” sessions; i am obsessed with the Johns’s mix any this sounds legit to me. worth a shot to get the intended “LIVE,” mix/takes
SHM-CD sounds like a marketing gimmick. How can one medium for a digital signal sound different from another if it’s the same numbers encoded on each? It might last longer but a set of numbers is the same whether it’s written, typed or projected onto the moon. Or am I missing something?
We always had the same thought in mind. Digital music is a string of ones and zeros no matter which carrier it’s on. But I believe that’s a discussion for a different kind of forum.
“Placebo effect” among audiophiles. One is One and Zero is Zero here and even in Japan.
Here’s a good video about the format. And yes, it’s nothing but snake oil:
No sir,it is no mastering gimmick,it is only another kind of polyurethane covering the cd surface,this is supposed to help the laser reads more data and subsequently have more fuller rich sound.This is the official explanation,anyway in at least 90 percent of the cd releases the japanese mastering is much much better,and it is clearly audible
just take any cd and grab the audio track from it in wav 10 times. you will get the same, byte-to-byte, file each time. there’s no “more data and more rich sound”.
Mastering is a different issue than the physical medium. The same file should sound exactly the same whether on a silver CD, USB stick, home burned CD-R or an SHM disc.
So if we bought the super deluxe CD set, the 5LP set and the picture disc, will we get at least high-res downloads of the right version of the Glyn CD? That could be done pretty easily…or shall we wait a day or two for the underground people?
I’m curious about “I Me Mine (1970 Glyn Johns Mix) on Let It Be EP too.
Does it also have awful hiss?
Has anyone confirmed which version was used for the vinyl set? My set-up is currently dismantled so I have yet to listen to mine.
I very much doubt this was an accident
Who Cares? This is just a whole lotta nitpicking about very little.
The Japanese set is already sold out?
Hello, now the SHM-box is available again! I ordered immediately. I’m sending the vinyl box back because there are pressing errors (e.g. on the EP, track I Me Mine)… Although I like LPs more than CDs, but this just won’t do… and I don’t think the EP will be re-pressed! Also, Ringo’s cymbal sounds very shrill on Get Back side A, there’s something wrong there too…. crap!
Thank you for letting us know, Michael. I ordered too, and my copy arrived on Tuesday.
Isn’t that a bit of a bold thesis? I mean, how do you know all this? The SHM edition is advertised with the following information: “The contents of this release will be identical to the worldwide release, except for SHM-CD format and a description & lyrics with Japanese translation.”
I mean, then they would also have to have given false information, or am I seeing it wrong? What else can you believe? I really don’t get it, sorry!
what does it mean “I’ve Got A Feeling” is completely out of sync” ?
John and Paul aren’t even singing the same lyrics, I guess.
What a pitiful mess! Maybe they should have left the whole Get Back Album thing aside. It now feels as much a fake as all the bootleg versions of it. Just better sounding than most (all?) of them.
So which version was leaked and eventually became the Kum Back LP? 1969 or 1970?
Neither of them! John C Winn’s Lifting The Latches (pp286-296) tells the story in detail. Kum Back” contains the first acetate made by Glyn Johns. It contains only some of the songs which ended up on the Get Back LP. It also contains The Walk ( now in the box) as well as a Get Back from 23 January and a Let It Be from 26 January which I don’t think is the same take in the new box set. The tape had been obtained by a radio station WBCN-FM, but was broadcast first by a New York station WBAI-FM. Meanwhile, a second acetate (an earlier version of the first Get Back LP with slight variations – e.g. Dig It is a minute longer, Get Back does not have the coda from the 28 January take) was broadcast by another radio station – WKBW-AM in Buffalo. It gets even more complicated after that. Acetate #3 with the Get Back LP that should have been on CD4 was not bootlegged until 1975. Winn says it is not clear how that acetate “fell into collectors’ hands”. Winn’s book and Doug Sulpy’s 2007 edition of “Drugs, Divorce and a Slipping Image” are recommended reading alongside the excellent new Get Back book!
In Mojo #336, November 2021, Glyn Johns says that “I went to San Francisco, and I took with me, at George (Harrison)’s request, a copy of the album. He wanted me to play a song to (producer) Denny Cordell, for Joe Cocker. I lent this acetate to Denny for 24 hours and during that period, it must have got bootlegged.I can’t believe it was Denny but somehow it got out”.
Thank you. John C Winn’s Beatlegmania vol 4 says the “definitive”speed-corrected bootleg album was only released by Yellow Dog in 1984. A long and winding road indeed. Will the “definitive” legitimate LP be released soon?
Just curious why EMI couldn’t have just pulled and released Glyn’s Get Back album masters AR14271/2, (as documented in John C Winn’s “Lifting Latches”) without the need for the editing and restoration work. On the independent side, its seems that many people over the years tried to cut and paste Glyn’s 1970 version of the album, only to inadvertently remove subtleties that were originally there. It would appear that happened here, but commercially.
I don’t really understand what these speed differences represent. The 2009 remasters typically run slower than the 1987 versions, even though those were (or should have been) – for the most part – taken from the very same piece of tape. For example, the 2009 version of Two Of Us goes out of synch with the 1987 version by more than a third of a second across the track. That’s most likely because they were captured on different tape decks, and tape decks don’t play at the same speed. Surely no one is expecting the 1969 and 1970 mixes to stay in synch with each other? Or are these speed differences comparing the new version of the 1970 mixes with some bootleg with an unknown history?
By the by, the new Giles Martin mixes stay in synch with the 2009 remasters. Which is remarkable given that they’re sourced from different tapes (i.e. the multitracks rather than the masters). I can only think that they captured the multitracks and then adjusted them in software to synch them to the 2009 remasters. While I can think of reasons why they might do that, I really hope the synching was done using a decent bit of software.
No info about ‘Dig It’
Do we know which version is on Apple Music or other digital services? Is it the correct 1969 mix or is the mix on the European discs. The audio fingerprint is the same on Get Back as it is on the single version on Past Masters of Get Back, so not sure if that helps or not.
Which version is on the unofficial “1969 Recordings Discovered Collection”? It should be the correct 1969 mix.
Curious if the “1969 Recordings Discovered Collection” are the true streaming-intended tracks or recompiled from previously circulated sources. Thanks
Apple Music seems to have the correct Glyn Johns mix.
It appears to be the European (incorrect) mixes. Preview ‘For You Blue’ and you’ll hear *two* George vocals.
What about track 11?
Dig It. All the different versions depend on the length of the original recorded by Glyn Johns on 26 January. “The Beatles Kum Back” (Retrospective Collection) CD now has all Glyn’s initial acetates, finally put together. I have at long last realised, from John C Winn’s Lifting Latches, that they were reels E69738, E69739, and E69742. The last reel had only previously largely been available in mono on Celluloid Rock. All these are now in excellent quality, including, as far as Dig It is concerned, the 8m 30s recorded on EMI tape. The only songs omitted, from the second reel, are Get Back 27.71 and 27.72, which I would have noticed before if I had read Winn’s book carefully. As these acetates were all done before Glyn started compiling his Get Back LP, I don’t think the mixing is relevant as such, as far as Dig It is concerned. More the content. These acetates included Get Back (23 January), Let It Be (26 January) and I’ve Got A Feeling (27 January), all three still not officially released. The Let It Be box set included different takes of the last two, recorded on the same days. The final take recorded in the entire sessions, of Let It Be, most of which was in the 1970 film, was also finally released. As for Get It Back, two other takes, recorded on 27 and 28 (the single coda version) were included in the box, rather than the temporary “best” take from 23 January. I managed to get the SHM Get Back original mix some time ago. That was essential because it contained George’s original vocal on For You Blue, “As nature intended”, to coin a phrase.
What I meant was, “why, in the original article, was there no comparison of the Japanese and ROW track 11?”.
Possibly because it has never been mixed. It’s just a jam, not a real song. John was making it up as it went along, just as he did in the 24 January version. Good fun though. The 29 January version, where John lists all the songs they’ve been performing over the previous 4 weeks, definitely deserves an official release.