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Beatles discography, as in CAPITOL ALBUMS VOL. 2 and the “Love Me Do” Anniversary vinyl single, both of which were withdrawn and replaced with the correct mixes; we do not know if the same will happen with LET IT BE 50th, or if the Japanese boxes will now be the most sought after by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.