There’s good news, bad news, and half-good news.
The good news is there are new and expanded remixed stereo versions of the Red & Blue collections.
The bad news is the Rubber Soul remixed box set is delayed.
The half-good news is that half of the Rubber Soul remix (7 songs) can be found on the Red remix.
Because this year is the 50h Anniversary of the Red & Blue albums, Apple decided to issue expanded and remixed versions. The release date was November 10th, 2023.
The Red Album is the main attraction for Beatles fans in that it’s filled with remixed stereo versions of songs that had poor stereo mixes, or even just monophonic versions. In fact, the first 30 songs are brand new remixes. Three classic songs The Beatles didn’t write (like “Twist And Shout”) are included, the Revolver album is much better represented, and so is George Harrison. Here are the song lists. *Indicates added songs.
The Blue Album has only six songs that hadn’t been remixed, but it also has nine songs that weren’t on the original release. *Indicates added songs.
You can see the set ends with “Now And Then”. It’s a new recording that was released on November 2nd, 2023. “Now And Then” is from a 1977 demo by John Lennon. Using new technology, they were able to extract and enhance John’s voice. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr added instrumental and vocal parts, and George Harrison’s guitar and background vocals came from an earlier attempt of the song at the time of the Anthologies in the ‘90’s. Here’s the artwork for the single.
There are various versions of the single that can be ordered through The Beatles Apple Store online.
The song is also available to stream, or to buy digitally. There’s a link to a review of the single and music video at the end of this article. Update: “Now And Then” went to #1 in the U.K., 54 years after their last British #1 in 1969.
Here are the various CD and vinyl album versions as shown on The Beatles site. Some of the colored vinyl versions will only be available at that online store. Photos can be enlarged with a touch or click.
The song order for the vinyl versions is not completely in chronological order like the CD’s. The first two vinyl albums in each set are exactly like the original releases, and the third albums contain the added songs.
Looking at how well various albums are represented…there are 9 songs from the Rubber Soul recording sessions, 8 from the Revolver sessions, 8 from the White Album sessions, 7 from the Sgt. Pepper sessions, and 6 each from the Let It Be and Abbey Road sessions..
The Red & Blue albums are not really “Greatest Hits” collections (many of the songs were not singles), nor “Best Of” collections (there are other Beatles songs that are better than some of these). But, the expanded versions give a good overview of The Beatles’ full career.
Review: Here’s a link to my “Review & Perspective” of the remixed Red & Blue sets:
Extra: For a review of the “Now And Then” single & video, click this link: