NOTE: I originally posted this missive on Sim-Outhouse, the flight sim forum where I am a member, and where there are multiple Beatlemaniacs. Other than a few grammatical corrections, and the post script, it is unchanged. IMHO, before Rubber Soul, the Beatles were basically a 4-member combo. Rubber Soul was the transitional album. By the time they get to Revolver, they are a complete pastiche with rock n' roll influences. Sgt. Pepper repeatedly makes the Top 5 of establishment rock critics' Greatest Albums of All Time lists, but I submit that there's very little rock n' roll on it. What does "Within You Without You" or "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite" have to do with Little Richard or Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps? Remember: just my opinion. Not the Voice of the Burning Bush. Alright. I now own or have heard the remasters of Abbey Road, Sgt Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, and Revolver. In short, I'm willing to say that if you're a Beatles fan with a good cd player and stereo receiver, the remasters are worth at least a listen. Whether they're worth buying is an issue between you and your wallet. I've had Sgt. Pepper the longest, because this was the initial cd release that had been most disappointing to me. I had an old Dolby B cassette recording made for me by a college friend from LP on good equipment that I felt sounded much better than that first compact disc release. With the new remaster I could hear the difference even through the little Altec speakers and sub-woofer on my computer. Playing Pepper through my kiddie disc player with line out to the Bose speakers, the difference was enormous. They've really cleaned up this recording. I can only imagine what it sounds like through a really high-end system. Something like the aforementioned "Mr. Kite" is especially immersive, and "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" sounded like the band was right in the room with me. I could hear defined bass notes, and clear drum fills that I couldn't hear on the previous CD editions. Abbey Road is also very impressive, especially "I Want You/She's So Heavy". Funny, one thing this set of reissues has definitely done is get me to play Compact Discs again. I play nearly all of my music on the computer nowadays; it's just easier than hunting through a stack of discs. I suspect a lot of people are going to download these cuts straight to their iPods and lose a lot of definition. This is an important point. I know that on my system, once the cds were converted to MP3 files, even on maximum quality, I couldn't hear much of a difference between the new versions of Revolver and Magical Mystery Tour and the older CDs, and that's how a lot of people are going to experience them. These are going to be the people who report to the music blogs that they've been ripped off. I should mention here that it's now possible to buy a sound card/home theater combo online or at an outlet store that's a hair breath away from a pricey stereo system in quality, but I don't know a lot of people who own thsse, so I can't say in confidence what they'd sound like. The people I know who are having religious experiences listening to these reworks are generally audiophiles with higher end systems who have preserved their hearing against modern amplification at rock shows and in dance clubs. Your friends who are saying "What?" all the time may not hear the difference. I, personally, being p*ss poor, will probably get Past Masters I& II before the end of the year, and then stop. With my current sound equipment, the boxed set isn't worth it. JAMES PS There's a nice little QuickTime mini-documentary included with each cd. It's pleasant to watch for Beatles people because you get to hear the bands' recollections in their own voices, but it's nothing hard core Beatlemaniacs haven't already heard. On The Beatles there’s a sample mini-doc, and lots of videos.