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This is easily one of the coolest stories I've heard about in a long time. Beatles fans have only been waiting for someone to come along, remaster the original albums and release them in updated CD (or other format) versions. It's not that the original CD releases are of a horrible quality, but they are from back when the format was first starting out and with new production techniques and the ability to preserve audio quality digitally it just seems like new remastered versions would be far superior. Unfortunately no such official releases have been made and so it appears fans have had to take matters into their own hands.
A little searching on the Internet for the term "Purple Chick" delivers a handful of sites dedicated to complete remastered and expanded editions of the original Beatles albums. The quality of these remasters is about as high as you can get using FLAC lossless compression and supposedly captured from the original vinyl on many occasions, making them vastly superior to the original CD releases.
Although remastered versions of the classics are great and greatly appreciated, what truly impressed me about this project is the shear depth and dedication to including as much as possible. These "Purple Chick" deluxe editions are absolutely packed with bonus material ranging from different takes to interviews and both stereo and mono mixes making for a true collectors level package. It can even be a little overwhelming with some albums expanded to 3 disks and others like the "White Album" expanded to twelve disks with tons of the original studio recordings. You can even attack the complete 83 CD set of the "A/B Road, Get Back Sessions", some 97 hours of studio tape recording every moment of that period in the studio.
I find many of the studio takes to be incredibly interesting as it really gives an insight into the creative process of the band and so find this bonus material to be extremely interesting. Plus it's not just any band you're getting a glimpse of behind the scenes... it's the Beatles!... the greatest rock and roll band of all time.
In fact, there is so much additional material that it makes me wonder how "Purple Chick" has obtained it all. That combined with the fact that these fan releases may or may not be crossing some legal bounds makes me wonder if perhaps this is actually someone directly related to the band in some way. I don't know if that's the case, and all indications actually seem to point to these just being completist fan projects, but any way you look at it, this is a pretty cool... and a massive undertaking as well.
Perhaps the one of the best features of this project though, is that it seems to be 100% available for free online to download... if you have the disk space and the time to tackle it. I'm debating starting myself because there's just so much material, I wonder if I'll actually be able to get through it all... I'd certainly try, and the collector in me would love to have such a massive collection, but still it's an incredible amount of material even for the most dedicated Beatles fans.
If anything I'll pick up the remastered stereo versions just to see the comparison between the original CD quality and the new remastered versions.
You can actually get a glimpse of the comparison between the original and the remix over at Rolling Stone, which is incidentally where I first heard about this "Purple Chick". Check out that brief story here: http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/20200609/page/19
I also found a site that has a complete listing (at least I think it's complete) of the project (although you'll have to go elsewhere to actually download them). There's more than I even first anticipated going all the way back to the Quarrymen days and the original auditions, and ranging to entire sets of interviews and other non-studio items, to the afore mentioned "A/B Road" set, to live material from the Star Club in Hamburg. Check out that listing here: http://x3mkungen.mine.nu/wogev/beatles/pc/index.html
There's a Purple Chick Blog which links to the various download pages here: http://wordpress.com/tag/purple-chick/
Or you can go directly to where most of those posts link, Six Plus Three, the Unofficial Beatles resource and find most of the download links there as well. Like I said, these downloads appear to be 100% free... but be patient as the site hosting them can be a little complicated with a time delay and image verification. There's also a lot of other Beatles related material on the Six Plus Three site, so make sure to check it out while you're over there: http://6plus3.wordpress.com/
All in all, I am incredibly impressed by the depth of the work of the "Purple Chick". Talk about dedication to the music and to the Beatles... special thanks indeed to the Purple Chick... and for releasing it online for free? Well that's just the icing on the cake.
If you're a Beatles fan, then I think these DIY remasters are definitely worth checking out... if for the improved quality, than just for the incredible amount of bonus material that is included. More than enough to satisfy any collectors appetite.