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on December 10, 2006
Of all the possible posthumous incarnations for the Beatles, here's one of the most unlikely - as soundtrack to a Las Vegas circus.

It isn't any old circus, admittedly, but Canada's arty, super-acrobatic Cirque du Soleil, whose current Las Vegas show, "Love", is modelled on the story of the Beatles and characters from their songs: "Eleanor Rigby", "Sergeant Pepper" et al.

More importantly, "Love-the-show" - the result of George Harrison's friendship with Cirque founder Guy Laliberte - involved producer George Martin disinterring the group's master tapes from the Abbey Road vault for he and his son Giles to remix and remodel.

The results blast "Love" audiences from a state-of-the-art surround-sound system that includes speakers in individuual seats.

And the first thing "Love-the-album" does, at least in its DVD surround-sound format, is to blow you away with sheer sonic wizardry. Set to a noisy dawn chorus, complete with fluttering wings, the three-part vocal harmonies of 'Because' arrive with the clarity of an ice blue sky. The chugging introduction to 'Get Back' hurtles out of the mix like a train. The pumping fairground organs of 'Mr Kite' reek of steam and sawdust. Hearing many of the familiar tracks is like viewing an old masterpiece after cleaning: the light is brighter, the shadows deeper. Here, the trebles tingle while the bass end booms.

Some of this is painstaking technical restoration. After the Beatles swapped touring for the studio, they and Martin became experts at squeezing a quart of sound into a pint pot, extending the limits of four- and eight-track recordings by 'bouncing down' tracks.

Today's technology has let the Martins reverse the process, giving instruments and voices more autonomy. Ever notice the pizzicato violins on the middle 8 of 'Something'? You will now.

The ambitions of "Love" go beyond renovation, however. Its 26 tracks are set in an ambient flow of sound collages distilled from hours of Beatles tapes and containing fragments and echoes of 130 songs in all. Frequently the effect is ghostly, as the stalking strings of 'Glass Onion' and a snatch of 'Nowhere Man' drift like ectoplasm down a corridor. 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' - one of the few numbers from the moptop days - surfaces from a scratchy haze of screaming.

The most ambitious songs emerge most improved. There is not, after all, much to be done with the rock'n'roll retro of 'Lady Madonna', whereas 'Strawberry Fields' and 'I am the Walrus' sound more than ever like avant-garde masterpieces. Harrison's 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' (the slower version from Anthology 3) is given a sumptuous string setting by Sir George.

Throughout, the McCartney/Starr rhythm section has never sounded so heavy, or the group's vocal harmonies so sharp and affecting.

"Love" vindicates the Beatles' status as master musicians and conceptualists. Not only for the spirit of optimism they embodied but artistically, they remain the act to beat. On this evidence, no one else comes close.

My favourite track is 'Here Comes the Sun/The Inner Light'.

Neil Spencer
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on November 23, 2006
Listened to it in my car on the way home and my response was wow! Got home and put it on my soundsystem in the office and went WOW! Put the dvd disc on DTS in the home theatre and my jaw dropped. You cannot imagine how unbelievably incredible this disc is. George Martin and son have created a masterpiece. One can only hope that when the Beatles catalogue is released remastered they are given the same technological detail. The beatles have never been heard like this.

I won't comment on the remix, other than to say it is not gimmicky...congrats to George and Giles Martin!!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 24, 2007
If someone were to tell you that a new Beatles album was out and it was made partially for Cirque Du Soleil, you'd probably remember the 1978 Peter Frampton/Bee Gees travesty and scream in horror! No worries here. George Martin himself (and son) have taken over 30 Beatles songs (and an uncountable amount of true Beatles special effects) and made a masterpiece. From the quiet, bird-chirping beginning of "Because" to the anthemic "All You Need Is Love", one is treated to a musical masterpiece. No song is presented in its entirety nor is any song given short shrift. Using original Beatles soundtracks and effects, each song is seamlessly sequenced into the next giving an almost psychedelic experience. In fact, some of the special sound effects will make you feel as if you'd taken more than an aspirin. The experience truly is one that anyone, even the most fanatical of Beatles fans, will appreciate. That's just the regular CD! If you play the DTS 5.1 DVD on a good system, your mind will be blown! This is one of those musical experiences that you just cannot believe was made so well, so exquisitely, so amazingly. It is the Beatles.
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on December 10, 2006
Along with the Amazonian rainforest, there can be few natural resources which have been ransacked like the Beatles back catalogue. Anthologised, lobotomised, and generally pillaged in the pursuit of commercial gain, public demand appeared to have finally exhausted itself with the middling response to 2003's unfortunately titled "Let It Be... Naked".

Until now. Prompted by a long-term friendship between George Harrison and Cirque De Soleil's founder Guy Laliberté, and given the blessing of the Axis Powers (Paul, Ringo and Yoko), Love is the latest addition to that bulging catalogue.

Essentially the soundtrack to the Cirque show launched in Las Vegas last July, "Love" is a jaw-dropping 80- minute mash-up of The Beatles' more accessible tunes, slavishly compiled by Giles Martin and overseen by father George, all delivered in sumptuous 5.1 surround sound.

Those fearing a train-wreck along the lines of Twin Freaks - The Freelance Hellraiser's remix assault on the Wings back catalogue - can rest easy.

Starting off with "Because", it segues into the drum solo from "The End", hammers into the opening riff from "Hard Day's Night" and then lurches straight into "Get Back" before you can splutter "Stars On 45".

From there it's a musical landslide of Beatleology ( "Eleanor Rigby", "A Day In The Life", "Here Comes The Sun" ), all overlaid with snippets from every nook and cranny of their back catalogue.

So we get "Drive My Car/The Word/What You're Doing" as one continuous ebb'n'flow of mid-period drugginess, "Come Together/Dear Prudence" as an acid-fried soundscape and - best of all - the cosmic drones of "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Within You Without You" fitted together like a glove.

Wherever a song is allowed to stand alone ("Back In The USSR", "Revolution"), it arrives with double-tracked vocals, stripped back instrumentation or - why not? - the faint tinge of sitar.

If the scale is almost beyond comprehension, "Love" also represents a sonic Da Vinci Code for Beatles trainspotters, who could spend the rest of their lives arguing over whether the snare sound is derived from "No Reply" or "Paperback Writer".

Completists will enjoy a newly unearthed demo version of "Strawberry Fields Forever", but it is the Martins' obsessive quest for innovation which deserves the garlands.

Paul Moody
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on June 21, 2013
As much as I don't entirely like the idea of it using mash ups of Beatle songs. This is an excellent way to hear The Beatles in 5.1. DVD-Audio 5.1 is of course superior to the accompanying 5.1 audio in DTS and Dolby in the DVD-Video section of the disk. I am very sad that DVD-Audio is a disappearing format. It is superior in every way to CDs. Players are difficult to get as they always have been. This DVD includes 5.1 mixes of a number of Beatle songs including I Am The Walrus, Help, Strawberry Fields Forever and others. There are many more songs that come in and out of the music in bits. I don't recommend the CD version of this album though. It sounds messy. 5.1 is necessary to appreciate the aim of this type of mixing. I have a DVD-Audio player on a computer with 5.1 speakers. For those who do not have at all a DVD-Audio player, it can be achieved on almost any computer. Get the program Foobar 2000, which plays DVD-Audio files (AOB files) from any DVD drive. Use a program to get the files onto your computer if necessary. Be warned if you depend on HDCP to play DVD-Audio. The new standard has DVD-Audio playing at 16 bits instead of its original 24 bits, according to what I have read. So avoid HDCP. Use an analog output not HDMI.
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on April 27, 2011
Spectacular product! This is the complete audio of the incredible LOVE show by Cirque. The audio quality is unbelievable. I wasn't sure what to expect when I purchased it, the information was not complete anywhere. In case you have the same doubts: it comes in a very nice package that contains a cd and also a DVD, so you can play it on a DVD player with surround system. Both have all 26 sound tracks.
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on March 1, 2010
For me, this album has spurred a new found interest in The Beatles.

Unfortunately, up until about a year ago I had never really taken the time to discover The Beatles and really listen to, and familarize myself with their albums. Of coarse, I've heard the music all life in one form or another but never had the opportunity to have the album experience as I've had with so many other bands. Just something that eluded me.

After hearing some Beatles songs on the radio at work one day, and after showing some interest in the music, a co-worker lent me her copy of this CD. It really grabbed me. it sounded so clear. I've listened to it countless times. I think it sounds great and is well put together. I would recommend it to anyone.

I've since started purchasing some of the new stereo remasters of the albums indiviually and currenly have the Mono boxset on order. Can't wait. So much to discover.

I can understand the people who say that the music shouldn't be messed with and that they don't the like the album due to that view point. But, if you look at it as a great introduction to the The Beatles music for people that don't have much knowledge of the music. Then the possibility of spurring further interest in the music is there, as it has with me 8) what took me so long! Peace.

High points for me are Octopus's Garden, I think it's a great version with yellow submarine effects behind it. I also like the intro to Lady Madonna, which is a nice segway from Octopus's Garden with the clapping hands. There are a lot of gems in there to tickle you interest and maybe research to see exactly what songs are mixed together.
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on January 5, 2007
I didn't know what to expect when I bought the Beatles Love, but it sure is a treat after listening to it! It's so well done! The song's tie in perfectly, and you feel like your right there in the room with the Beatles! Some great re-mixes by George Martin, but there not your ordinary re-mixes, what he did was combine Beatles song's and kind of mould them into each other. Gotta listen yourself to understand. Trust me though, it's a new experience, especially in 5.1 surround sound.

My favorite moments are here :

7) "Drive My Car/The Word/What your doing" - This really worked well and the melody's really sound great together. Very well done!

13) "Strawberry Fields Forever" - Very different from the original. It start's off with an acoustic guitar, and the rest of the way through is an eerie but en-lighting experience. It's less phycedelcic then the original, but just as powerful. Very neat and new.

17) "Lady Madonna" - I had never heard this one before hearing it on Love, so I can't tell you if there are any noticeable difference's, but it sound's darn good and the song is awesome as well! Check it out.

20) "Revolution" - The rocky version of "Revolution"! Sound's crystal clear and it's great to hear the boy's just rockin' like this!

22) "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" - I had no clue what song this was at first, until I realized that it was George's classic, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"! It's all done on acoustic guitar with a bit of orchestra near the end. This one is great, and like "Strawberry Fields Forever" a totally new experience!

24) "Hey Jude" - This is an edited version of the original 7:00 minute "Hey Jude", but ya wouldn't know it! George Martin make's it seem so slick! The track is as great as it always was with re-mastered sound, and you'll be singing "Na-Na-Na-Na Na Na" by the end for sure!

25) "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" (Reprise) - My favorite transition from the album has to be from "Hey Jude" to "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)". The orchestra of "Hey Jude" slowly fade's out as the sliding guitar slowly fade's in and will get ya jumping!

26) "All You Need Is Love" - How do you not end the album with "All You Need Is Love"? The album is titled Love isn't it! Anyway's, not much different from the original, but John's vocal's are as raw and powerfull as ever here.

It's the Beatles. It's John, Paul, George and Ringo. Just go get it already!

Well done Mr. Martin!

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on November 23, 2006
I just want to say that I'm a Beatles fanatic. I own all their albums, singles, and EP's on CD. I have also a number of their DVD releases. I've been to Liverpool and seen the museum and ridden the Magical Mystery Tour Bus around town. I'm really excited about this LOVE album more than anything that's been released in the past 35 years. This is because of the wonderful rearrangements of many of the old songs and the fact that 5.1 mixes are included in this package. As an audio engineer and music fan, I realize the editing work and and balance achieved on this project is of enormous import and may harken a new era of Beatles surround remix projects. I'd like to hear the entire White Album, Sgt. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, and Abbey Road redone. These mixes have breathed new life into 40 year old recordings. Bravo. Worthy of an Edison Award nomination for sure. Don't waste your money buying only the stereo CD. Get this set!
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on June 6, 2010
I had refused to even listen to this album since it came out until I finally broke down. Now I realize just how silly that was. From the acapella 'Because' comes the iconic cord of 'Hard Day's Night' only to start into 'Get Back' by way of Ringo's Drum Solo from 'The End' (and that's only the first few minutes). It really makes you realize just how dense and layered the music was when they can get all these sounds from just the original recordings and demos. Highlights include 'Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows', 'Strawberry Fields Forever' and in my mind the definitave version of 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'. The only fumble I saw was the backwards 'Sun King'; good intro to 'Something' and a nice comment on fans playing songs backwards, but not really successful. Everything else was great. But why listen to others opinions? Give it a listen and decide for yourself. I was definately not disappointed.
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