We have all heard of The Beatles – it is the world’s most famous band. But a lot of their work was done in the 60s and recordings back then were not the best quality. And over time, they have not fared well – until now.

New breakthroughs in digital restoration mean we can now enjoy the work of Paul, John, George and Ringo like they had just popped out of the studio.

A new release sees their numbers one restored to what is probably better than original.

TheBeatles1 is a pair of restored collection of promo videos and videos with new sound now seen for the first time in half a century.

A spokesman for the tech team said: “A team of 18 expert film and video technicians and restoration artists was assembled by Apple Corps to undertake painstaking frame-by-frame cleaning, colour-grading, digital enhancement and new edits that took months of dedicated, ‘round-the-clock work to accomplish.

“The result is a visual run down of The Beatles’ number one records, as well as the additional tracks on the bonus disc of Beatles 1+ that show the band in previously unseen standards of clarity and quality; many of the films and videos have never before been commercially released, in whole or in part. Beatles 1 and Beatles 1+ offers the restored films, including 35mm negatives scanned in 4K and digitally restored with new stereo and 5.1 surround audio remixes, produced from the original analogue tapes by the Grammy winning team of Giles Martin with Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios.”

Even in the 60s it was realised travelling constantly around the world to promote each new single was both tiring and expensive, so the mini-movie was born.

Bands filmed themselves performing their songs, and that was quickly followed by what we now know as the band video.

They were shot on film which doesn’t do well over time.

The Beatles spokesman said: “These pioneering promotional films and videos helped to define the way we have come to watch music, not least because The Beatles approached filming with the same ease and innovative spirit they brought to the recording studio, exploring new creative possibilities with infectious delight.”

The new release showcases the band’s filmed work to accompany their 27 No.1, U.K. and U.S. singles on CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray pairs.

The technicians have beautifully restored videos for each song, with new stereo and 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS HD surround audio mixes.

The brand new Beatles 1+ celebrates their career in over 200 minutes through 50 promotional films and videos.

For four of the videos, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have provided exclusive audio commentary and filmed introductions, respectively.

Paul said: “These videos and films are spectacular reminders of the era we lived in. They also rock!”

And Ringo added: “I think it’s really interesting to see the videos we made, some of them incredible and some of them really incredible. How else would we have got to sit on a horse?”

See the Penny Lane ‘before and after’ here.

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Stef Murphy

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