If you can pick up the 6 CD set The Early Years (expanded edition) (make sure you go for the edition from 2013 with the extras and cleaned up tapes) then I will happily polish you boots. It's great to dip in and out of and has every track from 1959 to 1966
*twangs tennis racket*
Rob Bradford (the guy behind it all) says:
I'm new to the Steve Hoffman site....but I've been around a long time in musical circles!! Well......as I was the consultant / notes writer / track researcher on this project, then I really can give you 'chapter & verse' on this one. First up - every single track (apart from one!) has been remastered from the original master tapes. No noise reduction of any kind has been applied. No fake stereo. A couple of stereo rarities - the stereo master tape of "FBI" was lost for over 40 years!! It was finally traced in 2008 by Shadows fan / expert Tony Hoffman (no relation to Steve!) and used (with official permission) on a private label CD - which many fans may have missed ("Instro Beat" - a Legacy Sounds CD). An AV of a track called "Some Are Lonely" somehow escaped to France and only ever appeared in stereo on a French 10" LP from 1962!! Now - the stereo master for that track has never been found & so the stereo AV has been remastered from a prisitine copy of the ultra rare French vinyl. There are 3 'first time stereo' releases. "Blue Shadows" and "French Dressing" were 1963 recordings - which appeared on the "Dance With The Shadows" LP in 1964. Those tracks were recorded on the EMI mobile. Producer Norrie Paramor was never happy with the master tapes - due to technical / mechanical problems & they were never mixed to stereo - even appearing in mono on stereo versions of the LP (& later CD reissues). So.....now....50 years later (!!!!!!)...they have finally been mixed to stereo for the very first time!!! In 1966 the Shadows appeared (as puppets) in the original "Thunderbirds Are Go!" movie. They recorded their own versions of "Thunderbirds" and "Zero - X" but the tracks weren't mixed into stereo until 1997. They also recorded an original, "Lady Penelope", but.......in 1997 the master tape couldn't be found. Thus....."Lady Penelope" (because I'm pleased to say that I helped to locate the long - lost multi - track) became the very last Shadows track (1959 - 1966) to be finally mixed into stereo - especially for this 6 CD set. Additionally - there are 31 mono tracks (all mastered from the original analogue master tapes) making their debut on CD (I believe that 4 of these mono tracks may have appeared on fairly obscure and long - deleted Australian / South African CDs about 25 - 30 yrs ago...but they were dubbed from vinyl). The Shadows (originally the Drifters) first 7 recorded tracks were only ever mono. So...what you've got is 147 stereo tracks - all remastered (2 of them ultra rare and 3 'first - time' stereo) and 38 mono tracks (31 first - time on CD and from the master tapes). Of course the 31 first time from master tapes mono tracks have stereo equivalents - so there are 154 different tracks (2 versions of "Some Are Lonely" - which are not identical). hope this helps. A great set. Great price. Great notes!