Well it is true to say that Tony Benn was Postmaster General, with responsibility for broadcasting among other things, when the UK pirate stations burst onto the scene in 1964 and he made many speeches denouncing the offshore pirate stations. However it was his successor Edward Short who pushed through the Marine Offences Act which eventually did away with watery wireless in the UK and made life difficult for those that chose to fight on (Caroline North & South) and those that came later (RNI, Caroline & Laser 558).
BJ you probably know that in the UK BBC Radio One, dominated the POP airwaves once all the competition had been shut down by the UK govt. So effectively the UK only had 1 legal pop orientated station from 1967 until the early 80's, but ...guess when it went STEREO?
History Lesson Pt. 237...As being a "stereo- freak" from way back...you have to remember..singles were mixed for mono as that was how the song would be heard on pop-radio
(in the USA, top-40 radio stations in the 40's through the 70's were on AM frequency.......in mono!)...in the USA (in 1967) FM radio stations were starting to broadcast "Album Oriented Music" in stereo...soooooo.. that gave birth to (by 1968, in the US and Canada at least) the Mono-Stereo DJ single...and the Stereo single..which up until 1975, was pretty much hit-or-miss anyway (by the way all stock Bell label singles are mono!)...it also depends weather an artist handed over a stereo master along with a mono master (most mono records before 1971 were MIXED for mono and not simply a pushed together mix from a stereo master)...having said all that...there are some killer mono mixes out there that simply fall apart when you hear the stereo (balancing and levels)......Go find a good mono single mix of "Paperback Writer" and let me know what you think....In fact a scratchy old single would do................John
As someone born in the 70s (so never having seen stereo as a novelty), this sort of thing baffles me. Stereo is not intrinsically better than mono just as much as CDs are not intrinsically better than vinyl! The Beatles for example... anything pre White Album is much better in MONO... although some of the recent mixes are decent they just aren't the real thing and the original 60s stereo mixes are mostly AWFUL (all drums over to one side? All VOCALS over to one side? People don't hear like that!). In the early 60s, stereo was what 3D TV is today - a novelty for people with more money than sense or interest in technology above art.
Plus, mono 45s are a much better, hardier medium than stereo... give me original mono pressings any day!
That said... loving your comments on the different mixes. Just maybe tone down the mono-bashing!