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For true Beatles obsessives, the Sept. 9 release of all the band’s albums as a lovingly remastered box set is a huge deal. Sure, it’s expensive, but this is arguably music’s greatest catalog, finally brought properly into the CD era, sounding better than ever, with awesome-looking packaging to boot. So I happily went to Amazon.com last week to file my pre-order — only to learn that I was already too late. “We have sold out of our initial allocation of Beatles stereo box sets,” the impassive emporium told me, “but we will be receiving more inventory after release date.” After release date? Are you kidding me, Amazon?! You expect me to spend 9/9/09 sitting around listening to something other than this box set?

Evidently I’m not the only one who’s been plunged into this nightmare. “Hard-core fans are freaking out,” reports Hits Daily Double. Yes! That is exactly what I am doing! And while the stereo box set that I attempted to pre-order will presumably be back in plentiful stock soon (right? right?!), Hits mentions rumors that its mono counterpart might be limited to a mere 10,000 copies made. Oh, the indignity for any mono-loving collector who failed to pre-order promptly.

Until further notice, I’ll be sitting here like a fool, waiting for that email Amazon.com promised to send me once the stereo box set is available again. Has anyone else been put in the same sad situation? How mad are you that you, like me, didn’t remember to pre-order sooner? Argh! (And if you were one of the lucky few who pre-ordered in time, feel free to make me even more miserable by gloating in the comments section below.)

UPDATE: A representative for EMI, which is issuing both box sets, offered a ray of hope when contacted by EW: “EMI is continuing to manufacture and supply retailers with more of these limited-edition [mono] box sets.” And how about the stereo box set? “Yes, additional supply is being manufactured.” The rep could not provide a timetable for when the boxes might be back on sale, but still: Hallelujah!

More from EW’s Music Mix:

The Beatles on the Music Mix