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1. COME TOGETHER
3. MAXWELL'S SILVER HAMMER
4. OH! DARLING
5. OCTOPUS'S GARDEN
6. I WANT YOU (She's so heavy)
7. HERE COMES THE SUN
9. YOU NEVER GIVE ME YOUR MONEY
10. SUN KING
11. MEAN MR MUSTARD
12. POLYTHENE PAM
13. SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW
14. GOLDEN SLUMBERS
15. CARRY THAT WEIGHT
16. THE END
17. HER MAJESTY
Abbey Road Mini-documentary (Insert into computer to view)
All tracks Lennon/McCartney except 2 & 7, Harrison and 5, Starkey
An E.M.I. recording.
Thanks to George Martin, Geoff Emerick and Phillip McDonald.
Original front and back cover photographs by lain Macmillan, Abbey Road, London, 8 Aug 69.
Released on 26th September, 1969, Abbey Road was The Beatles' eleventh UK album and, although not their final LP, it did feature the last songs they recorded together.
For the first and only time, the front cover of a Beatles album included neither their name nor a title – just the now iconic picture taken by lain Macmillan. He photographed the group walking across Abbey Road in North London, a few yards away from the entrance to EMI's studios where the majority of their songs had been recorded since 1962.
However, The Beatles had begun work in 1969 not at Abbey Road but on a vast sound stage at Twickenham Film Studios, surrounded by cameras as they rehearsed songs for a televised concert. This plan was eventually abandoned and an album containing recordings made in their own Apple studio was much delayed until a documentary film of the January sessions was ready. However, two of the songs - 'Get Back' and 'Don't Let Me Down' - were released on The Beatles' nineteenth single in April. It was a worldwide number one and was soon joined in the charts by its follow-up 'The Ballad Of John And Yoko'. Their recently launched Apple label was also proving successful with hits by Mary Hopkin and Billy Preston and the regular creative contribution of The Beatles for a growing roster of artists.
In addition to their demanding commitment to running Apple, The Beatles worked intensively on their next album during the summer. In contrast to the earliest sessions of 1969, which were done 'as live' with no overdubs, they had returned to Abbey Road studios to create with George Martin carefully crafted recordings with ambitious musical arrangements. Interestingly, twelve of the seventeen songs recorded for Abbey Road were played during the filmed rehearsals and sessions in January.
Abbey Road entered the British album chart at number one in October and stayed there for a total of seventeen of its 81 weeks in the chart. The LP also reached number one in the USA and spent eleven weeks at that position.
Its initial stay in the list of 200 best selling albums lasted for 83 weeks until May, 1971.
In the UK, Abbey Road was the only Beatles LP from which tracks were issued on a single after the album had been released. Their third hit of the year coupled 'Something' and 'Come Together' and, in the States, both titles were shown at number one in November, 1969.
Produced by George Martin
Orchestrations by George Martin
Additional production: Chris Thomas
Principal Engineers: Phillip McDonald and Geoff Emerick
The Beatles' recorded legacy was completed in a little over seven years. During this prolific period, their collaboration with producer George Martin and the engineers at Abbey Road had challenged the way that popular music was created. Indeed, on many occasions this team re-wrote the rule book and set a new standard to which their contemporaries had to aspire. How fitting then that their last recordings together should be included on an album named after the road where EMI's studios are located.
In the early part of 1969, the Beatles had recorded in their own studio in the basement of the Apple office building and also at independent studio Trident.
However, from April onwards, all the remaining Beatles recordings were made at Abbey Road. Work intensified on their new album in the summer and Studio Two was booked from 1st July to the end of August. In fact, such was their productivity, Studio Three was sometimes used simultaneously.
Even though they were now using eight-track machines, they still ran into the perennial problem of having an insufficient number of tracks to cope with the ambitious arrangements. This was solved by copying – or 'bouncing down' – to a second eight-track tape, while at the same time mixing some of the tracks together. In this way, free tracks were created on the new tape to overdub additional instruments or vocals and seven songs required this process. To five of those an orchestra was added, which was recorded on 15th August during nine and a quarter hours in Studio One.
Remaining true to the spirit of musical adventure on their previous albums, The Beatles were one of the first pop acts to use a newly invented instrument. George Harrison had purchased one of only a few Moog synthesizers in existence and this large, unwieldy contraption was transported to Abbey Road in August. The electronically generated sound of the 'Moog' can be heard on 'Because', 'Here Comes The Sun', 'I Want You (She's so heavy)' and 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer'.
When their first two albums – Please Please Me and With The Beatles – were recorded on twin-track tape, it was primarily to allow the mono mix to be focused on at another time. Still in its infancy in 1963, stereo was not given the same significance. Even in 1967 when making Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, mono was still viewed as the dominant format. However, two years later, mono was completely disregarded and the Abbey Road LP was mixed solely in stereo.
A few years after the album was released, the name of EMI Recording Studios was officially changed to 'Abbey Road' and tourists dodge London traffic every day to have their photos taken on the pedestrian crossing adjacent to the building!
This remastered album has been created from the original stereo analogue master tapes.
Remastered by Guy Massey and Steve Rooke
Project Co-ordinator: Allan Rouse
Thanks to Simon Gibson
Historical Notes: Kevin Howlett and Mike Heatley
Recording Notes: Allan Rouse and Kevin Howlett
Project management for EMI Records Ltd: Wendy Day and Guy Hayden
All songs published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC except tracks 2 and 7, Harrisongs Ltd and 5, Startling Music Ltd.
Digital Remaster ® 2009 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by EMI Records Ltd. © 2009 EMI Records Ltd. This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved.
Artwork © 2009 Apple Corps Ltd. All photographs © Apple Corps Ltd.
Album Redesign: Drew Lorimer
Photo retouching: Gavin O'Neill
Photo editing and research: Aaron Bremner and Dorcas Lynn
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