×

Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ to Get Deluxe 50-Year Treatment in September

The bestselling of the Beatles’ original run of albums is about to get the super-deluxe treatment. As rumored, the 50th anniversary of “Abbey Road” will be commemorated with a boxed set that includes a new Giles Martin mix of the album as well as two discs’ worth of outtakes from the 1969 sessions, it was announced by Apple and Universal Music today.

This and several other iterations of “Abbey Road” will be released September 27, one day after the 50th anniversary of the album’s September 26, 1969 bow. There was significance to the timing of the announcement, too: August 8 marks the 50th anniversary of the brief cover shoot that had the soon-to-split Beatles traversing a crosswalk in front of London’s EMI Recording Studios, which would later be renamed Abbey Road Studios in deference to the global notoriety created by the Beatles’ album title and iconic stroll.

The amount of newly unearthed archival material is not as vast as that found in last year’s boxed set of “The Beatles (White Album),” or as what exists to be included in the 50th anniversary edition of “Let It Be” that is expected in 2020, since the group more clearly honed in on the batch of material they wanted to record for “Abbey Road.” But the extras still include a wealth of alternate early takes and demos that have mostly never been released or bootlegged before.

Among the tantalizing extras: demos made by Paul McCartney of “Come and Get It” and “Goodbye (songs he gave to Badfinger and Mary Hopkins, respectively) and George Harrison of “Something”; alternative versions of “The Ballad and John and Yoko” and “Old Brown Shoe,’ which were released as an A-side and flip side independent of the “Abbey Road” release; orchestra-only tracks of George Martin’s string arrangements for “Something” and “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight,” and many more. )The Martinized orchestral take on “Something” goes online as a streaming preview today._

A track titled “The Long One” is an early mix and edit of the Side 2 medley in which the Beatles tried to insert “Her Majesty” into the running order instead of saving it for the album’s denouement. Additionally, individual and presumably longer versions of songs from the medley like “Mean Mr. Mustard” and “Polythene Pam” will be heard.

The original album has been mixed by anew producer Giles Martin (son of George) and mix engineer Sam Okell in stereo — with an audio Blu-Ray in the boxed set including three additional new mixes, in Dlby Atmos, 5.1 surround and high-res stereo.

Besides the super-deluxe box with four discs, there will be a two-disc version that includes the original album and one CD of outtakes, as well as a single disc that only spotlights the new Martin mix. Apple and Universal will also be putting out a three-LP vinyl version and a single-disc picture disc.

Also serving as an attraction in the super-deluxe set is a 100-page hardbound book that includes a forward by McCartney, introduction by Martin, history by author Kevin Howlett, essay on the album’s influence by David Hepworth, previously unreleased photos by Linda McCartney and other, and artifacts like handwritten lyrics.

Giles Martin’s previous remixes of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and the White Album have generally been well received by fans, although controversy always exists when something fresh is being done with the original masters. In the case of “Abbey Road,” it’s the first of these three instances in which there was not a separate mono release from the 1960s to reconcile with the more familiar studio version, so what Martin will be doing to punch up the original tracks will remain a source of intrigue until  late September. “The magic comes from the hands playing the instruments, the blend of The Beatles’ voices, the beauty of the arrangements,” Martin emphasizes in his written introduction for the new release. “Our quest is simply to ensure everything sounds as fresh and hits you as hard as it would have on the day it was recorded.”

New editions of “Let It Be” — an album that was almost entirely recorded before “Abbey Road,” but touched up afterward and released as the group’s final album — are expected in 2020, with much to draw upon from hundreds of hours of tape and dozens of songs touched upon. A documentary about the album by director Peter Jackson, incorporating footage from the 1970 film “Let It Be” as well as its voluminous outtakes, has already been announced for next year.

 

The full track lists:

SUPER DELUXE [3CD+1Blu-ray set; digital audio collection]

CD ONE: 2019 Stereo Mix

1. Come Together

2. Something

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

8. Because

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

CD TWO: Sessions

1. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Trident Recording Session & Reduction Mix)

2. Goodbye (Home Demo)

3. Something (Studio Demo)

4. The Ballad Of John And Yoko (Take 7)

5. Old Brown Shoe (Take 2)

6. Oh! Darling (Take 4)

7. Octopus’s Garden (Take 9)

8. You Never Give Me Your Money (Take 36)

9. Her Majesty (Takes 1–3)

10. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Takes 1–3 / Medley)

11. Here Comes The Sun (Take 9)

12. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Take 12)

CD THREE: Sessions

1. Come Together (Take 5)

2. The End (Take 3)

3. Come And Get It (Studio Demo)

4. Sun King (Take 20)

5. Mean Mr Mustard (Take 20)

6. Polythene Pam (Take 27)

7. She Came In Through  The Bathroom Window (Take 27)

8. Because (Take 1 – Instrumental)

9. The Long One (Trial Edit & Mix – 30 July 1969)

(Medley: You Never Give Me Your Money, Sun King, Mean Mr Mustard, Her Majesty, Polythene Pam, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, The End)

10. Something (Take 39 – Instrumental – Strings Only)

11. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Take 17 – Instrumental – Strings & Brass Only)

BLU-RAY: Abbey Road

Audio Features:

– Dolby Atmos

– 96kHz/24 bit DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

– 96kHz/24 bit High Res Stereo (2019 Stereo Mix)

DELUXE 3LP VINYL BOX SET (limited edition)

LP ONE: Side 1 (2019 Stereo Mix)

1. Come Together

2. Something

3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

4. Oh! Darling

5. Octopus’s Garden

6. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

LP ONE: Side 2 (2019 Stereo Mix)

1. Here Comes The Sun

2. Because

3. You Never Give Me Your Money

4. Sun King

5. Mean Mr Mustard

6. Polythene Pam

7. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

8. Golden Slumbers

9. Carry That Weight

10. The End

11. Her Majesty

LP TWO: Side 1 (Sessions)

1. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Trident Recording Session and Reduction Mix)

2. Goodbye (Home Demo)

3. Something (Studio Demo)

4. The Ballad Of John And Yoko (Take 7)

5. Old Brown Shoe (Take 2)

LP TWO: Side 2 (Sessions)

1. Oh! Darling (Take 4)

2. Octopus’s Garden (Take 9)

3. You Never Give Me Your Money (Take 36)

4. Her Majesty (Takes 1–3)

5. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Takes 1–3) / Medley)

6. Here Comes The Sun (Take 9)

7. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Take 12)

LP THREE: Side 1 (Sessions)

1. Come Together (Take 5)

2. The End (Take 3)

3. Come and Get It (Studio Demo)

4. Sun King (Take 20)

5. Mean Mr Mustard (Take 20)

6. Polythene Pam (Take 27)

7. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (Take 27)

8. Because (Take 1 Instrumental)

LP THREE: Side 2 (Sessions)

1. The Long One (Trial Edit & Mix – 30 July 1969)

2. Something (Take 39 – Instrumental – Strings Only)

3. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Take 17 – Instrumental – Strings & Brass Only)

DELUXE 2CD

CD ONE: 2019 Stereo Mix

CD TWO: Sessions

1. Come Together (Take 5)

2. Something (Studio Demo)

3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Take 12)

4. Oh! Darling (Take 4)

5. Octopus’s Garden (Take 9)

6. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Trident Recording Session & Reduction Mix)

7. Here Comes The Sun (Take 9)

8. Because (Take 1 Instrumental)

9. You Never Give Me Your Money (Take 36)

10. Sun King (Take 20)

11. Mean Mr Mustard (Take 20)

12. Polythene Pam (Take 27)

13. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (Take 27)

14. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Takes 1–3 / Medley)

15. The End (Take 3)

16. Her Majesty (Takes 1–3)

 

 

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Ric Ocasek'The Imitation Game' film premiere,

    The Cars' Ric Ocasek Remembered by Weezer, the Killers, Courtney Love, More

    Ric Ocasek’s death on Sept. 15 elicited reactions from all over the music industry. While Ocasek was best known as the frontman for the Cars, he was also a noted producer, A&R executive and author. Among the artists to pay tribute  on social media in the hours after news of Ocasek’s death broke were Weezer, [...]

  • Ric Ocasek Rock & Roll Hall

    Ric Ocasek, The Cars Frontman, Dies at 75

    Ric Ocasek, frontman of the popular late 1970s and 1980s band the Cars, was found dead in his New York home on Sunday. He was 75. The NYPD confirmed that Ocasek’s body was discovered after police received a call regarding an unconscious male at his townhouse. Emergency services pronounced him dead at the scene. No [...]

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • Roseanne Cash, Ken Burns. Ken Burns,

    Ken Burns on 'Country Music' and Why Merle, Hank, Dwight, Loretta and Lil Nas X Matter

    The phrase “the Ken Burns effect” is specifically the name of a function on Apple computers that makes all your static old family photos move around on screen like something out of “The Civil War.” But there’s another Ken Burns effect worth talking about as his “Country Music” comes to TV screens: the impact one [...]

  • Hailee Steinfeld Sets New Single Tied

    Hailee Steinfeld Announces New Single Tied to Apple TV Plus' 'Dickinson'

    Actress, singer and producer Hailee Steinfeld is set to release a new single entitled “Afterlife” on Sept. 19, a track she created for her upcoming Apple TV Plus series,”Dickinson.” “This is a song I’m incredibly proud of, and I feel like after embodying this character, I have a more fearless approach to my writing,” Steinfeld [...]

  • Deadmau5 Captivates Opening Night Crowd by

    Concert Review: Deadmau5 Captivates Opening Night Crowd by Going Cube-ist

    “I’m not gonna lie: first shows [of a tour] usually suck,” deadpanned electronic music producer Joel Zimmerman, aka deadmau5, Thursday night, closing out the first night of his two-night stand in Dallas, the kickoff city of his North American “CubeV3” tour. “But this one actually was great.” The sold-out crowd at South Side Ballroom roared back [...]

  • John Mayer performs at Madison Square

    Concert Review: John Mayer Is a Wonderland at First of Two-Night Stand at the Forum

    “You’re allowed to ironically celebrate your past,” John Mayer told a sold-out crowd of nearly 18,000 on Friday night at the iconic Inglewood, Calif. venue The Forum. He was introducing what is arguably his breakout hit, the college dorm hookup anthem “Your Body is a Wonderland,” but the declaration could easily have applied to the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content