Beatles, The - Abbey Road [LP] (Standard LP, 50th Anniversary, new 'Abbey Road' stereo mix)

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Michael Fremer Rated 11/10 Music, 10/10 Sonics!

50th Anniversary Edition 180g Vinyl LP!
New Mix by Giles Martin & Sam Okell!
Pressed at Quality Record Pressings!

Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - Rated 14/500!
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time - "Something" - Rated 278/500!

It was 50 years ago, on August 8, 1969, that the world's most famous band stepped out from London's EMI Recording Studios to stride, single-file, across the black and white stripes of Abbey Road's nearby zebra crossing. With photographer Iain Macmillan balanced on a stepladder and one policeman stopping the street's light traffic, The Beatles crossed back and forth three times, led by John Lennon, followed by Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison. Just six photos were taken, with the fifth selected as the cover shot for The Beatles' penultimate studio album, Abbey Road, named after the tree-lined street in which the studios are located. Released September 26, 1969, Abbey Road was not The Beatles' final album, as Let It Be followed in 1970, but it was the last one John, Paul, George, and Ringo recorded together as a band.

The 10th Anniversary Edition of Abbey Road features the new stereo album mix, sourced directly from the original eight-track session tapes. To produce the mix, Giles Martin working with Sam Okell, was guided by the album's original stereo mix supervised by his father, George Martin.

"The magic comes from the hands playing the instruments, the blend of The Beatles' voices, the beauty of the arrangements," Giles Martin explains. "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."

"...it’s nice to have George sing “Here Comes the Sun” “standing” between the speakers rather than being shunted off to the right speaker. It’s equally pleasing to hear the harmonies spread on the stage rather than being locked into the right speaker. That doesn’t make esthetic sense so was obviously originally done due to a “bounce down” that couldn’t be revised until now.

"It’s equally great if not even more excellent to get the guitar solos on “The End” spread for the first time across the stereo stage instead of being bunched in the center. On the remix Paul’s guitar is on the left, George’s is on the right and John’s is in the middle."

"Like the mix on The Beatles, Martin went for and achieved a more consistent “in the pocket” well-balanced, you might say “technocratic” and orderly mix than was the original, which was a bolder, more “in your face” and inconsistent mix featuring bigger images on a wider, more spacious soundstage that left a lot of space between images and events.

"Listening carefully to the original you can hear the placement of ‘satellite submixes’ that were impossible to seamlessly integrate into the whole. The reissue is far more coherent.

"There’s much greater bass weight on the reissue but the top end has less (and I think desirable) “crunch”, especially to the snare drums...

"The reissue’s even balance and coherent spatial organization will impress even the most skeptical listener though it may take more than a few plays to “get” it. Once acclimated even lucky owners of the original U.K. pressing should find this reissue a worthwhile and enjoyable addition to their collection of Beatles vinyl." - Michael Fremer, AnalogPlanet.com, September 2019

Sonically, the track-to-track differences are heard less as a total facelift and more as a brilliant refresh, the new edition eliciting more tonal color, density, and detail. Images are spread more equitably and discretely across the soundspace, with less overlap and smear. Vocals are more engraved in their own ambient space, and bass and drums are more articulate. 'Come Together' provides a weightier, 'heavier' impact, as does the entire side two medley. It's a more balanced mix, as in 'Here Comes The Sun,' where the earlier hard-panning of George's vocal is tweaked and the focus of the instrumentation moves closer to center stage.
-Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound, January 2020

Features

  • 50th Anniversary Edition
  • 180g Vinyl
  • New stereo mix by Giles Martin and Sam Okell
  • Pressed at Quality Record Pressings

Selections

Side One:

  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)

Side Two:

  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

2019 Capitol Records