Abbey Road (1969)

Abbey Road

Buy Abbey Road on CD, on Vinyl, or on iTunes

Following the disastrous Let It Be sessions, Paul had approached producer George Martin asking if they could make an album "the way we used to." Martin agreed, but only if the band would be "the way (they) used to be." Paul agreed, and sessions began for the Beatles best-selling record, Abbey Road, briefly recorded under the working title "Everest". Songs about being in debt, being broke, and being ripped off dominated the sessions. George came into his own as a writer with Here Comes the Sun and Something. The sessions proved to be the last for the Beatles. The cassette version of Abbey Road has Come Together and Here Comes the Sun switched on the track list, and the UK version does not list Her Majesty on the back cover, whereas some US copies feature one or the other, or both. Rumors circulated for some time that Paul was not wearing pants for the cover photo and they were airbrushed on, but photo outtakes from the same session have proven this false. The album won the 1969 Grammy for Best Engineered (Non-Classical) Recording. Nominated for Album Of The Year and Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Group.

Clash and compromise

Even though a stated effort was made to be civil, John and Paul argued regularly during the sessions. John wanted to create an album of distinct songs, while Paul, backed by George Martin, wanted a thematic approach similar to Sgt. Pepper's Heart Club Band. John dismissed Paul's compositions as "granny music" and the B-side medley as "just bits of songs thrown together" and "junk". John even favored separating his compositions from Paul's by placing them on different sides of the album. Additionally, Yoko's presence in the studio continued to distract the band, and when doctors required her to stay on bed rest following a car accident John had a bed put in the studio.

The Capitol mastering controversy

In order to more easily cut masters the masters, and because the album sides were longer than the standard 23 minutes, Capitol dropped the overall volume and filtered some of the bass, which enables the record grooves to be narrower and more sound to fit on it (deeper bass requires wider grooves). Because it was necessary to turn the volume up louder, surface noise is more evident and the overall sound quality is diminished.

Track list

Side A

  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 B

  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

Release history

  • Apple PCS 7088, released September 26, 1969
  • Apple SO 383, released October 1, 1969
  • Parlophone PCS 7088 (Green Vinyl), released 1979
  • Capitol SEAX 11900, released December 1978
  • Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-023, released December 28, 1979
  • Capitol C1-46446, released October 20, 1987
  • Parlophone CDP 7 46446 2 (stereo CD), released October 20, 1987
  • Apple 0946 3 82468 2 4 (remastered stereo CD), released September 9, 2009

Back cover, vinyl

Abbey Road, Back cover, vinyl

Back cover, vinyl (Her Majesty unlisted)

Abbey Road, Back cover, vinyl (Her Majesty unlisted)

Back cover, original CD

Abbey Road, Back cover, original CD

MFSL cover

Abbey Road, MFSL cover

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