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The Beatles / Abbey Road reissued for its 50th anniversary across six formats

3CD+blu-ray box • 3LP vinyl • 2CD deluxe • vinyl picture disc • 5.1 & Dolby Atmos surround mixes • Two discs of outtakes in both CD and vinyl sets

The Beatles / Abbey Road 50th anniversary edition


The Beatles‘ 1969 album Abbey Road will be reissued for its 50th anniversary in September. All six physical formats offer a brand new Giles Martin (& Sam Okell) stereo mix and for the first time all the bonus sessions are available on vinyl and CD. Full format details below…

The 3CD+blu-ray super deluxe edition delivers Giles Martin’s new stereo mix on CD 1 with two further CDs of outtakes and unreleased rarities (‘sessions’). A blu-ray audio is the fourth and final disc and it delivers two separate surround sound mixes – a standard 5.1 and a Dolby Atmos mix (along with a hi-res stereo version of the new Giles Martin stereo mix).

The super deluxe is packaged as a 100-page hardcover book which slots into an outer slip case. The volume features chapters written by Beatles historian Kevin Howlett, track-by-track details and session notes, the cover art and photo shoot, and the album’s reception upon its release; plus an essay by music journalist and author David Hepworth looking at the album’s influence through 50 years. The book is illustrated with rare and previously unpublished photographs (including many by Linda McCartney) plus images of handwritten lyrics, sketches, Beatles correspondence, recording sheets, and tape boxes; and reproduced original print ads. Unlike The White Album package, this is a square 12″ x 12″ set.

The Beatles / Abbey Road 50th anniversary 3CD+blu-ray super deluxe edition
Abbey Road 50th anniversary 3CD+ blu-ray set (click image to enlarge)


As well as the standard vinyl LP of the album remix, a 3LP vinyl box is offered which includes all the sessions (from the two CDs in the super deluxe) in their entirety. A 12-inch vinyl picture disc is the third vinyl option available.

Additionally, a 2CD deluxe edition offers the new stereo mix on CD 1 with an alternate version of the album (drawn from the sessions) on disc two. A single CD with the stereo mix of the album will also be issued.

The Beatles / Abbey Road 50th anniversary 3LP vinyl box set

Abbey Road 50th anniversary 3LP vinyl set (click image to enlarge)


Abbey Road was recorded in 1969 after Let It Be, although as is now reasonably well known, the album was actually released seven months before Let It Be, on 26 September 1969 (largely because no one could face the arduous task of going through those Let It Be tapes and trying to salvage an album out of them).

Incredibly, work on songs that would end up on Abbey Road started just three weeks after the Let It Be sessions finished at 3 Saville Row. The fact that one-time ‘fifth Beatle’, Billy Preston, was still around for the recording of ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)‘ – in Trident Studios – underlines that fact. A different take of this song, with Billy letting loose at the end, is one of the outtakes included in the super deluxe and 3LP vinyl.

Other bonus material of interest (let’s face it, it’s ALL of interest) includes Take 7 of the non-album track ‘The Ballad Of John And Yoko‘ – The Beatles’ last UK number one (and the only one to feature just John Lennon and Paul McCartney playing on it) – and an alternate reading of that song’s B-side, the George Harrison composition ‘Old Brown Shoe‘.

The Beatles / Abbey Road 50th anniversary edition 2CD deluxe
The 2CD deluxe edition of Abbey Road (click image to enlarge)


McCartney’s solo demo for what would become Mary Hopkin’s ‘Goodbye‘ shows man and guitar at the peak of his powers. This much bootlegged recording – which has the air of a classic knocked off in his lunch break – is finally officially available on this Abbey Road set, as is George’s demo of ‘Something.’ That song was Harrison’s first single A-side, and while it won an Ivor Novello award it also became the first Beatles’ single not to reach either #1 or #2 in the UK singles chart since ‘Love Me Do’ peaked at 17 back in 1962 (‘Something’ stalled at #4).



The demo of ‘Something’ has already appeared on Anthology 3 of course, although this is a different mix. Talking of which, very little Abbey Road related material from Anthology 3 has been repeated here – ‘Something’ (along with Paul’s demo for ‘Come and Get It’) is the exception rather than the rule. So for example, take 1 of ‘Because‘ features in the new Abbey Road sets but the ethereal acappella version from Anthology isn’t anywhere to be found.

The Beatles / Abbey Road 50th Anniversary vinyl picture disc
A vinyl picture disc of Abbey Road will also be released (click to image to enlarge)


The two discs of ‘sessions’ also includes three versions of ‘Her Majesty‘ (originally a ‘hidden’ track, of course), a 30 July ‘trial edit/mix’ of ‘The Long One’ which would become the famous medley (at this stage ‘Her Majesty’ was still slap bang in the middle of the sequence) and alternate takes of ‘You Never Give Me Your Money,’ ‘Here Comes The Sun‘ and ‘Oh! Darling‘.

The blu-ray audio that comes in the four-disc super deluxe edition of the Abbey Road 50th anniversary reissue features not only the standard 5.1 mix, but also a Dolby Atmos mix. The latter was also created for Sgt. Pepper in 2017 but not completed in time for inclusion with the super deluxe of the 1967 album. Despite Dolby’s claims that Atmos mixes work fine on standard 5.1 set-ups, we basically have the best of both worlds here.

Finally, a vinyl picture disc of Abbey Road is released at the same time as the four other physical formats. With Sgt. Pepper it followed a few months later. It’s worth noting that the original stereo mix of Abbey Road doesn’t appear anywhere on any of the formats (there was no mono mix).

The 50th Anniversary editions of Abbey Road are released on 27 September 2019.

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Abbey Road - 3CD+blu-ray super deluxe edition

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Abbey Road stereo remix - single vinyl LP

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Abbey Road 50th anniversary edition 3CD+Blu-ray super deluxe edition

Disc 1 (CD) : 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

Disc 2 (CD): 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)

Disc 3 (CD): 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)
11.  Something (Take 39 – Instrumental – Strings Only)
12.  Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Take 17 – Instrumental – Strings & Brass Only)

Blu-Ray:

Audio Features:

– Dolby Atmos
– 96kHz/24 bit DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
– 96kHz/24 bit High Res Stereo (2019 Stereo Mix)

The Beatles / Abbey Road 50th anniversary edition 3LP vinyl boxAbbey Road 50th anniversary edition 3LP vinyl box

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)

The Beatles / Abbey Road 50th anniversary edition 2CD deluxeAbbey Road 50th anniversary edition 2CD deluxe edition

CD 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)
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 2: 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)

The Beatles / Abbey Road 50th anniversary single CDAbbey Road 50th anniversary edition single CD edition

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

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353 Comments

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smorrissey

Well i received my box today and so far so good with the blu-ray, yes, the playing surface is not completely clean (i think i can see some glue remains) but it plays. Being sincere i’m just gonna play this box once pretty much then its gonna end gathering dust inside my closet.

Trevor Pugh

I’m absolutely delighted with this 2019 remix, which still sounds like the original, of course, EXCEPT, oh wow, the vocals sound warmer, fuller and clearer, Ringo’s drums never sounded better and that pesky hiss (on I Want You/She’s So Heavy) has gone!! Thanks Giles and Sam et al, job well done.

eric c

Question about the bluray; is it only the PCM / 5.1 of the new stereo mix, or is there both the 2019 mix and original mix? not very clear on the sleeve

David Bly

I didn’t get my CD/Blu-ray box yet (ordered it last Friday as I’ve been skint lately), but got the free Amazon downloads the same day. There are some interesting new things to find, but nowhere near as much as were on the deluxe “The BEATLES” set.
But then I’ve never been a huge fan of “Abbey Road” ever.

But this reminds me of very annoying thing they’ve done of both these sets. While they include new takes from songs done at the same sessions as the albums, they don’t include the original releases of those songs, whether in new mixes or not.

So we here have new takes here of “The Ballad of John and Yoko” and “Old Brown Shoe”, but WHY NOT the original single versions?!

And on “The BEATLES” they had new takes of FIVE SONGS all recorded around then, and yet NOT the originals of “Lady Madonna”, “The Inner Light”, “Across The Universe”, “Hey Jude” and “Revolution” [single version].

I had all the mp3s of the “deluxe album” downloaded and basically added a new folder called “Extras” with mp3s of those 5 songs (I made them the imaginary disc 7 in the numbering of the tracks).

Also, they could’nt’ve also included the tracks on “Anthology 3” too? Cheapskates!

There’s really no excuse for this unless they mean to rob us blind with a 30 disc mega-set combining “Past Masters” volumes 1 & 2.

MARK LEVY

Got my picture disc copy and the single cd edition. Was thinking, wouldn’t it have been nice if there had been a limited white vinyl version of The Beatles last year.

Josejo

Hi. Does anyone know if the 3-vinyl edition contains the digital album for download? regards

Tim Rizvanov

The album is now available for streaming in 24/192 on Tidal.

JP

It does not. However, if you purchase it through Amazon, you can get Autorip with it.

Lode

3 beatles super deluxe reissues: Sgt. Pepper, The Beatles (white), Abbey Road.
3 different packages…… messy!

Mark Demos

.

Then just buy them all !! ;-)

.

Tim Fookingill

It’s been stated by computer scientist Monty over at xyph.org that ADC/DACs upsample to some extent on the majority of modern digital audio equipment so if it was me, I wouldn’t be concerned over it.

It got me to realize my MIDI was not an inactive piece of OS utility that had to be launched to affect sampling/bit rate. I have to set it manually but when I did, it didn’t change the sound on my headphones.

However, I am going to test how it affects the sound quality of my editing songs in Audacity on files upconverted to 32bit floating point. Audacity has its own upsampling prefs for both quality conversion and Real Time conversion meaning how the MIDI settings for headphone out will affect what I hear while editing digital files.

I’m going to ask this over at Audacity forums to get a more authoritative answer.

Euron Griffith

I love Abbey Road. It’s probably the best album the ‘Beatles’ never recorded. But I really couldn’t care less about these outtakes. I’ve fallen for this trick too many times and discovered that I only listen to them once, shrug my shoulders and then favour the finished versions. Nice looking box though.

J.Oteri

I’ll wait and see what Steve Hoofman and his forum say about the sound quality before purchasing this.

Mick

Since they rarely like anything Giles Martin related over at the Hoffman forum…I suspect that you won’t be purchasing this then!

Myke

Seems to me they don’t like anything at Hoffman’s site. They bitch and moan and seem to want to find fault with everything.

Tim Fookingill

No Audio Girl approval, no sale.

Steven Kavitky

No Carnival Of Light? Yikes!

Mark

And of course continuing the incredible service provided to Australia by the world’s largest online retailer (not!) this release is still not available from Amazon Australia on Amazon Australia; it’s only available from third party sellers. Just pathetic Amazon.

Alan Blevin

If you are still looking at Amazon Australia at all you are wasting your time.Even if they list box sets they never finish up getting stock and will eventually cancel your order.Best options for the Abbey Road deluxe for Australians are JPC.de and imports CD.com

Major Tom

As a musician myself, I think if you’re going to dig into the vaults then just go all in and release the sessions as a box set; similar in the way Dylan has been doing as of late and, to some extent , Neil Young with his Archives projects. To me, that’s what makes spending all this money worth it. It’s much more interesting to see how the album came together and reveals much more about the songwriting and recording process. I recently purchased Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks Complete Sessions and it’s phenomenal. Also, the complete recordings of hos basement tapes with The Band is amazing. Also, Neil Young releasing so many unreleased albums from the 70’s, as well as live recordings has been so fantastic. Honestly , that’s the only way I can justify spending the kind of money they ask for with these sets. I will probably just download this reissue for the unreleased session material.

Kevin Henry

My second favourite Beatles album after the White Album. The 50th anniversary set was tremendous.

A shame the Abbey Road tracks from Anthology 3 (is it eight?) were not included as it would have been nice to have them in one package and remastered. I am sure there is enough space on CDs 2 and 3 to include them, but maybe EMI are thinking that it will tarnish sales of Anthology 3.

Dolby True was used on Sgt Pepper and the White Album and I presume that Atmos is superior which is why it is being used? I wonder if they wanted to include a Dolby True mix, but due to space considerations didn’t?

Andrew R

Just a general comment, I’m a big fan of the SuperDeluxe and Deluxe reissues.

Something to keep in mind though with a lot of these re-issues people already own them many times. Personally, I already own an ‘early’ but not original copy of Abbey Road, a recent vinyl re-issue, an early cd issue, a later remastered cd issue and a cassette..so thats 5 formats of the same album. For me to part with ‘big cash’ for 4 more versions of 48 minutes of music, taking my tally to 9, I’m going to need more than just another ‘remastered’ ‘remixed’ ‘reconfigured’ version. Coloured vinyl, Blu Ray music mixes, 5.1 mixes aren’t enough for me.

Alternative takes, demo’s, studio outtakes, specific sleeve notes and essays are of more interest to me. Seeing how the album formed into its final cut and how it could have been I’m happy to explore. Different soundscapes of the same album become less relevant as I just don’t have the equipment to justify it.

Is this expanding and adding to my collection and experience or just re-marketing and cashing in on the same thing? Just my thoughts – thanks.

george glazener

@ Andrew R:
I’m 59, and I see it like this: you’re exactly right, all of these classic albums/CDs get re-mastered, re-packaged and offered up to us in new ways every 5-10-15 years. I too have seen many different offerings for music I’ve enjoyed since 1970 or so. But I don’t think the record companies necessarily expect all of us to buy EVERY new variation EVERY time. One particular reissue of (for example) Sgt Pepper might have a booklet that some people like, or the right combination of outtakes, or just the right mixture of 5.1 and booklet, or extra photos..whatever. Many folks will pass on some releases, and then all of sudden discover JUST the right package that floats their boat or suits their budget at that moment in time. That’s why they keep tempting us with so many variations over 20-30 years. Nobody likes EACH release EVERY time, but SOME people do, and that’s all they need.

johnnyv

Sorry, there’s no need any 5.1 mixes. That fits much better in mopvies but not classic stereo music. Let’s enjoy music from the look that was originally intended from. Or does someone really like theses surrounds? Is it really worthwhile?> I don;t think so.

Eric Kalet

All due respect, have you listened to multichannel or immersive music? It’s not the same from the quad days. Multichannel or immersive isn’t just for movies but it opens up the soundstage beyond what you’ve experienced with stereo. It’s so hard to convey in writing, you just have to hear it. Have you explored the discussion board https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/ ?
Also take a look at You Tube channel Life In Surround. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Michael

Eric, I agree with you. I invested in a surround sound system back in the late 1990’s primarily for movies, but found 5.1 mixed music to be quite impressive, and have since upgraded my equipment over time, and most recently adding Dolby Atmos height speakers and a second sub-woofer for an even greater effect.

What I’ve found is that music (if well engineered for surround sound) is much wider and clarifying; producing noticeable improvement to both the harmonics and the sonic quality of the music. I know “Abbey Road” mixed in 5.1 will be magical, and its inclusion makes this anniversary box set an essential purchase for Beatle fans and audiophiles.

In summary, all I can say to Johnnyv, is that 5.1 surround sound is to stereo, what stereo was to mono. Once you have it, it’s very hard to go back.

elliot davis

Eh. Respectfully, one problem I can see from your comment: you suggests mono is inferior to stereo. It really isn’t. Why do you think the Beatles werent even in the studio for the stereo mixes, leaving them to George to oversee. That like me appreciate that mono often surpasses stereo

Gisabun

@Johnnyv: Maybe The Beatles music is not the best movie for a 5.1 mix, but have you listen to Dark Side of the Moon, Eye in the Sky or any 5.1 mix from Steven Wilson?

Ronnie

It’s the hardcover book that makes the superdeluxe edition so expensive.
Personally I would be happy with a cd-only edition + book but alas.
I think blu-rays with 5.1 and whatever mixes are never issued sepeartely because there would be no market for them. I for one could do without them.

James Sanders

can you get the book separately ?
it’s the only thing in this set i’d want to buy.

Phil Cohen

I don’t think that Apple Corps wants The Beatles’ original 1960’s stereo mixes to be available as High Resolution audio. Abbey Road Studios has archived those mixes as 192Khz/24-bit, but the nearest thing to high resolution release that they’ll permit as the 44.1Khz/24-bit release on the USB Drive.
I’m aware of the criticism of Giles Martins remixes of “Sgt.Pepper”, but the most irritating thing (the “Loudness Wars” mastering) was a Universal Music decision, not Giles Martin’s decision.

Peter

Remixes are surely subjective? What I find interesting in a boxed set are demos, lost songs and radically different takes eg extended guitar solo, different rhythm etc.
Yet, to get those items here we have to buy the big box for the 3rd CD. Surely they could have been included in the 2CD version. I really don’t care about 5.1 as I only have two ears not 5.

Peter

Good point! Mind you, the way my hearing is going it might not be a moot point very soon. My ref was to Virgin’s publicity for quadrophonic ‘For people with 4 ears’. Smart arse comment aside I can really live without 5.1 and resent being only to get the interesting bonus tracks if I buy the big box. There is plenty of room to put them on the 2 disc set.

Andrea

Was this music coinceived, arranged, played, recorded, mixed, mastered, produced for a stereo medium or for a 5.1 home cinema setting?

Andrea

Are you saying that you know that “the artist”, and by that I guess you imply John, Paul, George, Ringo, George Martin and Geoff Emerick – meant this to be 5.1?

johnnyv

Exactly! Fully agreed.

Guy Flamand

Peter I agree with your two ears. This is what I have too lolll

Carlos

I understand the criticism towards the decision of not including the original mix (a deluxe album edition without the original album???), though there’s an easy solution in the already released single CD. I do find the sessions CDs to be underwhelming given the number of outtakes available.

Reed

Seems like we won’t be hearing Ringo’s longer drum solo, that was edited down for the final album, nor the version of Here Comes The Sun with the guitar solo that we’ve heard bits of already. Is Giles Martin really the right man to make these important decisions of what demo’s get included on these repackages. He was lazy on the White Album by giving us instrumental versions of several songs. Perhaps someone more qualified as a historian/fan might be Mark Lewisohn, though he has fallen out of favour with the surviving Beatles. Giles is riding his fathers coat tails and seems to be untouchable with regards to criticism.

Andrea

George Martin studied music and various musical instruments. He could play professionaly various wind instruments, and very well piano; he could sight-read music; he could chart, arrange and orchestrate brass, wind and strings. And he was excellent at it. And he was a brilliant producer. All this was his daily job already, way BEFORE even meeting the Beatles. With the Beatles, he took his musical knowledge on a whole new level, and especially from 1966 onwards, I’d say he’s responsible for much of the Beatles greatness… Saying he was the 5th Beatle is certainly not an exaggeration: on some records, he was possibly the 3rd Beatle, in terms of his overall contribution.

As for Giles Martin – just asking really, don’t mean to be cheeky – what are his qualifications for sitting in Abbey Road and turning the knobs on the Beatles’ records – beside being George Martin’s son?

Willy

His qualifications for sitting in Abbey Road and turning the knobs on the Beatles’ records ARE actually sitting in Abbey Road and turning the knobs on the Beatles’ records.

Is there a better qualification for sitting in Abbey Road and turning the knobs on the Beatles’ records than doing just that?

Mathew Lauren

So, it’s no secret I’m not a huge fan of Giles and Sam’s (surround) mixes and masterings. They are NOT audiophile “reference” quality mixes (mostly hit ‘n miss), and if anything they’re a blueprint on how NOT to surround remix and RE these overpriced BEATLES SDEs, or any seminal band into surround for that matter, imho. Until the “powers that be” STOP rewarding mediocrity and nepotism, all we can do is muddle through and exclaim:

“Hey, at least it’s the Beatles in surround!”

Although I don’t like paying to hear Giles learn to mix surround properly, I felt “The White Album” held much promise, until ~track 7 and then, again, it was hit ‘n miss — better than “Pepper’s” 5.1+ mix, and with better mastering than “Pepper’s…” 5.1+ SDE, for sure!

I will be buying the “Abbey Road” 50e (surround) SDE and hoping for the best.

Further, my hope is that after “Let it Be” in surround is released (Spring 2020) that “Revolver” and “Rubber Soul” get the 5.1 treatment. From there, I’m partial to the U.S. Lp release “Hey Jude” being mixed into 5.1 surround. I like the cover art, as well as the songs chosen to populate that album, though I’m aware (that) many want proper “MMT” & “YS” 5.1 SDEs.

As far as ATMOS, a BD-50 disc with music-only (~45 minutes) should be able to handle a 24/96 (hirez) ATMOS codec along with 24/96 5.1 and 2.0 mixes. I won’t hold my breath, though. It will most likely be a traditional 24/48 ATMOS (movie) codec defaulting to 7.1 — and yes, one can hear a difference (depending on ones’ equipment) between HD & HIREZ. ALL those years (we’ve been) aspiring for lossless, HIREZ, surround mixes and as we’re being treated to (new) 3D (object-based) surround mixes, we’re back to HD — and as Paul (Sinclair) has pointed out recently, even with traditional surround mixes, we’re back to 24/96 (mastered) HD AUDIO DVD-V 5.1s in far too many cases – not lossless 24/96, HIREZ 5.1!

Shame.

As far as his last (released) ATMOS mix, “Kick 30e,” (also HD 24/48, only) Giles was ALSO hit ‘n miss, often neglecting the surrounds/rears by concentrating too heavily on the height channels. Same-same with the unreleased ATMOS mix of “SPLHCB.” At that time, Giles stated (here in America where the ATMOS mix was previewed in theatres) that (he) was reticent to release the “Pepper’s” ATMOS mix that (he) felt needed tweaking (quote not verbatim) — and in retrospect, I agree, it needed more surround (rear) activity, however, it WAS ready and COULD have been part of the “SPLHCB” 50e SDE. Also, there still seems to be A LOT of confusion about the Dolby TrueHD 6.1 mix that IS an ATMOS downmix – a slightly different mix than the 5.1 DTSMA and the reason one can’t “shift-on-the-fly” between surround codecs on the 50e “SPLHCB” release.

Maybe one day we’ll finally be treated to a (proper) “SPLHCB” ATMOS (stand-alone) offering, esp. if “Abbey Road” ATMOS goes over well.

Cheers.

Trevor Pugh

50 years on and I’m as excited now about hearing Abbey Road (remix, super deluxe cd) as I was on the original day of release back in’69. After the impressive job done on Pepper and the White Album I’m eager to find out what magic Giles and team have worked on an album that still sounds as fresh now as it did all those years ago, maybe lose some of the hiss?!

sir twosheds

Why can’t we just get the BluRay – I’m only interested in the 5.1 mix. I have no use for all the other gubbins.
Most bands seem to have gone down the route of putting the 5.1 mix in the most expensive package.
Oh well, another one I won’t be buying

dime

Macca is simply Genius . Can’t wait for this Abbey Road…

Robert

Get 15% from Music Vaultz Canada with this PROMO CODE: VAULTZVIP
Thank you Paul for introducing me to Music Vaultz. A good alternative to Amazon.CA

bruce kelso

I heard the preview of the track something and its missing the piano on the middle eights, not happy bout that. what other instuments did they mix out on the others tracks?

Steve Miller

Are you referring to the Something Demo – first released as a Guitar only version in Anthology and now issued with the piano part included? What makes you think there WAS a piano during the middle eight? Look up the date it was recorded in The Beatles Recording Sessions book – 25 Feb 69 – and see these demos were recorded with George and Guitar first and the piano parts were overdubbed next…so it’s hard to claim anything was removed when you don’t know for sure there ever was a version recorded with the items you think we left out…

Ben

Well, ahem, there is a piano very clearly to hear at the end of the middle eight of the studio version – and it still is there in the new remix, just a bit turned down.
By the way, it was John Lennon who played the piano: https://www.beatlesbible.com/songs/something/

Jarmo Keranen

It’s too much turned down and the strings are too much up. It should be vice versa!

Ben

Totally agree!

Jeffrey Warrick

So early this morning on Amazon US, the price of the SDE dropped to $83.42 for a brief time, maybe only an hour or so! Those who already pre-ordered are getting a good price now. :-)

John

So it’s actually cheaper to buy the vinyl if one simply wants the outtakes? Because it’s not a full box set? Looks like that’s the route I’ll be going. In my top 3 favorite Beatles records.

Mike

More coming! There are reports that the Beatles are to release their singles in a special collection set sometime mid November.

george glazener

Really? In what manner? Do you have a link with the info? I’d be interested in that.

mike

WOGBLOG
It looks like The Beatles are about to release a new boxed set with the 22 original titles, as released in Great Britain, plus single no. 23, which combine the nineties songs, «Free as a bird» and «Real love» on one disc.The boxed set, thought to be a limited edition, was accidentally listed on Amazon Italy and briefly on the Brazilian official Beatles online store, according to fans. Release date for these vinyl singles is November 15. People «in the know» who have seen the set, are describing it as a nice package.
According to our sources, the single sleeves will neither mimic their 60’s U.K. originals (mainly just factory sleeves), the 70’s green series nor the individual picture sleeves of the eighties.

Update: The set also appears on Amazon in France for 221,39 € (248 USD). An insider is saying that this will not simply be a re-release, so perhaps we can expect the set to feature the latest mixes of the songs. Also, in line with recent official calendars and licensed products by the Beatles, it is starting to look like they are going to use foreign picture sleeves from the sixties as front covers of the new series. Like we had in our illustration photo all along!

george glazener

Sounds good, thanks Mike.!! I’m anxious to see how that looks. The US Capitol 45 Picture Sleeves were works of art in their time, and great collectibles now. It’d be nice to see those reissued in one package.

patrick

Releasing a box of singles 2 months only after the abbey road reissue is not reasonable. Don’t forget that probably in may 2020 , there will be a huge box with CDs and DVDs for “Let it be ” 50th anniversary. Why not wait november 2020 or even 2021 as there will be no anniversary ? The purse of fans is not inexhaustible and we can wait for a while.

greg sinclair

I think you may be the first to suggest
A slow down, you’re moving too fast approach to Beatles reissues.
Here’s another approach…you alone, deciding to buy what you want, when you want. If you can’t afford a set on release day, you can wait until you’re feeling flush.

Phil Cohen

A collection of 7″ vinyl singles. How many consumers want it remains to be seen.

patrick

Paul, The Beatles are still very popular as shown by the number of comments. Almost 300 in 5 days. I have perused them, but have been unabled to find one written by a woman. I had already noticed that for other reissues even from well known groups or singers. I am sure that you are not a misogynist and that there is no filter to prevent female comments. So it seems that women are not interested by those kind of records packed with demos, alternate takes, previously unreleased songs, remixes, ect.. They make do with the originals. Maybe it’s a sensible attitude ?Is there a lesson to learn about the difference between men and women? The reactions from readers might be of interest and be a change from usual comments on music Regards Patrick

Eleanor Rigby

Well, I read this site all the time, but I never bothered to comment because I’m too busy working in the church, cleaning up after weddings and such like. And the Vicar doesn’t appreciate me using the Internet very often while on the clock. But I do love The Beatles’ music, especially the Revolver album, where my sad little life was epitomized in music and lyrics. And yes, I died, but I got better..!

Wayne C

Priceless!!. You don’t by any chance know a bloke called Bill how lives in a one floored property?.

Fenwick

Bravo. That’s some pure comedic gold!!!!

Stephen J Powell

I think it’s because men are a tad more nerdy than women.

Wayne C

Although I will no doubt buy this album as it’s the best album they did for me personally, an opportunity missed not making this an LP sized hard back book with the three vinyl albums integrated inside of it. That would have been tremendous or something akin to the Rick Wakeman Journey Hardback vinyl box set with the hardback book neatly slid inside next to the triple vinyl. Who decides these things?, a little bit of extra thought goes a long way!.

Ian Moore

Regarding this Anniversary Edition of Abbey Road, I couldn’t be more happy: I’m 47 now and have been collecting Beatles records since the 80’s in precorded cassettes, vinyl (mainly poor reprints), orginal CDs, remastered CDs and countless bootlegs.
As every reader of Mark Lewisohn’s Sessions Book came to learn, the 60’s mixes were inevitably limited by the technology of the day (with reduction mixdowns, tape-to -tape dubbings, splicing and editing with scissors and scotch tape, weird positioning of the instruments in the stereo image, etc.), so to me the main draw in these deluxe box sets is the chance to re-listen to the most gorgeous music of the 20th century in the best possible way fidelity wise.
I perfectly understand these new mixes can sound odd (or even harsh) to many people after 50 years living with the originals, the good news is that everything is still available: mono where available (as mentioned, the White Album was the last true mono mix prepared at Abbey Road, from there on they were fold-downs), stereo, UK mixes, US mixes… so, to each it’s own!
And Paul, really want to take the opportunity to thank you for the love and care you put everyday into SDE!

Douglas

Thanks for this Paul. I always appreciate the detail of information you provide even if I don’t decide to make a purchase – and all archived on one go-to site. This Beatles deluxe reissue is the one I’m most likely to buy.

MARK LEVY

If Paul wasn’t happy with this project he wouldn’t have provided a foreword in the sleeve notes.

Bill

Don’t be fooled by that… These box sets would have happened with or without McCartney’s approval. EMI/Universal own the masters of the albums and all additional outtakes etc. and there was no way they were going to pass up a 50th anniversary cash grab on any of these releases. They don’t need McCartney’s approval for any of this, he does not own the masters and has no right of refusal. So it comes to a point where is it better for him to get on board because that will sell more copies which equals a lot more more money in his pocket or protest what is ultimately going to happen without his approval anyway.

David Bly

Paul,

While I will be getting the 3CD+blu-ray box, I also wish the original mix would be available.
But also, I don’t have a Blu-ray player, so that’s annoying.
Not that I expect them to do 19- and 21- and 24-disc sets like Fripp does for King Crimson, at least on those they have both DVD and Blu-ray version of all the 5.1 mixes and video material.
Would’ve killed them to add a DVD disc?

And speaking of them, as you rightly observed, Universal can no nothing without “The Beatles” approval. One thing that happened when Universal bought the rights to some EMI masters was the creation of a specific company, Calderstone Productions, a joint venture which administers the Beatles’ recorded music
output.
This company supersedes a previous company started in 2012 called Beatles Holdco Limited.

Note that this is the first time though that the publication copyrights have not said anything but EMI Records Ltd. or Capitol Records, Inc.

In an unrelated thingy, about the time that “The BEATLES” SDE edition came out, I got a copy of the first US version (in the double white jewel case) at a place called Ollie’s (a budget liquidator kind of place) for only $5.99.
What was interesting it that must’ve been the last pressing before they made the new versions in 2009.
It is neither a Sony nor Capitol pressing (two of the earliest versions in the US) but some other company whose name has escaped me.

And finally, an item that doesn’t really belong here, but may interest some, is that I got my giganto 36-disc Woodstock box (after a few days of it being held hostage by UPS for a signature), and while I have not listened to any yet (maybe I should’ve spent this last weekend listening to it all), out of 1969 copies worldwide,
I got number 0003!

Yow! That’s the lowest number I’ve ever gotten on a limited edition, not counting a punk/new wave single where all the copies were numbered ‘1’!

Hope you’re doing well!

elliot davis

Clearly Bill you know zilch about artist contracts. I do. Your wrong.

Russell

It is still not clear what “problem” Giles was assigned to fix with the new remix. Given that all for band members signed off in the original mix and two are not available to approve this mix, we are moving into dangerous territory.

Second, as a vinyl consumer, I object to to the decision to not make the book available as a standalone item. Why is vinyl penalized? Lastly, I imagine that the CD consumers will object to the fact that all of the 40 outtakes were not included in in the 2 CD package and instead, that configuration got a “new” album based on the outtakes. Say what?

I’ll just hope that the outtakes will be available on iTunes as standalones. Yeah, right.

Ben Williams

I think they want to remix these albums so that they have a different feel, perhaps more modern sounding, making them timeless recordings rather than ‘sixties’ recordings, rather than just reissue exactly what we’ve all bought before.
As for issuing the book separately, they’re creating a Super Deluxe Edition, it has to have exclusives, the same for the 10 extra outtakes.
And yes the extra tracks will be available on iTunes – the White Album certainly is.

greg sinclair

I think you’re pretty much missing one of the basic ideas of the deluxe sets and that is simply “pay more, get more”.
You’re not being penalized for buying vinyl, you’re choosing not to get the version with the book. It’s a bit like buying a new car and choosing the basic version, instead of the full optioned, bells and whistles model and then complaining that your car doesn’t have seat warmers and on board navigation.
Personally, the book seems pretty scant, especially considering how few pages make up the “book”. Pages are numbered on each side, so you’re only talking about 50 individual pages. Most children’s colorful picture books are of similar size. I’m sure it’ll be very nice, but there’s not very much of it.
It seems more a thick booklet. It looks to me they only make a bullet point of being a hard backed book is because, well it sounds more appealing, doesn’t it?
But, really the whole package is the “book”.
It houses the discs and doubles as the boxed set’s “box”. I’ll take a guess and say, they’re saving $$ configuring it like that, because they don’t have to cobble together a nice sturdy presentation box, they also don’t have to actually have a separate hardbacked book to put inside and it probably ships cheaper, as well. Look at the bright side, your 2LP version, looks like a nice package. You DO get a box, a couple of nice LP jackets and colorful inner sleeves as well, I think. Not bad.

Nick Love

Thanks Paul it’s a pleasure to see the three most important bands in my musical development right in a row The Beatles, Oasis and XTC. If you manage to uncover some Genesis and Blur related news next you will have hit my top 5 :-)

Derek Cornish

I just pray that the new stereo mix is more like Sgt.Pepper than the White Album. He totally buried the guitars on that one

Stuart Ansell

I have no idea what you’ve been listening to, but that simply isn’t true of the set I bought – I can hear all of the instruments, including and especially the guitars, with fantastic clarity. I think he’s done an amazing job with both Pepper and The White Album, and I’m looking forward to hearing Abbey Road.

Have a great day!

Peter Stevens

Can I make the point that I thought the idea was to kill the Bootleggers not encourage them.Why on earth is there no Mono version of Abbey Road in this box….We know it exists as it came out on 8 Track in the States.A real opportunity missed

Louis

” a square 12 x 12 set” Why? why they use the same size as in teh white album? I never understand this kind of silly things,

Peter

? The white album had another size!

Tom m hans

It matches Sgt Pepper box, the White Album is the outlier here.

Steve

The cover

mark browne

Thanks Paul,

Beatles stuff is always a bit pricey, but the quality shines through…gone for the superdeluxe as a die hard fan…abbey road alongside revolver and rubber soul is my favourite….im actually going to see the bootleg beatles perform all of abbey road and let it be on friday 27th September at the Liverpool Phil with the RLPO in tow…i know their working on let it be now, so does this mean that will be released next year?

also are you likely to do a review of this boxset , love your reviews

J

I really wish they would release stand alone Blu ray but oh well I guess I just need to suck it up buy the big box and move on. I finally just found the Hendrix Electric Lady Land box for $80 and the Blu ray version of All Along the Watchtower alone is worth the price of admission and the rest is oodles of gravy. I bet the new Abbey in 5.1 will be equally revelatory. The unrealeased stuff will get listened to 1 time I suppose.
J

Tim Goodacre

Great Release. Cannot understand the negativity of some people. I have ordered the Super Deluxe set on SHM cd from CD Japan.
Love the Japanese SHM cd releases – along with the millions of Japanese buyers.

Herman

Amazon FR. €10,- up!

Marc

Happy that I bought it when it was around 76€. Lowest price for the big box set till now.

Joel Rabinowitz

Went on Amazon CA and they had the three CD and Blu-ray box set for C$37!! I ordered it immediately I also got the vinyl box at $97 Canadian. They have since taken down the three CD Blu-ray set. I hope they honor my order, I’ll know more in September!

Bob

How did you make out? Just curious.

Iain McDermott

For me it’ll be the 3 LP plus the single CD.
Good to see that the vinyl and super deluxe feature the same track listing. This for me was an issue with white album last year.
Streaming services like Spotify had all tracks so catching up was fine.
Buying vinyl covers all available tracks for AR. And for those of that don’t have Dolby Atmos et al, no big loss. But yes, if there was time to get that book added to the 3 LP vinyl please…

Kevin

With all the grumbling of the original stereo mix, I listened to the PCM stereo mix of the White Album blu-Ray (I don’t have the equipment to hear surround). To my ears that mix sounds like it was based on the original stereo mix based on snare drum sound alone. I’m assuming Giles has taken the same approach with Abbey Road as he did with White Album since they are sonically quite similar. Anyone able to refute or substantiate?

christian

I compared “Something” based on the current upload of the new version.
It’s very compressed and some of the hard left and right elements have been brought closer to the centre.
It’s lost a whole lot of the old sonic charm and just sounds the same as all other contemporaneity music “sounds”. Every element is amplified, there’s no subtlety. George Martin knew what he was doing. The vocal was way higher in the original.
When you drop the volume to match an original pressing, it just sounds boomy, there’s very little grace left.
A quick dynamic range check also rings alarm bells. the new version is 8, a vinyl rip I play is 12. The 2009 remaster is 9 so it’s getting progressively worse.
Not a mix I will ever listen to, but each to their own.

mpb

probably compressed for the commercial / mastered for the internet. the real thing is bound to breathe more. we’ll see…

christian

Here’s a shot that shows how much louder the new version is.
Obviously it’s actually much louder, they can’t help themselves, i’ve normalised both to 70% so it’s a straight comparison.
https://imgur.com/a/5vnsM2m

Bern

You should listen to music instead of looking at it…

prettypictures

unfortunately there is a lot of “looking at the music” simply to show to those with poorer hearing that their ability to critique what they are listening to is woefully lacking. raise your game and then there won’t be a need for the pictures as proof – you should be able to hear it yourself – then the pictures will stop.

christian

Yes Bern, I agree.
And having listened closely to the remix of the currently available track from an album I have listened to all my life and named my daughter after, I drew a conclusion.
As noted above, stereo elements have moved, the vocal is less dominant and the sound of the 60s has, in my opinion, been lost to contemporary compression techniques.

I illustrated the last point using an image which, more clearly than words can, shows how the verses are now much closer in volume to the chorus.
It’s that fattened up, homogenised sound that I hear and personally don’t like.
I don’t need to look at the waveforms to hear that.

The question I was responding to was a request for information about the sonics of the track, and how the mix compared to the original stereo.

I don’t buy any newly mastered reissues of albums I like until I have heard them first using a streaming service for those exact reasons. In this day and age, where the sound of reissued archive music seems a distant second to the quality of the paper the free postcards are printed on, I would suggest it’s always unwise to purchase an expensive reissue unheard if it’s to listen to rather than put on a shelf.

David B

Great set .. thanks for the info Paul .. I’m just wondering though after “Let it be” anniversary will there be any more Beatle related deluxe sets .. if not then what do I ask for for Christmas? It’s already been suggested a revisit to earlier albums .. now that’d be good ..

stevieB

I’ve no doubt Apple will come up with something desirable to sell us each year for a long time to come. A Magical Mystery Your de luxe box has much potential.

stevieB

There are substantial amounts of both film and audio outtakes/demos that remain unissued ‘officially’ and we’ve never had the album (cd or vinyl) available as a Giles Martin/Sam Okell remix.

The HMC label issued several DVDs worth of previously unseen film outtakes, totalling well over 2 hours, in 2017 and 2019 alone. The 2012 box DVD/Blu Ray box was good, but the only audio included was a reproduction of the original vinyl EPs, it was principally a re-issue of the film rather than being about studio outtakes. Thus there is much scope for Apple too produce an expanded version.

Alan B

I would prefer it if there was a consistency in the sizing of the 3 Beatles super deluxe editions. The Abbey Road one looks the same size as the Sgt Pepper but the White album one is completely different. Am I the only one who prefer all of them to be the same size so they look great and consistent sat next to each other on a shelf?

Rowly75

Let’s face it you don’t buy the white album for its cover so I understand why they did it in the narrower style.

Michael

Yes, Alan. I have some OCD too, and feel the same way :-/

Although I love the White Album SDE, it looks more like a large coffee-table book, rather than a deluxe album. I’m still a tad bothered that the White Album SDE outer dimensions don’t match “Sgt. Pepper’s”, and won’t match “Abbey Road”.

Given Apple executive’s decision to make the White Album package a different size, I was actually fearful that they would get really creative, and possibly release the “Abbey Road” SDE in a cardboard cube, or something so totally mismatched, it would make music collectors like me go really bonkers (LOL)! Thankfully, that’s not the case.

kook

Nope – you’re not!

(See also the Stones, Springsteen, REM… and now the Kinks as well. It’s like playing bloody Tetris.)

Uncle Meat

The Led Zeppelin studio albums SDE campaign is still unmatched. It was consistent and the items looked just gorgeous. Work of art really, but musically speaking they left a lot to desire for. Then again, they are great to look at in your hands or on the shelf!!!

Steven Roberts

Those Zep boxes don’t hold a candle to the Tull re-issues, neither in presentation, content, value, nor – dare I say it – musically!

Aljaz

With all the holier than thou / political corectness everyday life we live, I’m just thankful Paul still holds a cigarette on the cover. Music is great, goes without saying, but this small detail still made my day.

stevieB

They really should have changed it to have him vaping!

Mean Mr Mustard

The French Amazon site seems to have mislabelled the 3 cd+bluray deluxe edition as “Abbey Road [2CD Digipack Deluxe]”. The ‘proper’ 2cd version is labelled accurately and I’m hoping that no errors will be made when sending the correct version. I’ve flung my money at Blu-ray version anyway and hope that I don’t have to grapple with returns and refunds in October. My French is rudimentary at best.

David B

Don’t worry their French site can be viewed in English ..

hendry doran

Hopefully there won’t be a problem but if you have to contact them ask Amazon to reply in English. It has worked for me several times in the past

Mr Foley

Anybody interested in Abbey Road in its own times and context etc… then check out Beatles author and historian Mark Lewisohn’s web site.. The man will soon be on a nationwide presentation /speaking tour (UK) timed perfectly to coincide with with this SDE release.
Looks interesting to say the least – looking forward to both..