“Abbey Road,” one of the Beatles’ most classic, career-defining records, celebrated its 50 year anniversary on Sept. 26. The record, featuring the then twenty-something-year-olds walking down the now-iconic London road, commemorated the milestone with a super deluxe edition release and new video for “Here Comes the Sun”—proving there’s still “something in the way” the British rock band moves us today.
“I think it was in a way the feeling that it might be our last, so let’s just show ’em what we can do, let’s show each other what we can do, and let’s try and have a good time doing it.” said Beatles member Paul McCartney in an interview about the project.
In the winter of 1969 and post “White Album” and “Let It Be,” Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr returned to the studio, hoping to reconnect and create music the way they’d done in the past. “Abbey Road” would be the last Beatles album to be recorded before their breakup in April 1970—ending their career with one of the most innovative, respected albums in music history.
“Abbey Road” introduced Harrison as a serious, brilliant songwriter with songs like “Something,” (what Frank Sinatra would call the “greatest love song of the past 50 years”), and “Here Comes the Sun”—proving Harrison was more than just the “quiet Beatle.”
The album also shared the final moments of the Lennon-McCartney magic in “Come Together” and “Because” and Starr’s bubbly, childlike wonder in tunes like “Octopus’s Garden” and drumming virtuosity in “The End.”
On Sept. 27, 2019 the “Abbey Road Super Deluxe Edition” was released. The edition includes 23 outtakes and demos, unreleased session recordings and new mixes by Giles Martin, son of late Beatles’ music producer George Martin.
In Spotify’s “The Beatles Abbey Road Album Experience” playlist, Martin discusses some of the newly mixed songs which include “Here Comes the Sun,” “Come Together,” “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” and “Polythene Pam.”
“Listen out for [Starr] blowing bubbles with a straw into a bucket to create the sound of being underwater,” said Giles on Starr’s “Octopus’s Garden.”
Thanks to the new, rare outtakes and demos in the newest edition, we won’t have to “climb into the bathroom window” anytime soon to get closer to the Beatles. The new edition includes an outtake from Lennon’s “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” The chilling, alluring tune creates goosebumps with an unfiltered, raspy Lennon joined by a deranged organ and Moog synthesiser.
An acoustic and intimate outtake of Harrison’s “Something” is also featured. The stripped down version has a nearly haunting and pleading edge to it—making it more vulnerable than the original version released in 1969.
“No, I love that woman of mine. And I need her all of the time. No, I’m telling you. That woman, that woman don’t make me blue,” Harrison adds in the outtake.
In the “Oh! Darling” outtake, McCartney sounds like a heartbroken lounge singer waiting for the night to end—in the best way possible. The outtake demonstrates versatility in the Beatle. One can hear the raspier, more mature McCartney experiment with his old, mop top sound in the higher notes, especially in his“ooos”—bringing us back to the early sixties British Invasion days.
“You never give me your coffee! Okay, come on now here it is, here it is, boys. Here it is. Come on, boys… it’s exactly half past 2 and it’s [take] 36,” said McCartney at the beginning of the “You Never Give Me Your Money” outtake.
One of the greatest treasures from the new edition is being welcomed into the recording studios in 1969—50 years later. The outtakes, joined by quips and conversations, invite listeners into McCartney, Lennon, Harrison and Starr’s last moments as Beatles, giving the album a fresh, inclusive take.
Aside from the outtakes, demos like “Goodbye,” “Old Brown Shoe” and “Come and Get It” are also featured. The rare demos make the album feel new again, despite its 1969 release—something only the Beatles and Giles Martin could do.
“Abbey Road” continues its celebrations with a new “Here Comes the Sun” music video. The three minute video includes rare photographs from “Abbey Road” sessions and photoshoot video footage, leaving even the youngest or the newest Beatle fans emotional. The music video celebrates their career and pays a touching, heartwarming tribute to the late Harrison, who passed away in 2001.
As Drake Parker from Drake and Josh once said about “Abbey Road,” “I love this album more than I love myself.” Do you agree? I sure do. Grab your friends and join in on the “Abbey Road” magic by streaming “Abbey Road” and “the Beatles Abbey Road Album Experience” today.
Crystal Lugo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.