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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Oct 2019 > The Beatles ABBEY ROAD (ANNIVERSARY EDITION) APPLE/EMI


The Beatles’ final masterpiece gets its inevitable 50th anniversary reissue with two discs of extras. John Earls reminds us that in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make


DISC 2 I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Trident Recording Session and Reduction Mix); Goodbye (Home Demo); Something (Studio Demo); The Ballad of John and Yoko (Take 7); Old Brown Shoe (Take 2); Oh! Darling (Take 4); Octopus’s Garden (Take 9); You Never Give Me Your Money (Take 36); Her Majesty (Takes 1-3); Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Takes 1-3) / Medley); Here Comes The Sun (Take 9); Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Take 12) DISC 3 – SESSIONS Come Together (Take 5); The End (Take 3); Come And Get It (Studio Demo); Sun King (Take 20); Mean Mr Mustard (Take 20); Polythene Pam (Take 27); She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (Take 27); Because (Take 1 Instrumental); The Long One (Trial Edit & Mix 30 July 1969); Something (Take 39 Instrumental Strings Only); Golden Slumbers/ Carry That Weight (Take 17 Instrumental Strings & Brass Only)

Presumably, Beatles fans will get a 50th anniversary boxset of Let It Be next year. With Peter Jackson making a tie-in film, it’s hard to imagine that the Fabs’ farewell box will be at least equal to last year’s The Beatles (The White Album). An official release of all those covers jammed out at Twickenham Studios, perhaps? In the meantime, despite Abbey Road being recorded last and being the superior album, this year’s boxset is something of a halfway house.

In fairness, although it came out before Let It Be, by the time The Beatles recorded Abbey Road they weren’t in the mood to mess about. Unlike the scores of bonus tracks on The White Album’s boxset, which was able to call upon The Esher Demos, for Abbey Road there are only 23 additional recordings. This at least means vinyl buyers get the same number of songs this year, with the 40 total tracks spread across three LPs. But we still don’t actually have parity. Abbey Road’s £100 Super Deluxe Edition comprises three CDs and the album mixed for a Blu-Ray DVD, with a gorgeouslooking 100-page book full of essays, exclusive photos and other memorabilia. Is the book – which is LP-sized, ferchrissakes – in the £78 vinyl box? No. Is there a consolation 40-page version in the £17 2CD version? Yes. Do Apple realise this is bloody nonsense? Apparently not.

By now, Giles Martin and Sam Okell have perfected their updated mixing techniques. Only a fussy Octopus’s Garden is overly clinical, with the rest sounding as fresh as could ever be hoped for. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) growls like the grittiest desert rock, Sun King – chirrups and all – is sleepier and more menacing and, while Something is impossible to improve on, Martin and Okell certainly don’t make it any worse.

Of the two Sessions albums, the first official release of Goodbye is the standout track here. Written by Paul McCartney for Mary Hopkin, his home demo has long been bootlegged but never as crisply. It’s a gorgeous moment of Macca sweetness, “ba-daba” s and all. Future Badfinger hit Come And Get It is more familiar from Anthology 3, but similarly relaxed in its putative state here. The only other song not already on the parent album is The Ballad Of John And Yoko’s B-side Old Brown Shoe, the take here full of a belligerence and threat at odds with its throwaway lyrics.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Issue 31 of Long Live Vinyl is now on sale! It was The Beatles' last stand and remains one of the greatest albums ever made. Issue 31 of Long Live Vinyl brings you the inside story of Abbey Road, including interviews with some of the key figures who were in the studio with the Fab Four back in 1969. You'll also find an in-depth look at the making of the amazing new 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition and an expert collector's guide. Elsewhere, our packed interviews section features chats with Ezra Furman, Metronomy, Hiss Golden Messenger and Fionn Regan about their new albums. We round up 40 Essential Southern Soul records you need to own, tell the story of the legendary Decca label on its 90th birthday and dig deep into the making of R.E.M.’s ninth album, Monster. If that's not enough, Long Live Vinyl has the most comprehensive range of album and hi-fi reviews anywhere on the newsstand, as we run the rule over new releases from Pixies, Bon Iver, Wilco, Blur and Liam Gallagher, as well as the awesome new AVID Ingenium P&P turntable. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers. Pick up your copy today…