Abbey Road Presented with New Mixes in Stereo, 5.1 Surround, and Dolby Atmos; Expanded with Previously Unreleased Session Recordings and Demos
By Harvey Kubernik © 2019
It was 50 years ago today, 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 Beatles will celebrate Abbey Road’s anniversary with a suite of beautifully presented packages to be released worldwide on September 27 by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe. the album’s 17 tracks are newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell in stereo, high res stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos, accompanied by 23 session recordings and demos, most of which are previously unreleased.
This is the first time Abbey Road has been remixed and presented with additional session recordings and demos. The album’s sweeping new edition follows the universally acclaimed remixed and expanded anniversary editions of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The BEATLES (‘White Album’) released in 2017 and 2018, respectively. To create Abbey Road’s new stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos mixes, Martin and Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios. All the new Abbey Road releases feature the new stereo album mix, sourced directly from the original eight-track session tapes. To produce the mix, Giles was guided by the album’s original stereo mix supervised by his father, George Martin. Continue reading
By Harvey Kubernik c 2018
The last quarter of 2018 will bring the Apple Corps. Universal Music 50th anniversary expanded and revised configuration of The Beatles aka The White Album.
I remember hearing about the winter 1968 LP release. I read in one of the English music weeklies in May ’68 the Beatles had met at George Harrison’s bungalow home in Esher, Surrey and the lads recorded demonstration tapes of 27 tunes written during their trip to India. George owned an Ampex four-track reel-to reel machine.
During late November ’68 I saw the double pocket White Album LP initially stocked in a slew of record stores all over the Southern California basin: The Frigate, The Music Revolution, Phil Harris Records, Rancho Music, and Canterbury, and head shops named The Psychedelic Supermarket and The Third Eye. I purchased my first mono copy that November at Wallichs Music City on Sunset and Vine. I bought an English import at Lewin Record Paradise on Hollywood Blvd.
In 2014 I wrote the book, It Was Fifty Years Ago Today The Beatles Invade America and Hollywood. It examines the Beatles’ musical relationship and songwriting legacy to Los Angeles and the rarely chronicled-at-length historical influence of Southern California and Hollywood on them. Continue reading
On September 9, 2009 the Beatles entire original recorded catalogue digitally remastered by Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music Marketing was released worldwide coinciding with the “The Beatles: Rock Band” video game. www.thebeatles.com
In addition, there is a boxed set of “The Beatles in Mono” that have been remastered by Paul Hicks, Sean Magee with Guy Massey and Steve Rooke.
This set has been created with the collector and record geek in mind. “The Beatles in Mono” puts together, in one place, all of the Beatles recordings that were mixed for a mono release. It contains 10 of the albums with their original mono mixes, plus two further discs of mono masters. Similar ground to the stereo tracks on “Past Masters.”
As an added bonus, the mono “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” discs also incorporates the original 1965 stereo mixes, which have not been previously released on CD. These albums will be packaged in mini-vinyl CD replicas of the original sleeves with all the original inserts and label designs retained. Continue reading