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Abbey Road Anniversary [3 CD/Blu-ray Super Deluxe]
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Abbey Road (Super Deluxe Edition)
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This is the first time Abbey Road has been remixed and presented with additional session recordings and demos. 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. This Super Deluxe Edition of Abbey Road features 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.
Abbey Road’s Super Deluxe box set presents 40 tracks – including “The Long One” Trial Edit & Mix for the album’s epic Side 2 medley – on three CDs (stereo) and one Blu-ray disc (Dolby Atmos, 96kHz/24 bit high resolution stereo, and 96 kHz/24 bit DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1). The four discs are housed in a slip-sleeved 12” by 12” 100-page hardbound book with McCartney’s foreword; Martin’s introduction; insightful, in-depth chapters written by Beatles historian, author, and radio producer Kevin Howlett covering the months preceding The Beatles’ Abbey Road sessions, 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 The gorgeous book is illustrated with rare and previously unpublished photographs, including many taken by Linda McCartney; never before published images of handwritten lyrics, sketches, and a George Martin score; Beatles correspondence, recording sheets, and tape boxes; and reproduced original print ads.
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This is another worthwhile anniversary release of a classic Beatles album. The packaging is similar to the "Sgt. Pepper's" and the "White Album" anniversary releases. The thick, glossy slipcase (with complete track list on the back cover) holds an equally thick hardcover book. The front and back inside covers each hold two discs, which are inside glossy cardboard jackets with a track list on the back covers.
The book (with sewn in binding) has a Forward by Paul McCartney, an Introduction by Giles Martin, plus chapters by Beatles historian Ken Howlett--"The Route To Abbey Road", "Track By Track", "The Cover", and "The Arrival Of Abbey Road". David Hepworth has a chapter titled "And In The End". The track by track text (which includes info on the "Sessions" tracks) is usually two pages for each song and is both interesting and informative. Also included are many rare photos from the sessions (including Linda McCartney's photographs), plus repros of handwritten lyrics, recording data sheets, and tape boxes--everything adding to the feel of that time period. The presentation is up to high standards for such an important album as this.
The music. Besides the 2019 mix of the original album, the session tracks too have good sound. If you're familiar with the last reissue of this album, the sound isn't to far from that version to my ears--everything seems to be in the right place in the mix. The 23 outtakes sound every bit as good as the album. The Blue-Ray disc is well worth having--the quality--in Dolby Atmos 5.1 master audio and High Resolution Stereo Mix--is a good addition to this set.
Disc 1 is the original album which is familiar to most all of us so no real comment is needed. Discs 2 and 3 have the outtakes, and this is where the fun begins. The tracks are in chronological order which is a good thing--no guessing about the recording sequence. There's some studio chat from the group and they sound like they're having a good time in the studio--joking around a bit. Several of the outtakes are close to the finished songs in feel as we know them. But there's also some goodies that make these sessions worth hearing.
A few things I like: Included are takes of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", "Something" (with a different feel from the tune we know), "Old Brown Shoe", "Here Comes The Sun" (also with a different feel from the album track), "Come Together", "Sun King", plus a demo of "Come And Get It" (made famous by that great band Badfinger), and three instrumental tracks--which give insight into how the music came together. Also give a listen to "The Long One" which includes eight shorter songs heard on the album, which gives some perspective on the finished album. But there's other good things included and everyone will have their own favorites--to each his own.
I have to say for me that this album has always been near the top of Beatles albums. It's the one I find myself reaching for unless I need a dose of early Beatles. The outtakes plus a really nice book with informative essays and rare photos makes this another good addition alongside the previous anniversary sets--even at ninety bucks or so--which seems a bit high. But when you slip the book out of its slipcase and see the quality, and when you hear the all the music, the price tag slips back into your head. This is a worthwhile purchase for "Abbey Road" and/ or Beatles fans in general.
And for "Abbey Road" fans, check out Bruce Spizer's latest book about "Abbey Road". It's similar to his other books on the "Sgt. Pepper's" and the "White Album" releases.
It IS nice to get the extras, however, even if not everything is there. Some tracks from this session were on Anthology, and it would have been nice to get a remaster of those tracks. The vocal only version of Because comes to mind. Instead, we get the instrumental version only. Some of the extras were already released on Anthology, but remastered and sound better.
We finally get a crisp version of Come and Get It, and also Goodbye, another demo. Hard to believe they gave Come and Get It away and kept the song only Paul liked, Maxwell's Silver Hammer, for the Abbey Road album.
We also get crisp versions of Her Majesty without the one channel effect and the last note cropped (sorry....never understood that one).
The Long One (alternate medley) is a MUST have and an interesting look at how Abbey Road could have been put together, had they chosen that route.
There are other interesting outtakes (although the extended Something with the long keyboard and drum outro at the end) is missing too.
Although the studio chatter is interesting on the demos, it doesn't make for repeated listening, and it would have been nice if they isolated it, but it would have taken the chatter out of context, so I guess I understand why it is there.
Overall, another great job, but still more left, for them to do another one in 10 years and grab our cash again!
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It's the rest of the package that I have a problem with. The two "sessions" cd's are a bit of a misnomer. To claim a Paul McCartney home demo of "Goodbye" is an "Abbey Road" session is stretching things a bit. As for "Come And Get It", wasn't that released on "Anthology 3"? "The Ballad Of John And Yoko" was recorded as a stand alone single and nothing at all to do with "Abbey Road" "Old Brown Shoe" is a bit tenuous as well. What remains could fit easily on one cd. "Anthology 3" has demo/out-take versions of 10 tracks that appear on the sessions cd's. As most of these are different takes why not re-master and include them in this package. The blue-ray disc is really just fluff and should be released as a stand alone item. Dolby Atmos is a cinema sound system and as far away from true stereo as you can get..
So what you are getting for your £80 is a remix of the original album, two cd's that could be condensed into one. Material already released and material irrelevant to the main album. And a Blue Ray that most people will rarely use. As for the book, its very good but not really worth the asking price. Compared to the two previous Beatle box sets this is a let down and vastly overpriced.
I've listened a few times now, and the single most impressive remastered track to my ears is "Here Comes the Sun": the Moog is fascinating. The clarity of the Moog allows the details of its sounds to gives it a presence that I don't think could ever have been appreciated before. Rather than just being a backing instrument, the thoughtful deliberation in how the Moog was played and its sounds were crafted give it a centrality to "Abbey Road"'s sound. The Beatles didn't rely on the Moog to be trendy or as spectacle as most not bands had the tendency to do. Not only does the Moog make this contribution to "Here Comes the Sun", but it becomes a sort of leitmotif that continues through the following tracks. The backing vocals on "Here Comes the Sun" and across the album are among the Beatles' best and the clarity is incredible. I have always considered Ringo one of the best rock drummers, and the remasters similarly provide clarity to the drums that makes Ringo's precision and creativity more pronounced than ever.
I wonder if McCartney provided some direction to the remastering? The bass sounds too heavy on the tracks published on YouTube; on the disc itself, the sound is much more balanced. The remaster has a nice little flourish on "Her Majesty", as the vocals slowly pan from right to left. I could well be wrong, but I can't imagine Giles Martin could take liberties that wide (pun intended!) without approval from McCartney.
Bonus tracks are worth listening to, but maybe not as exciting as those from the "White Album" session; definitely not as much as the best outtakes from the "Let It Be" sessions that were leading up to "Abbey Road". I'm already looking forward to hearing what Apple will do with the "Let It Be" album and sessions.
I dig it!
The extra cuts are a welcome addition and interesting to any Beatles nut but I just don't like the blandness of the re-mix on the main album, it just lacks the raw edge of the original which enhances the medley on the b side and makes you want to turn it up, with this I'm left a bit unmoved. Maybe Giles Martin should stop messing with his father's masterpieces. Why the CD version gets a better booklet is also beyond me.
Mine Arrived and I put the disc into my LG system which thus far has proven to be very robust. At best I could get the apple logo up then nothing no menu nothing.
found a work around and settled down to listen to the mainly fine mix and was prepared to let it go as it played up to Golden Slumbers then 20 seconds or so it nothing and the last few songs would not play, so Ill be returning this.
Updated 3/10/2019: I received my replacement boxed set today and immediately tried the Blu-ray. To my delight it worked in my main Panasonic player. It appears that there is a rogue batch of Blu-ray Discs. Deleted one star due to the poor quality control, you will never get a 100% problem free product, but judging by the number of complaints this problem is too high.
Five ***** stars for Amazon for their prompt service in sorting out this problem.
On looks and build quality this release gets a full five stars, I would have liked to have seen a clear slip over cover, akin to the last Beatles anniversary box set (The White Album) as I think in time it will get scratched and the odd knock, but what is inside the super deluxe version is more of the same in presentation akin to the last two deluxe anniversary editions, fantastic book, discs in paper sleeves that tuck into cutaways inside the front and rear of the book.
I was not a fan of Giles Martin's remix version of 'Sgt. Peppers' if the truth was known I probably am still not, I prefer his Father's Stereo mix for the 1970s and the CD release in 1987 but the more I listen to it the more it grows on me, on the 'White Album' he just did a light dusting over not deviating from the Stereo mix his Father had done and on this Abbey Road re-release he has again just 'dusted over' no instrumental channel deviation or vocals put into a unfamiliar place in the stereo soundstage.
If you have a good Blu-Ray audio player that will playback the full 24bit-96kHz Hi-Res recording then this is well worth the expense.
Those with cheaper Blu-Ray player will wonder what the fuss is all about.
Sur la forme :
La boite contenant les trois disques est en carton épais et fait presque 3 centimètres d’épaisseur.
A l’intérieur, il y a un livret avec un texte de Paul McCartney et un autre de Giles Martin (fils de George Martin) puis une explication sur la conception de l’album et les différentes sessions (Le tout est en anglais)
Le premier disque est l’album original, le deuxième est un double album avec une photo des Beatles traversant la rue dans l’autre sens avec quelques détails différents.
Ces deux autres vinyles nous permettent d’écouter des sessions et des titres inédits (Une bonne vingtaine).
Sur le fond.
Le premier album qui est le disque que tout le monde connait a été remixé par Gilles Martin à partir des masters originaux et nous donne un son de très grande qualité.
Les deux autres vinyles nous permettent d’écouter des démos et des versions encore inédites.
Mis à part différentes prises et démos des titres de l’album comme « Something », « Oh Darling », « Here comes the sun », « Come together » ou encore « She came in through the bathroom window », vous pourrez écouter des morceaux ne figurant pas sur « Abbey road », tel « The ballad of John and Yoko », « Old brown shoe », et « Come and get it ».
En résumé, ce coffret est d’une part un très bel objet de collection, d’autre part, il nous permet d’écouter de l’inédit et enfin, la qualité du son est excellente.
Pour infos, les vinyles sont des 180 gr et le coffret pèse son petit poids.
Un achat peut être un peu cher mais qui donne du bonheur quand on est fan des Beatles !!
Malheureusement, je n'avais pas acheté les deux précédents (Sgt peppers et l'album blanc).
PS du 02/10/2019: Pourquoi mélanger des commentaires qui pour certains ont 15 ans, avec ceux qui concernent les coffrets du 50ème anniversaire ??
And indeed it has been from 2* to 5*. I absolutely love this album and have many versions of it. The remastering on this one is, in my humble opinion, sublime.
Also many thanks to the good folk at Amazon. Less than 24 hours after complaining I had a replacement sat on the turntable. Great service. 👍🏻
This version is a remix, so it does sound different to the original. But, dare I say it, this remix is better than the original? The versions are subtly different, but the new mix sounds ‘meatier’. The new 24/96 sounds absolutely amazing, and IMO is a definite improvement from the earlier 24/44.1 version.
And as for the 24/96 DTS-HD surround mix? This is truly a masterpiece, and adds a different dimension to this amazing piece of art.
This set is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!