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Abbey Road Enhanced, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
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The classic original Beatles studio albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London over a four year period utilising state of the art recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The result of this painstaking process is the highest fidelity the Beatles catalogue has seen since its original release.
Within each CD's new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. The newly produced mini-documentaries on the making of each album, directed by Bob Smeaton, are included as QuickTime files on each album. The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-heard studio chat from The Beatles, offering a unique and very personal insight into the studio atmosphere.
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Top Customer Reviews
There is not a false note on this album. It kicks off with a powerful vocal from John Lennon on "Come Together," which is balanced by the tenderness of "Something," one of George Harrison's best songs (and only Beatles A-side single contribution). With "Because" Lennon wrote one of the loveliest melodies of his career. Even the silliness of McCartney's "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and Ringo Starr's child-like "Octopus's Garden" exude charm and warmth from a band that was on the verge of fragmenting forever and taking some of the innocence of the sixties with them.
And then there's the side-2 suite (tracks 9-16)which still makes for powerful listening thirty years later. Sir Paul McCartney summed it all up in "The End": "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." And so the curtain rang down on the best rock 'n' roll band in our lifetime. ESSENTIAL
Here's a brief update of the 2009 remastered release of ABBEY ROAD:
THE SONGS: There are no new songs or demos included on this rerelease. It contains only the original tracks from the 1969 release.
THE REMASTERING: This CD has been remastered from the original stereo analogue master tapes. Since this is one of the few Beatles albums to be recorded in stereo (YELLOW SUBMARINE and LET IT BE are the only other two), there is no mono version. The muffled, sometimes muddy sound of the 1987 CD issue has been replaced with a crisp, clean sound that creates an entirely new listening experience.
THE BOOKLET: There is a 16-page booklet with brief "Historical Notes" as well as "Recording Notes," which are serviceable but not overly thorough. A full eleven of the pages are devoted to photos, including three from their final photo shoot on August 22, 1969, at John Lennon's home at Tittenhurst Park. Also, of historical note, are several proofs from the ABBEY ROAD cover shoot.
THE MINI-DOCUMENTARY: First of all, anyone expecting a VH1 Behind the Music-style documentary will be sadly disappointed. The video runs less than four minutes and contains very little actual video. There is some footage used from the "Something" promotional video. Otherwise it is all still photos. [Although there is some clever computerized gimmickry used to make it appear as if the Beatles are actually walking across the pedestrian crossing in front of Abbey Road Studio.] The documentary also includes voice-over commentary from McCartney, Harrison, Starr and producer George Martin. As for the music, there is a snippet of a demo of "Come Together." Otherwise, only samples of final take versions are heard. [Total running time - 3:46. Note: You will need QuickTime to view this on your computer.]
THE CD CASE: The cardboard CD case is not ideal for two reasons: First of all, it's a trifold case so it will not lay flat and it will be more prone to wear. Secondly, the CD is awkward to get out of the slipcase without touching the recorded side of the disc.
THE VERDICT: Ignore the naysayers. Buy this album. It's like hearing the album for the first time!
"Abbey Road" offers something for everybody; a 90-year-old senior citizen could enjoy this album as easily as a 5-year-old kid. The sounds and tastes of this record are all over the map. For instance, whereas "Come Together" is a serious rock anthem with a heavy message, songs like "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" (Lennon-McCartney) and "Octopus's Garden" (Ringo Starr) are silly pop nuggets. Romance is also present, like on George Harrison's beautiful "Something" (which includes a swooning string section), and on the dramatic "Oh! Darling," where Paul McCartney belts out the lyrics in his most sincere tone. Overall, there's a boyish, innocent quality to these songs, especially lyrically, yet a sophistication to the sound and musical development. In short, the Beatles, as well as their producer, George Martin, possessed the resources, talent, musicality and what must have been a sense of finality to create one of the best records ever.
Though the Beatles were on their way out with "Abbey Road," the seven-minute-plus "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" is reminiscent of another British band on their way in back in 1969, Led Zeppelin. The song features longing lyrics and an indelibly heavy guitar riff in the style of Jimmy Page before he became a household name. Conversely, songs like "Because" and "Sun King" are positively airy and lightweight, unbelievably catchy. The Beatles thrived on hazy, dreamy songs that featured their head-in-the-cloud choruses and melting melodies, making it all seem as easy as a summer breeze.
Beginning at "You Never Give Me Your Money," the album transforms into a hot-potato medley of one sublimely melodic song after another, a shockingly creative assembly line of tracks that magically blend together, thanks mostly to producer George Martin. It's comparable to a movie score with words or a spur-of-the moment "Best of" mixture. McCartney and Lennon deserve the lion's share of credit for creating this 20-minute joyride, on the second side of one album. Despite the inevitable end of the band, the guys sound excited, joyful, happy to be alive, inspiring, a little crazy and willing to experiment on their way out.
As the music on "Abbey Road" mutates from one moment to the next -- sometimes in the space of just one song -- the lustrous sounds and sky-high choruses mix perfectly with the weightless lyrics. As the album winds down and such greats as "Mr. Mustard" and the punk-ish "Polythene Pam" rage on, the band opt to go out on a positive and touching message that truly resonates. Overall, I understand now why many have said that there are the Beatles and then there is everyone else.