Abbey Road

The Beatles
 
Abbey Road - LP cover Abbey Road - LP back
Abbey Road - Front Cover Abbey Road - Back Cover
Abbey Road - Mis-aligned Apple
Abbey Road - Rare Mis-aligned Apple
See close-up detail of this sleeve below

Label Apple
  
Catalogue No. PCS 7088
  
Matrix No.'s
 A-side B-Side
Stereo:YEX 749-2 YEX 750-1
  
Release date 26th September 1969
  
Total time 47:07
  
U.K. Album Chart Detail :
Entry Date :4th October 1969
Highest Position :1 ... for 11 weeks from 4th October 1969
           + 6 weeks from 27th December 1969
Weeks in Chart :
+
+
+
81
  2 from 31st October 1987 (CD release, reached no.30)
  9 from 8th March 1997 (reached no. 42)
  4 from 13th September 2009 (reached no. 6 !)
==
96 weeks in total
==
  
Detail : The Beatles twelfth official album release, but the LAST that was actually recorded by them.
The advance sales for this release in the U.K. totalled 190,000, taking it straight to number 1.
After just six weeks it had sold 4,000,000, and by the end of the year, 5,000,000 worldwide. It took another 10 years to double that figure, when by 1980 it topped 10 million.
It would have been number 1 for 18 weeks consecutively, but for the 1 week that the Rolling Stones album, "Let It Bleed" took over the top slot.

The album was of course, named after the London road in St. John's Wood that houses the E.M.I. studios (although, at one time it was going to be titled, "Everest"). And because of the eventual success of the album, the studios were re-named as "Abbey Road Studios". The cover photograph was taken Friday 8th August 1969 by Iain Macmillan at 10 o'clock in the morning. For these quick snaps a British Bobby held up the traffic for 10 minutes as six pictures were taken (in two of which Paul wore his sandals !). Along with Sgt. Peppers, once again The Beatles managed to create something so unique that it has been imitated many times.
In fact, taking imitation to the maximum, soul band "Booker T and the M.G.'s" not only did their own version of the cover, but also the entire album was a cover version, although they named theirs "McLemore Avenue" after the name of the street where their own recording studios were in Memphis.
Another example of imitation was this amusing version by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers ...
Abbey Road - Red Hot Chilli Peppers

The "Abbey Road" album came without a title on the front cover, and no lyric sheet ... being quite simple, it just had one photograph on the front, and one on the rear.

In America "Abbey Road" won a Grammy for "Best Engineered Non-Classical Recording".

Also recorded during the Abbey Road sessions,
"Come And Get It" - 24th July 1969 in 1 take.

The album was also part of "The Beatles Collection" 13 album box set (see Beatles Collection).

In January 1979 a picture disc version of Abbey Road was planned, but very few copies were released before the project was abandoned, and the release withdrawn.
The picture disc :
Abbey Road - Picture Disc

On 19th October 1987 this album had it's first release on C.D. which was published in stereo, with a catalogue number of CDP 746 446 2
And on the same day, the record shop H.M.V. produced a special 12" numbered CD Box Set Comprising:
The C.D. of "Abbey Road"
+ A badge
+ A booklet of b/w photos
+ 2 Posters
This set had a catalogue number of BEA CD 25/7, and was in a limited edition of 12,500 copies, and looks like this ...

Abbey Road - HMV Box
Abbey Road - The H.M.V. Box set

The C.D. was also part of "The Beatles Box" 15 C.D. box set (see Beatles C.D. Box).

09/09/09 (Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine) - the album was re-released as part of the Beatles In Stereo Remasters collection.
13th September 2009 it re-entered the chart again at number 6 in the second highest position of SEVENTEEN chart positions The Beatles captured in one amazing week.
         (see the box set detail for the chart position of all 17 titles together)
20th September 2009 - dropped eight places down to number 14.
27th September 2009 - dropped nineteen places down to number 33.
4th October 2009 - dropped twenty places down to number 53.
11th October 2009 - dropped thirty-three places down to number 86 - which is outside the official chart and doesn't count for longevity purposes.
18th October 2009 - * * * No longer listed in the Top 100.
15th November 2009 - Reappeared at number 90 (from 103)

Digital Downloads
In 2010 iTunes (a digital download agency) were given access to The Beatles product, which now meant each individual Beatles track was available to download to internet connected devices.
These downloads had to be paid for and the number of sales were permitted to be counted for chart purposes as "singles" (although JPGR doesn't concur with this process).
21st November 2010 - Here Comes The Sun was listed at number 64 and Come Together at number 83
28th November 2010 - Here Comes The Sun was listed at number 88 and Come Together at number 81.
15th April 2012 - Here Comes The Sun was again listed in the chart as a digital download at number 58, it's highest position !
Thereby Here Comes The Sun can be said to be a "hit single" as it made the Top 75 but, of course, it wasn't a hit single !

Tape Media
The album was also available on 4" reel-to-reel tape in, very surprisingly, two different formats,
    Catalogue number TA-PMC 7088 (3¾ ips twin-track mono tape) - in a "jewel" box.
    Catalogue number TD-PCS 7088 (3¾ ips 4-track stereo) - in a "jewel" box.

Prior to 1973:
The album was released on stereo cassette tape (1⅞ ips) - Catalogue number - TC-PCS 7088
The album was also released on 8-track stereo continuous play cartridge (3¾ ips) - catalogue no. 8X-PCS 7088

In November 1987 the album was re-released on cassette tape - Catalogue number - TC-PCS 7088 (Originally released November 1967).

Finally it should be noted that it was at the end of these sessions that came the date that ALL four Beatles were together in Abbey Road studios for the very last time, which was 20th August 1969.


Side 1

Track Composer Recording Information Time
Come Together Lennon-McCartney Recorded 21st July 1969 - 9 takes
Overdubs 22nd July 1969 onto take 9
Overdubs 23rd July 1969 onto take 9
Overdubs 25th July 1969 onto take 9
Overdubs 29th July 1969 onto take 9
Overdubs 30th July 1969 onto take 9
Final mix - take 9.
4:16
Something Harrison Recorded 25th February 1969 - Demo take 1
Recording 16th April 1969 - 13 takes (backing track only)
Re-made 2nd May 1969 - 36 takes (new 1-36)
Overdubs 5th May 1969 onto take 36
Overdubs 11th July 1969 onto take 36 creating take 37
Overdubs 16th July 1969 onto take 36 creating takes 38 & 39
Overdubs 15th August 1969 onto take 39
Final mix - take 39.
2:59
Maxwell's Silver Hammer Lennon-McCartney Recorded 9th July 1969 - 21 takes
Overdubs 10th July 1969 onto take 21
Overdubs 11th July 1969 onto take 21
Overdubs 6th August 1969 onto take 21 creating takes 22-27
Final mix - take 27.
3:24
Oh ! Darling Lennon-McCartney Recorded 20th April 1969 - 26 takes
Overdubs 26th April 1969 onto take 26
Overdubs 17th July 1969 onto take 16 (!)
Overdubs 18th July 1969 onto take 26
Overdubs 22nd July 1969 onto take 26
The final vocal - 23rd July 1969 onto take 26
Overdubs 8th August 1969 onto take 26
Overdubs 11th August 1969 onto take 26
Final mix - take 26.
3:26
Octopus's Garden Starkey Recorded 26th April 1969 - 32 takes
Overdubs 29th April 1969 onto take 32
Overdubs 17th July 1969 onto take 32
Overdubs 18th July 1969 onto take 32
Final mix - take 32.
2:48
I Want You (She's So Heavy) Lennon-McCartney Recorded 22nd February 1969 - 35 takes
Mixing 23rd february 1969 takes 9, 20 & 32 together for new "take 1"
Overdubs 18th April 1969 onto take 1
Overdubs 20th April 1969 onto take 1
Overdubs 8th August 1969 onto take 1
Overdubs 11th August 1969 onto take 1
Final mix - "take 1"
7:44

Side 2

Track Composer Recording Information Time
Here Comes The Sun Harrison Recorded 7th July 1969 - 13 takes (backing track only)
Vocal overdubs 8th July 1969 onto take 13 creating takes 14-15
Overdubs 16th July 1969 onto take 15
Overdubs 6th August 1969 onto take 15
Overdubs 11th August 1969 onto take 15
Overdubs 15th August 1969 onto take 15
Moog overdub 19th August 1969 onto take 15
Final mix - take 15.
3:04
Because Lennon-McCartney Recorded 1st August 1969 - 23 takes
Vocal overdubs 4th August 1969 onto take 16
Moog overdubs 5th August 1969 onto take 16
Final mix - take 16.
2:45
You Never Give Me Your Money Lennon-McCartney Recorded 6th May 1969 - 36 takes
Overdub 1st July 1969 onto take 30
Overdubs 11th July 1969 onto take 30
Overdubs 15th July 1969 onto take 30
Overdubs 30th July 1969 onto take 30 creating takes 37-42
Overdubs 30th July 1969 onto take 40
Overdubs 31st July 1969 onto take 30 (!)
Final mix - take 30.
3:59
Sun King Lennon-McCartney Recorded 24th July 1969 - 35 takes (together with "Mustard")
Vocal overdubs 25th July 1969 onto take 35
Overdubs 29th July 1969 onto take 35
Final mix - take 35.
2:30
Mean Mr. Mustard Lennon-McCartney 1:06
Polythene Pam Lennon-McCartney Recorded 25th July 1969 - 39 takes
Overdubs 28th July 1969 onto take 39 creating take 40
Overdubs 30th July 1969 onto take 40
Final mix - take 40.
1:20
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window Lennon-McCartney 1:51
Golden Slumbers Lennon-McCartney Recorded 2nd July 1969 - 15 takes (as one track)
Overdubs 3rd July 1969 onto takes 13 & 15, creating 2 takes (16-17)
Overdubs 4th July 1969 onto take 17
Overdubs 30th July 1969 onto take 17
Overdubs 31st July 1969 onto take 17
Overdubs 15th August 1969 onto take 17
Final mix - take 17.
1:31
Carry That Weight Lennon-McCartney 1:37
The End Lennon-McCartney Recorded 23rd July 1969 - 7 takes (backing track only)
Vocal overdubs 5th August 1969 onto take 7
Overdubs 7th August 1969 onto take 7
Overdubs 8th August 1969 onto take 7
Overdubs 15th August 1969 onto take 7
Overdubs 18th August 1969 onto take 7
Final mix - take 7.
2:04
20 seconds of silence which is then followed by ... a track NOT listed on the sleeve ...
Her Majesty "uncredited" Recorded 2nd July 1969 - 3 takes
Final mix - take 3.
0:23

Released Versions

This was the first L.P. to be in Stereo ONLY.

First pressings (1969)

The standard dark green Apple label.
The label does NOT have "Sold in the U.K..." statement.
The inner sleeves are black.
Abbey Road - Label
Abbey Road - WITHOUT "Her Majesty" Credit.

RARE First Pressing Sleeve Variant ! (1969)

There is a rare first pressing sleeve variant (shown at the top of the page, and detail below), which has a mis-aligned apple on the rear of the cover under the side one track list. Below is enlarged detail of such a sleeve.
Note that the apple is actually in the same place on the brickwork, it's the background picture that has slightly moved.
The front cover is also slightly more zoomed in !
Abbey Road - Rare Sleeve Variant
Abbey Road - Rare Sleeve Variant with mis-aligned apple.

Allegedly, first pressings can come in black or white inner sleeves, and without or with a credit for "Her Majesty".
But ... the black inner was de rigeur for the time, and "Her Majesty" was an innovative "secret" track on the end, and therefore would not originally be intended to be on the sleeve. So make your own mind up which is a "first pressing".
Neither of my copies have "Her Majesty" listed anywhere.

Second pressings (1969)

The standard dark green Apple label.
The label does NOT have "Sold in the U.K..." statement.
The label now DOES include reference to the track Her Majesty.
The inner sleeves are black or white.
Abbey Road - Label
Abbey Road - Label Showing "Her Majesty" Credit.

With this album release, there were no 1973 and 1982 re-pressings.

Export Pressing (1978)

Green vinyl edition.

Abbey Road - Green Vinyl Set Abbey Road - Label Detail
Abbey Road - Green Vinyl Set Abbey Road - Label Detail
In 1978 a "Green" vinyl version was pressed here by Parlophone/EMI in the UK for EXPORT purposes only.
This album was not supposed to be available to purchase in UK record stores.
This album is on the custom Apple Label with 'Apple Records' label rim and 'Mfd in UK' label text.
The catalogue number, PCS 7088 is stamped in the trail out groove, together with the matrix YEX 749.
The album comes in a plain white inner sleeve and is housed in a fully laminated sleeve displaying the Apple logo,
together with an official 'Made in England' sticker on the reverse of the sleeve, next to the Apple Logo.

Third Pressings (1995)

Standard Apple label.
The sleeve has a printed statement which reads:
"This album has been Direct Metal Mastered From a Digitally Re-mastered Original Tape to give the best possible sound quality"
This release is (surprisingly) on a lightweight vinyl.

19th October 1987 - The first C.D. release on catalogue number CD-PCS 7088 (International number CDP 7 46446 2).
Although digitally remastered, as is standard on EMI product of the time, there are no bonus tracks.



©2006 Graham Calkin's Beatles Pages. All Rights Reserved.