Next Friday, Apple Records will release a special 50th anniversary edition of The Beatles' classic final studio album Abbey Road with new mixes by Giles Martin and Sam Okell in high resolution stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos. The set will also include 23 additional demos and session outtakes. 
 
“The Beatles recording journey had gone through many twists and turns, learning curves, and thrilling rides,” wrote Paul McCartney in the edition's liner notes. “Here we were – still wondering at the magic of it all.”  
 
The original release of Abbey Road was awarded a GRAMMY for engineering and the new mix uses the original 8-track session tapes which were mostly supervised by legendary Abbey Road engineer Geoff Emerick and Giles Martin’s father, Beatles producer George Martin. 
 
“The magic comes from the hands playing the instruments, the blend of The Beatles’ voices, the beauty of the arrangements,” said Martin in the liner notes to the new edition. “Our quest is simply to ensure everything sounds as fresh and hits you as hard as it would have on the day it was recorded…They knew this was it. The way I would explain it is, you’ve only got a certain number of breaths or heartbeats left in your life, and you want to make sure they’re important. That’s the essence of Abbey Road — they knew how important it was.”

 

The 4-cd and 3-LP special edition will include track-by-track details, photographs by Linda McCartney, images of handwritten lyrics, recording sheets, tape boxes, print ads, and session notes in a 100-page hardbound book. A limited edition vinyl box will include three 180 gram LPs and the deluxe 2 CD will pair together session outtakes in the original album’s running order.  Among the collection’s many highlights include The Beatles trying out George Harrison’s new Moog synthesizer, McCartney demos for what would become Badfinger’s debut single “Come and Get It” and Mary Hopkins’ single “Goodbye,” behind the scenes rehearsals for John Lennon’s “Come Together” at Trident Studios with Let It Be engineer Glyn Johns (“My boys are ready to go,” shouts Lennon), and session highlights from “Ballad of John and Yoko” recorded by Lennon and McCartney playing all the instruments.
 
“You do get the impression with Abbey Road that Paul was trying to hold on to the dream — and my dad as well.” Martin told Rolling Stone. “Sonically, it’s more like his work with America. Abbey Road has that precision — everything’s in tune, it has the right fit, and that’s how he liked things to be.”


“You do get the impression with Abbey Road that Paul was trying to hold on to the dream — and my dad as well," said Martin. "Sonically, it’s more like his work with America. Abbey Road has that precision — everything’s in tune, it has the right fit, and that’s how he liked things to be.”

Meanwhile, Beatles biographer Mark Lewisohn recently announced a previously unknown tape recording of a 1969 Beatles meeting with John, Paul, and George while Ringo was in the hospital where the trio plotted how to make a new Beatles album after Abbey Road. The Beatles eventually broke up in 1970.  The tape is part of Lewisohn’s new production Hornsey Road, a unique stage show created to tell the story of Abbey Road through mixed media, rare recordings, and memorabilia. 

Hornsey Road is all about Abbey Road, the people who made it and the time in which they did it, Lewisohn wrote on his website. “This artistic triumph was created at a hectic junction in the Beatles’ lives, and I’m going to be revealing the rich history, refreshing the remarkable stories behind its making, and bringing it all back by sight, sound and smell.  I’ll be delivering an original and surprising look at this collection of great songs, superbly recorded by the Beatles and their producer George Martin fifty summers ago, and packaged in that highly-imitated cover art of the four of them on the zebra crossing in north London. I’ll be explaining the album’s making in the context of the 1969 contemporary music scene, and depicting the four Beatles as friends, bandmates and artistic individuals at the peak of their creative powers, crowning the many precedent-setting events of their previous six years together with this glorious parting shot.”

If you live in the UK, don’t miss the touring exhibition and let’s hope it comes to the U.S. soon, too. Visit Lewisohn's website for details.  And look for the new release worldwide September 27, 2019 and more sneak peaks at Epiphone.com.