Here’s What the Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ Reissue Box Is Missing
Now that the track listing for the Beatles' expanded Abbey Road anniversary reissue has been confirmed, it's time to discuss what did – and didn't – make the cut.
Perhaps the most expected item was "The Long One," which features the original Side Two medley sequence. That reinserts "Her Majesty," the album's hidden track, between "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."
But we apparently won't get the version of "Something" with an instrumental coda, extended takes on "Carry That Weight" and "Her Majesty" (the latter of which featured John Lennon on slide), or an update of "Here Comes the Sun" that restores a never-before-heard guitar solo revealed in the bonus features for 2011's Living in the Material World documentary. There also aren't as many free-form moments this time, mostly because of the way the Beatles approached things in the studio.
"They're not really jamming," producer Giles Martin tells Rolling Stone. "It's not like the White Album — with this record, maybe to protect against arguments, they had a pretty damn good idea about the direction each song was going to go in before they recorded it."
Listen to the Beatles' 2019 Mix of 'Something'
The sessions discs begin with an early take on "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," which was recorded after neighbors grumbled about the noise during an overnight session on Feb. 22, 1969, at Soho's Trident Studios. "Well, we'll try it once more very loud," Lennon is heard saying, after being told about the complaint. "The loud one, last go. Last chance to be loud!"
Paul McCartney's demo for "Goodbye," which he gave to Mary Hopkin, has never been officially released before. Take 36 of "You Never Give Me Your Money," run through before its placement in the Side Two medley, ends with a raucous instrumental section, but without Lennon's "one, two, three, four, five, six, seven – all good children go to heaven."
Listen to the Demo for George Harrison's 'Something'
The upcoming set, due Sept. 27, appears at first to have some overlap with earlier-released tracks from the '90s-era Anthology series and 2018's White Album reissue box, but there are important differences.
"Something" was initially shared as a guitar-and-vocal demo. The Abbey Road box version also features a previously unheard piano overdub by George Harrison. McCartney's demo of "Come and Get It," later a hit for Badfinger, was on Anthology 3, as well. The anniversary reissue includes the original, never-before-released 1969 stereo mix, made with McCartney and Lennon present in the control room.
"Old Brown Shoe," "Octopus's Garden," "Maxwell's Silver Hammer," "Come Together," "Because" and "The End" were featured on Anthology as well, but appear here in different takes.
Listen to George Martin's Orchestral Arrangement for 'Something'
Other revelations arrive with the originally released songs, as new sonic details like McCartney's rhythmic turn during the middle eight on "Something" are brought forward: "Ringo [Starr] is playing toms with both hands, and then in the middle bit, Paul goes over to hit the high-hat," Martin noted. "It took the two of them to play drums on that bit."
There's also a tribute to Giles' father, George Martin, the longtime producer who ultimately didn't take part in completing the Beatles last-released album, 1970's Let It Be. George's orchestral arrangements for "Something" and "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight" close out this anniversary set.
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