Although the photo was taken on August 8, 1969, the famous image and The Beatles Abbey Road Christmas Shirt, Hoodie, Sweater of John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison walking along the Abbey Road pedestrian path, just where the street intersects in a somewhat irregular way with Grove End Street, was unveiled on September 26, when the world attended the release of the last album recorded by The Beatles. No more and no less than 50 years, half a century from when for the first time it was heard in public that “in the end, the love you take with you is equal to the love you give”. Nothing less than half a century from when that dream was definitely over.
The Beatles Abbey Road Christmas Shirt, Hoodie, Sweatshirt
Of course, at that moment nobody said that it was going to be the last album of the Beatles. But how to read that final phrase, which Paul repeats in the second previous chord to the last chord of each show he gives, today, at 77 years. Even though a few days ago it was revealed that a few days before the release of the album John had given some ideas for future work together.
Why not give credit to those conversations, knowing today that there was an Abbey Road after a Let It Be that seemed, yes, to mark the prelude to an urgent end. Of course, much had to do with that survival the return of George Martin, to whom we owe the last beatle sigh. Or rather, the last screams of the band that changed the world.
That’s why it makes sense that his son Giles has now been in charge of remixing the album for the new commemorative editions that will be on sale this Friday, September 27, in different formats, some of which will arrive in our country, and which have extra material from the recording sessions of the album.
Giles has already taken care of the new versions of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and White Album, published in 2017 and 2018, respectively. But now the challenge was much greater, since, unlike the other two albums, Abbey Road was originally released in stereo, and its sound is technically far superior to that of the other two albums. In fact, Giles Martin has confessed that he needed to make up to five mixes to “improve” the sound his father had achieved on some of the songs on the album.
Did the world need another version of Abbey Road? The current vinyl boom, the loyalty of the Beatles’ fans and the audience’s eternal fascination for the group make us think of a big deal in international markets, which have been announcing for months the reissue of the last album recorded by the Beatles, the best-selling album of their entire career. Its iconic cover also keeps it as one of the most recognizable images of the group, as well as one of the most recreated in the history of modern art with The Beatles Abbey Road Christmas Shirt. And the Abbey Road crossing is undoubtedly one of London’s tourist attractions.
The Beatles chose that setting after rejecting the idea of travelling to Nepal to be photographed at the world’s highest peak. At some point they thought of calling the album Everest, because that was the brand of cigarettes that Geoff Emerick smoked, one of his closest collaborators in the Abbey Road studios, where at that time a young Alan Parsons was doing his first jobs as a sound technician.
The Beatles’ latest album was also a novelty in the choice of their single. For the first time, the honor of occupying face one corresponded to George Harrison, with the imposing Something, which Frank Sinatra himself defined in his day as one of the best songs of the last decades and “the best of all those of Lennon and McCartney”. Paul still remembers it with a bitter smile, although ukulele in hand, incorporated the song to his usual repertoire.
Harrison emerged as a top-notch composer on Abbey Road, where he also signed another of the album’s most memorable songs, Here Comes the Sun. That track opened the famous B-side of the album, composed mostly of a suite culminated by a Ringo drum solo and a guitar duel between John, Paul and George, as a prelude to The End.
Perhaps that’s why it had occurred to Lennon that in a future album, the distribution of songs was in equal parts between him, Macca and George. Four songs of each was the proposal, and perhaps two of Ringo, if the drummer wanted to make his contribution. But the idea, we know, did not prosper. What had prospered was that famous “medley” of Abbey Road, McCartney’s idea, while Lennon had the privilege of opening and closing Side A of the album, with Come Together and I Want You (She’s So Heavy). And to us, to return again and again to the work, to certify that for such a story could not have a better ending.
The Beatles Walking On The Christmas Abbey Road 50th Anniversary T-Shirt, Sweater, Long Sleeve, Tank Top
There are more elegant ways of saying it, but perhaps none so close to reality: John, Paul, George and Ringo had swollen balls. They were tired of being The Beatles. It’s funny, because they had only been in the middle of nine years since they shortened the name The Silver Beatles, but they couldn’t be more tired of carrying the nickname that had become a universal password. It is enough to review in detail the history of the group – something impossible to solve here – to understand it: each year Beatle is worth perhaps ten. If the Revolution devours its own children – as Robespierre is said to say – Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr bore the cost of leading and driving forward the last great cultural revolution of the 20th century. Recording The Beatles (known as the White Album) had been very difficult. The Get Back sessions were a nightmare. As much as to file the project that would end up appearing a year later, with the band separated and under the much more appropriate title of Let It Be: the Fab Four were more to let it be than to come back.
At the beginning of 1969, no one from the intimate environment gave two guitas for The Beatles. Harrison’s hateful looks at McCartney were too fresh, everyone’s fed up with Paul’s tendency to give orders and control everything, the avian glances at Yoko Ono, the little studio chicanas that attempted against a coexistence that nobody wanted to sustain anymore.
But something happened. The White Album and Get Back sessions had left things in the inkwell that were worth reviewing. Paul had a playful little song called “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” and a ballad he had titled “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window,” which they had tried quite successfully in a January session that year at Apple headquarters in Savile Row. In that same session they had reviewed, with Billy Preston on the piano, a doo wop style track called “Oh! Darling”. In August 1968, shortly after recording “Don’t Pass Me By” for the White Album, during a short vacation Ringo had been encouraged to raise his participation fee and had composed something called “Octopus’s Garden”. The Beatles could hardly stand each other, but they didn’t chew glass, and they knew better than anyone what they were dealing with. One last visit to the EMI studios was worthwhile. Which, of course, still wasn’t called Abbey Road.
The ill-fated sessions at Twickenham Studios for Get Back had been planned as a “return to basics”, to touch and see what happened: the result had shown that this was not the right approach. As the rehearsals at Savile Row advanced, the quartet understood that the approach should be closer to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Use the studio again as an instrument. Trust once again the producer George Martin, who was thrown a brick and always returned round. Abbey Road’s number 3 studios already had eight-channel consoles, but even that wasn’t enough for the project’s ambition: as in the past, they flipped some of the tracks from one console to another, to free up channels and keep playing tricks. George had just brought a brand new toy, a Moog synthesizer that they would know how to make good use of. There was a lot to do: they booked studios 2 and 3 from April to the end of August, and at one point they were able to use all three simultaneously.
Suddenly, just when they didn’t want to be The Beatles anymore, The Beatles were again The Beatles. In that sense, the anecdote on the cover is symptomatic. At EMI they were happy that The Boys were back in the studio, but marketing couldn’t wait. The band didn’t answer the requirements about how the new album would be titled, if there would be advance singles (there weren’t any), what would be the cover art. On August 8, Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan showed up at St. John’s Wood to take pictures for the cover The Beatles Walking On The Christmas Abbey Road Shirt. Reluctantly, completely absorbed in the material that was taking shape, the four musicians took to the street, threw six photos across the pedestrian path and returned to the only place where they felt they could still coexist. For them, it was a procedure that had to be taken away from them. But – like so many things in the history of the band – without knowing it and without planning it, they fixed another icon, one of the most famous album covers in the universe. The first in his entire career that said absolutely nothing, only the image: it had to be turned around to see the poster “Beatles – Abbey Road”.