After seeing Scott Freiman’s Deconstructing the Beatles: Abbey Road, Part 1, on film at the Spectrum, I made a decision. Though Part 2 was also available at the cinema for a day in August, I chose to see Freiman in person at The End of September instead.
As most people know from all the 50th-anniversary hype, Abbey Road was the last Beatles album recorded. Side two starts with Here Comes The Sun, George’s song written in Eric Clapton’s garden. Then Because, a truly lovely song, derived when John had asked Yoko to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata backward.
Then the medley, which came from a bunch of sources, some going back to the white album: You Never Give Me Your Money, Sun King, Mean Mr. Mustard, Polythene Pam, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, The End, with Her Majesty at the end.
A bed-in, of sorts
John was late getting to the sessions that took place in July and August of 1969. He and Yoko were in a car accident. A bed was brought into EMI Recording Studios so Yoko could rest there during the sessions.
As a result, John was absent for a few songs, notably Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight. The lyrics for the former were swiped, slightly altered, from Thomas Dekker’s 17th-century poem. The latter was sung by Paul, George, and Ringo.
There are at least three new packages of the album. One is the Super Deluxe Edition, which includes the medley as originally conceived, with Her Majesty placed between Mean Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam.
Paul didn’t like the way it sounded, so he asked that Her Majesty be cut. Engineer John Kurlander, who knew not to throw out anything, attached the track to the end of the master tape after 20 seconds of silence. The song opens with the final, crashing chord of Mustard, while the final note was lost to Pam.
The album might have been named Everest, after a cigarette brand, but since they were at 3 Abbey Rd, St John’s Wood, London, the street name seemed an easier choice. And they could just go outside for ten minutes and get a photo of them crossing the road, rather than having to climb a mountain.
I realize that I won’t be buying that Super Deluxe edition, even though it has a version of Goodbye, a song Paul wrote for Mary Hopkin. Her take reached #13 on the singles chart in the US. It got to #2 in the UK, blocked by the Beatles’ Get Back, and #1 in the Netherlands and Ireland.
Super Deluxe also has Come And Get It, a song Macca later said was planned for Abbey Road; I have his demo on Anthology 3. The song ended up being given to the Apple band The Iveys, who became Badfinger. That version is on the soundtrack of the movie The Magic Christian with Peter Sellers and one Ringo Starr.
But nope, no Super Deluxe or even the Anniversary Deluxe iteration Because I don’t need it. Now if YOU want to get it for me…
Listen to Coverville 1280: Abbey Road 50th Anniversary Album Cover.