Next week, Abbey Road — arguably the Beatles final proper album, inarguably their final masterpiece — will turn 50. And next week, Abbey Road will get a massive 50th-anniversary box-set reissue, featuring a ton of unreleased music and a new mix from Giles Martin. (Giles Martin is both the son of Beatles producer George Martin and the man who did the Sgt. Pepper remixes that everyone liked a couple of years ago.)
The box set has already turned up evidence that the Beatles were at least talking about the idea of making more albums after Abbey Road, a pretty fascinating new revelation in a history that’s already been extremely well-examined. And today, we get our first taste of the music that will appear on the box set — two different versions of “Come Together,” the John Lennon-written Abbey Road opener that went to #1 in November of 1969.
The Beatles have shared an alternate take on “Come Together” — one where the band did not quite, well, come together. In the fifth take on the song, the band fucks up, or at least trails off, toward the end, with Lennon chuckling and improvising some new lyrics. Also, his accent sounds thicker? Maybe that’s my imagination. But it’s pretty amazing to hear that, even on a throwaway take, these guys — who were not getting along especially well at the time — were still capable of conjuring that chemistry while playing all together in the studio. Here’s that:
We also get the new Giles Martin mix of “Come Together.” It doesn’t sound terribly different to my ears, but I’m bad at this audiophile stuff, and that bass does sound really full. Check it out:
The Abbey Road anniversary edition is out 9/27, and you can pre-order it here.