BEATLES Abbey Road LP 1st UK 1969 Nr MINT MISALIGNED APPLE COVER, UNPLAYED MINT
December 24, 2016
January 03, 2017
Click to enlarge
Happy Christmas and A Peaceful New Year to all.
Because the world is round, it turns me on,
Because the world is round....
Because the wind is high, it blows my mind,
Because the wind is high.
Love is old, love is new,
Love is all, love is you.
Because the sky is blue, it makes me cry,
Because the sky is blue......
THE BEATLES: "Abbey Road" LP. FIRST UK PRESSING, ISSUED 4th OCTOBER, 1969.
A 1969 unplayed first pressing of "Abbey Road" is extremely rare, I have really scrutised the area around the spindle hole and the
thickly textured labels positively do not have a solitary trace of ever being on a spindle or turntable. The heavyweight, deep
grooved vinyl does not have any form of marks, scuffs or even factory / record shop handling traces on either side. The cover
is also in fantastic condition, that and the labels have all the exclusive features of the UK very first pressings, so a truly
beautiful, unplayed Mint first issue of the magnificent "Abbey Road."
1960'S TEXTURED DARK GREEN* APPLE LABEL: PCS 7088.
Please read on for the reality of the authenticity of the maitrix configuration, it was continued onto the light green labels on
Side 1 for the much later pressings, positively not originating in 1969 or even the first half of 1970! * 'Dark green' textured
labels can only only mean one thing ....they are dark green and textured on Side 1 and Side 2 has equally textured labels.
MAITRIX: YEX 749 - 2 / YEX 750 - 1.
The above end digits re-visited 1966 for the mono "Revolver" album's first pressings maitrix , '- 1 /- 1' was not used in 1969.
The maitrix numbers above were re-used and re-used, they were NOT exclusive to the first pressings and '- 2 / - 1' maitrix
ending digits continued way, way past the May,1970 release of the "Let It It Be" album. Then so far into the early 1970's decade,
you will find them with very light green Apple labels on Side 1. By then the covers no longer resembled the late 60's - May,1970
design, shape or quality. I see them misrepresented on ebay, great records to listen to, but they are being swapped and then
only the cover is authentic and usually in below average condition. The maitrix ending's only started a steady rise around late
1972 - 1973, these 1969 first pressings, or originals made before the 4th October release date, came on massively heavyweight
vinyl with heavyweight sound to match. No, there were no 'export' "Abbey Road" LP's on the Apple label, ridiculously over size
forged 'Odeon' labels are just stuck only the label and obscure half the label, no way would ebay make such out of proportion
stickers, as for the pathetic 'Sample' from a homemade rubber & ink stamp on the cover and even an inner sleeve, 'pathetic' falls
short of insulting the intelligence of ebay buyers. As I will detail shortly, Abbey Road / EMI's finest sound engineers, George
Martin and the Beatles themselves, were fully involved with the very special resulting sound and mix in 1969. So special, this
album won an award in 1969, as the year's 'Best Engineered Album', this is not just about uncredited songs or wandering Apple
logo's, but the now matured and experienced Beatles with EMI's Abbey Road staff, putting everything they had into the creation
of what everyone sensed or knew, would become their final recording's as a group. Straight from the Master Tapes, you hear the
sound of "Abbey Road", a breathtaking sound right from the first Lennon's 'hiss' on "Come Together," the opening seconds of the
album. The order or sequence of individual first pressings within the staggering volume manufactured to meet the shelf emptying,
instantaneous demand in record shops, is totally insignificant. Definition's of first issues / first pressings / first editions
is, they had to be distributed and available to buy on the day of issue. The details given here will clearly identify the records
and covers on sale in a British record shop on the 4th October and approximately until the Christmas of '69.
EMI STAMPING CODES: ROM 3 / ROP 4
The mothers were prepared before manufacturing began, the order they were used per individual side, varied vastly and this
record's 3rd & 4th mothers, are indeed low compared to the overall amount made, mothers actually reached '9'for the first time.
The paradox of defining the first pressings, or the originals for an album manufactured in such vast numbers as "Abbey Road,"
is perfectly illustrated here. There simply had to be many, many individual pressing batches to maintain perfect sound from every
single record made. For once that long expressed reality of all UK Beatles original records does not need expanding on, even more
than the "White Album,", the uniqueness of the very first pressings of "Abbey Road" is there to see in an exclusive combination of
the record itself, the labels, the maitrix, the cover design and where appropriate the misaligned Apple logo on the back and for
some of the earliest first pressings, the final use of any remaining black Apple inner sleeves. No way could any record without
"Her Majesty" printed on the end of Side 2, be considered anything but a very first pressing.
SIDE 2's LABEL DOES NOT HAVE THE SONG "Her Majesty" LISTED / CREDITED FOR "Her Majesty",THAT WAS
ADDED MID-PRODUCTION ALONGSIDE "The End," A MAJOR FACTOR IN ESTABLISHING THE PRESSING SEQUENCE OF
THIS RECORD, HAD TO BE AND WAS VERY EARLY INDEED. AS I SAID, ALL THE 'Mothers' WERE PREPARED
BEFORE THE PRESSING BEGAN AS USUAL, BUT FOR "Abbey Road", THEY WERE CLEARLY NOT BEING USED IN ANY
KIND OF NUMERICAL ORDER. TEXTURED SIDE 2 LABELS WITHOUT "Her Majesty" WERE THE EARLIEST, AND THAT
ALONE MAKES NONSENSE OF DIGITS HAVING ANY PRIORITY IN SEPTEMBER, 1969 AT EMI'S PRESSING PLANT.
New Beatles titles mapped out a very busy period, but always under control and carefully scheduled to incorporate all the
changes happening as the end of the decade approached. The most important factor for the second 1969 new Beatles album
among older pressings of the Beatles back catalogue, the massive manufacturing produced perfect sound on every one of the
million+ records. The monitoring of the 'mothers' was the priority, not rigidly working in strictly numerical orders, the result
and success of the operation was all that matters today. So there is no point getting 'hung up' over mother digits for the first
pressings of "Abbey Road," instead I urge all buyers to concentrate on all the exclusive features the first pressing alone had.
That way you will not be ripped off by early 1970's re-issues being switched into original 1969 covers with the fake black
Apple inner sleeves, the same applies to the counterfeit items made for the "White Album," when only the covers are 'real'.
There is such confusion caused by a simple song title addition, like anything on the internet, mistakes spread faster than solid
facts, because now human nature enters the equation. The desire to place an unrealistic rarity on a later item being sold, does
not alter how every "Abbey Road" cover ever made in every decade, came without "Her Majesty" listed. I will emphasise that,
every cover made in every following decade after the first issues made in 1969, remained unchanged, including bar code covers
and the 1979 Limited Edition picture disc LP.
MID- LATE 1969 EMI / APPLE WHITE INNER SLEEVE, A NEW DESIGN,THEREFORE 'Patent Applied For' PRINTED
IN BLACK INK ON THE FRONT BOTTOM LEFT RIM, BOTTOM RIGHT IS, "Made In England." A FEW FIRST ISSUES
CAME IN MATT BLACK,1968 -1969 APPLE INNER SLEEVE , THIS RECORD OBVIOUSLY DID NOT. THE VAST
MAJORITY HAD THE PLAIN WHITE EMI INNER SLEEVE. CLOSE TO THE THE SAME TYPE USED ON PARLOPHONE
RECORDS SINCE"Revolver", WITH ONLY A SUBTLE DESIGN CHANGE, BUT ENOUGH TO REQUIRE A PATENT.
LIKE THE RECORD, UNUSED AND TOTALLY UNWORN AND UNSPLIT, JUST A GENTLE RECORD IMPRESSION AND
A FEW LIGHT RELATED CREASES. WITH CRISP TOP OPENING EDGES, IN NEAR MINT CONDITION.
VERY FIRST ISSUE COVER, MADE WITH A UNIQUE SLOPING SHAPE, BOWED FROM THE CENTRAL POSITION,
TOWARDS THE TOP AND BOTTOM EDGES AND CORNERS. CREATING ONE OF THE THINNEST SPINES EVER MADE,
THE SAME WAS REPEATED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE FIRST "Let It Be "RED APPLE LOGO COVERS AND THE VERY
FIRST OF THE GREEN LOGO COVERS. THAT UNIQUE SHAPE WAS FIRST USED FOR FIRST EDITION "Abbey Road"
INCLUDED OTHER FEATURES I WILL LIST BELOW, THE MAIN DISTINGUISHING FEATURE WAS AN ERROR,THE BACK
COVER'S GREEN APPLE LOGO WAS PRINTED OUT OF LINE WITH THE TRACK LISTING.
Exactly the same shape was used for these earliest pressings regardless of having the "Apple" logo on the back aligned or
misaligned to the track listing. I often read ebay ellers announcing how the later covers had to be corrected, that is sheer
speculation, if that was true, then how come such a unique shape cover is positively in a small minority with the logo aligned?
I'm sure by now buyers are fully aware how the 'ultra rare' misaligned cover is ever present on ebay and like so many other
fallacies perpetuated by websites, text books and of course record sellers, they are not ultra rare, just scarce. My personal view
is based on genuine long experience, I believe they were printed at the same time as the covers with aligned logo's and like the
records, the labels and covers were made on different days and maybe different weeks, variations are all part of the 60's era
itself and today there is an incorrect assumption the mistakes happened first. Why? Mistakes can happen at any time and back
in 1969, nobody could care less where Apple logo's were placed, including EMI, Apple and of course the Beatles themselves.
I am saying it even though this cover has a misaligned logo, this really distinctive shape with the really slim spine, is by far
the rarer feature of the very first issue covers. In the same fashion first "Sgt. Pepper" covers had a different shape created
by the opposite, a wider square shaped book like spine, facts are easier to understand than fallacies and myths. So I need to
verify and itemise those distinctive features as found on this misaligned cover and also the first issue aligned logo covers,
apart from the error they are are common to both, just like the stereo and mono first "Sgt. Pepper" covers. I personally have
one of each in my collection, just like I have for the mono and stereo versions of all the previous 1960's Beatles albums.
Incidentally, when the graphic design proof sheet was submitted for approval, it does make perfect sense for that template to
have been perfectly set out, then printed from, during the later stages, a mistake was made during a re-setting of the press.
1.) The actual pictures on the front and back are enlarged if compared to all the immediately following "Abbey Road" covers.
a) The wall on the back is higher and the "Abbey Road" road sign is bigger and further to the left like everything in the picture.
Covers vary slightly and this cover has the wall so high you just see the top bricks on the left with a fraction of the garden
behind it, but none of foliage above the bricks. Emphasising how the picture itself was enlarged in comparison to the covers
with aligned logo's, then the folding and assembling of the misaligned covers affected where the top, bottom and sides of the
picture ended up. Also enlarged, the actual "Abbey Road" road sign was sent further along to the left side and once again this
cover has the tiled street road name plate as far to the left as it gets, a perfect example of that and the top of the wall.
b) The front picture differs as well, this time in reverse! More is shown, not less, the greatest example of that is found on the
road crossing's white/cream stripes. If you follow the one with Ringo's leading foot and John's trailing foot to the bottom of
the cover the very first printed covers are showing part of rectangular drain inspection cover. Plus John is much further into
the picture from the far right opening edges. Folding and gluing covers together often differed, so this is not definitive but
certainly true for 90% of all very first issue shape covers. Unfortunately when I last listed a first pressing about three years
ago on ebay, that positive statement about every cover ever made differed, due to hand assembled covers, was completely
ignored. Now the 'drain' has been cited as a 'rare' item if in sight, even covers with bar codes are sold with a meaningless
reference of great importance and rarity....to a drain! The internet was supposed to be the greatest communication innovation
in history, not spreading ignorance and contorted 'facts' like that and; "This very rare cover does not list "Her Majesty."
2.) The unique sloping shape also creates a 'bowed effect' to the top and the bottom sections, assuming the cover is still in top
condition and not worn or squashed flat, the middle section dips each side before rising again is lower. Please see my picture
of the side view, you will not find a more stunning condition cover to demonstrate how this looked when new in 1969, it really
is that close to precisely how it was first bought in October, 1969!
3.) The spine was so slim the black printed titles did not fit onto it, just like very first "Let It Be" covers, you can almost
read the central album title if you look straight down at the front and the back, once again my pictures demonstrate that,
especially a close-up of the spine from the side, only half the letters are visible , the rest can be seen on the back's picture.
I also included a close up picture of the section with the misaligned Apple logo and the North London road sign. The sun came
out in full strength as I took the pictures of the back and in that extra revealing moment, the stunning condition can be seen
in all it's true glory, something I could not have hoped for in December's wintry grip and gloomy sunlight. The side view of the
cover and front, were also taken with full reflective light and the bowed shape, for the full back I tried my best to avoid beams
of light to show the unique details.
4.) If the cover is unfaded, uncreased and still with the original deluxe ultra thick and glossy lamination, the sheer quality
of this very first made cover is in another league to all that followed. The sky is a glorious blue and all the colours have a
depth of such magnitude and realism, this becomes one of greatest transfers of a photograph taken in in natural light, onto
an album cover, I have ever seen.
THE COVER DOES NOT HAVE A SINGLE BLEMISH OR ANY WEAR, BEYOND JUST A REASONABLY GENTLE RECORD
IMPRESSION AND A FEW RELATED TINY LAMIMNATE LINES. A COUPLE OF CRESCENT LAMINATE 'LINES' WERE NOT
FROM HANDLING,JUST HOW THE LAMINATE WAS NOT SMOOTHED DOWN.
An assumption incorrectly made, but with a true Mint unplayed record in the equation, I am not looking for excuses, covers were
made and sold brand new with such trivialities. Not only did I personally buy albums like this in the 1960's and 1970's, since
then I have bought and sold several true Mint very first pressings of "Abbey Road." There is no wear to detail and any traits
of standing in storage for 47 years, are as minimal as it possibly gets. Often when the lamination was finished well before the
the front and back edges, with the average handling the unprotected edges wear and the cardboard frays, for the bowed shape
covers that involves excessive wear because of the raised edges being even more vulnerable. So not only are the other edges
and corners being outstanding, the opening sides are literally crisp and absolutely perfect.
I REGULARLY COMMENT HOW A FACTORY FINISH CANNOT AFFECT THE GRADING, ONCE AGAIN THIS IS HOW THIS
COVER WAS BOUGHT IN OCTOBER,1969. THE THIN SPINE IS STILL THE UNAGED PURE WHITE OF 1969, PERFECT
LETTERING TITLES ON THE CENTRAL POSITION, SO NO WEAR FROM THE RECORD'S EDGE TO THE LAMINATE OR
AN ABSOLUTELY STUNNING COVER AND SO BEAUTIFUL, IF MY OWN MISALIGNED LOGO COVER WAS NOT TO THE SAME
STANDARD I WOULD BE KEEPING THIS! A FANTASTIC COVER IN NEAR MINT CONDITION.
THERE ARE NO SPINDLE TRACES ON THE LABEL CENTRES, AS THESE ARE THE THICKLY TEXTURED PAPER THAT
SHOWS THIS HAS NEVER BEEN ON A SPINDLE. THERE NO MARKS, SCRATCHES OR SCUFFS, NOT THAT I COULD
FIND ANYTHING, BUT I FEEL OBLIGED TO STATE, ANY FACTORY OR RECORD SHOP HANDLING IS NEAR INVISIBLE.
YOU NEED TO SEE MY PICTURES OF HOW STUNNING THE LABELS, RECORD, COVER & INNER SLEEVE ARE, TO
APPRECIATE THE INCREDIBLE CONDITION.
I HAD A VERY CAREFUL PLAY, LEAVING NO TRACES OF EVER BEING ON A SPINDLE OR TURNTABLE, MY EXPERIENCE
WITH TRUE MINT VINYL BEGAN DECADES BEFORE THE INTERNET EXISTED. ONE PROFESSIONAL PLAY WAS MADE
EARLIER, BEING A CHRISTMAS 'SPECIAL,' I HAD PLENTY TIME TO TYPE A TRACK BY TRACK DESCRIPTION BEFORE
STARTING THE MAIN DESCRIPTION.
THE SOUND IS JUST STUNNING ON EVERY SECOND, THE RECORD IS IN UNPLAYED MINT CONDITION.
"Maxwell's Silver Hammer"
"I Want You (She's So Heavy)"
"Here Comes The Sun"
"You Never Give Me Your Money"
"Mean Mr. Mustard"
"She Came In Through The Bathroom Window"
"Carry That Weight"
lead & harmony vocals, lead & rhythm electric guitars, 6 & 12 string acoustic guitars, electric and acoustic pianos,
Hammond organ & Moog synthesiser, white noise generator and sound effects, tambourine & maracas.
lead & harmony vocals, bass & fuzz bass guitars, lead & rhythm electric & acoustic guitars, electric & acoustic pianos,
Hammond organ & Moog synthesiser, handclaps, percussion & sound effects.
lead & harmony vocals, lead,rhythm & bass guitars, Hammond organ, harmonium & Moog synthesiser, handclaps & percussion.
lead & background vocals, drums, percussion, piano, timpani, anvil & hand claps.
George Martin - piano, electric harpsichord, harmonium & percussion
Billy Preston - Hammond organ on "Something" & "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"
Orchestrated & conducted by George Martin with George Harrison on "Something" & "Here Comes The Sun"
Orchestrated & conducted by George Martin with Paul McCartney on "Golden Slumbers", "Carry That Weight" & "The End"
Recording / Sound Engineers - Geoff Emerick & Phil McDonald At.......Location self evident!
Assistant Engineer - Alan Parsons
Mixing - Geoff Emerick, Phil McDonald and George Martin, with the Beatles in attendance.
Produced by George Martin
I Just mentioned how all the previous UK Beatles albums were available in mono and stereo from 1963 to early 1969, considering
"Abbey Road" was fated to become their last recorded album and not complicated by being in two formats, it should have been just
a straight forward first issue. In reality the initial pressings made among those manufactured before the release, it was almost as
complex as their 1963 "Please Please Me" debut album's multiple pressings, as that lengthy opening piece just indicated. Even the
release date of the final Beatles recordings, the 4th October,1969, was not the last Beatles album issued in a chronological order
and the out of synch releases add to the reasons for complications. The January, 1969 filmed "Get Back" recordings were released
after "Abbey Road" in May, 1970, by then the intended album title was changed to "Let It Be". It will be even more involved if I
do not re-define the record and cover on offer here, before any Beatles new album was distributed to UK record shops, pre-release
EMI pressed a staggering amount of records and for the covers, as in this case, 'Garrod & Lofthouse' printers did likewise for the
labels, covers and inner sleeves. On the subject of inner sleeves, EMI still had some of the 1968 -1969 matt black Apple type and
they were used at random on that astronomical volume of records required for an obvious No.1 LP. With an unplayed record in the
1969 original, this is the very sleeve it was placed inside, the condition is so remarkable you can read the 'Patent Applied For"
text on my picture without needing a close-up, providing you click and enlarge the pictures! After the previous Beatles album,
"Abbey Road" had completely unique material, and not as an orchestrated film score music on one whole side, it was a year since
the "White Album." In among warehouses full of "Abbey Road" albums awaiting distribution in the first week of October,1969, were
many variations, to the labels, the covers and even the inner sleeves. Every single record contained exactly the same tracks and
the consistently highest possible audio standard EMI imprinted into every single one of them. All those variations I just detailed
happened during the actual production, so all the nonsense about first pressings/first issues/originals is being used now only to
manipulate those who were not inside a British record shop when those LP's were first delivered. All records were made at EMI's
Hayes pressing plant, they were placed into inner sleeves at random, then into the covers at random, then delivered nationwide at
random and we bought them..... at random. The sheer volume made, eliminated any real rarity being involved, well, maybe not for
the misaligned Apple logo needing to be moved to the right, as just noted. During the the 1960's it would have been a miracle to
produce around a million albums that were exactly the same, as I consistently repeat in descriptions, after all those decades, the
condition alone is the real rarity, the misaligned Apple logo cover is a bonus really!
This first issue of "Abbey Road" has the printing variations, the first on the back cover was more than adequately described and
athe unique features can be seen in the pictures, the wandering logo was hardly as exciting as buying the album in 1969 and then
hearing a short track on the end of the album, the cover never informed you about. "Sgt. Pepper" had a backward sound on the
UK originals, now an acoustic McCartney song with oblique lyrics about the Queen being 'pretty nice' if lacking in conversational
skills. That was the real reason EMI and Apple needed to take such drastic steps mid-production and to hastily have the labels
amended to credit that short acoustic ditty, "Her Majesty" had not been listed on Side 2's white label, so the last track printed
was "The End "only. As short as it was, any 'Lennon & McCartney' song simply could not be left uncredited and not copyrighted,
it was a mistake that EMI could not allow, a garbled backward loop tape tagged on the end of "Sgt. Pepper" was not deemed as
being any more than a surprise ending and not included on the cover. The same idea, but this time it involved Paul singing to an
acoustic guitar and it was not permitted without a credit, a song title had to be printed at least on the label if not the cover.
It was certainly not considered necessary to destroy copies pressed without "Her Majesty" because it was being documented, the
same scenario happened endlessly in this period, just look at the similar variations for the Led Zeppelin albums between 1969
and 1971, yet every misprinted or non credited copy was sold in record shops alongside the amended variety.
Leaving the track off the back cover track listing was as I noted, part of the surprise ending or reprise, but that did not mean
it could be left uncredited somewhere on the album's printed materials. Re-printing the labels was dealt with easily, that had
happened in the past on Beatles singles, EP and LP labels right from 1963, I have described how the "Beatles For Sale" album
first pressing had an incorrect music publishing credit for the "Kansas City" medley. Compared to the Apple logo, first covers
have many more differences to all the immediately following "Abbey Road" covers, I get starved of music with all the printing
variations, I refuse to lose sight or sound of what all original Beatles records are really about, or at least their true meaning
for buying them in the 60's. Most significant of all is the incredible sound and George Martin's original stereo mix found on the
UK first issue "Abbey Road" records, 47 years later, that is there to hear, assuming you have a copy without any damage to the
music signals. This stunning sounding first pressing record has that very sound I first heard all those years ago, and will not
compromise over, before I move onto the record's sound description, for anyone unfamiliar with the unique circumstances that
produced "Abbey Road," here is a very brief background to the events around it. There is an immense historical importance
attached to the last Beatles recordings.
In January, 1969, The Beatles spent the whole month rehearsing all the songs for the album they originally intended to be titled
"Get Back," hence the title found on the Box Set's book. The idea was to record an album live in Twickenham film studios, as a
film crew captured their complete month long sessions, dialogue and rehearsals. After the massive productions of their previous
albums, they planned no overdubbing, just to plug in and play while the live performances were taped, it was a great idea but the
strain between the four individuals and the cracks that appeared in 1968 while making the "White Abum" become widely magnified.
Artistic tensions were part of any of their unrushed, lengthy recording sessions, the difference this time was they had that ever
present film crew breathing down their necks, plus for the first time since 1962, they were recording without the George Martin
steadying influence. It wasn't all doom and gloom, "Let It Be" became a fantastic album and film, with the sheer strength of the
musical chemistry that touched on genius, it found them enjoying the many long hours of playing cover versions of older songs.
The tapes were mixed by Glyn Johns who salvaged the best of the new material and some of those 'oldies' they loved to play as
jams. They just lost interest at that point, releasing only "Get Back "/"Don't Let Me Down" from the sessions as a single and Glyn
Johns tapes were shelved until they were eventually handed over to Phil Spector. Their prolific songwriting combined with that
long established musical chemistry during those January,1969 sessions, produced an abundance of material, enough new songs
for the foundations of recording another album. I do not think it's fully appreciated just how gifted the Beatles actually were,
they not only came up with the new songs for "Let It Be" but they also wrote the backbone of "Abbey Road." John, Paul & George
wrote so many songs during that January,1969 period, some were surplus to requirements and they were also recorded much later
on during the 1970's or later still on solo albums. New songs freshly written were taken onto "Abbey Road," for example Paul had
composed the near complete long medley that ended Side 2, John, the the track that ended Side 1, "I Want You (She's So Heavy)."
Ringo and George with George Martin can be seen in the film composing "Octopus's Garden." Sensing their incredible decade of
music could well end in a shambles, another Beatles album in 1969 now became vital, so they returned to the familiar surrounding
of Studio 2, Abbey Road. With George Martin brought back in to produce the LP, the magic that had begun in 1962, worked once
again. Creativity and the music flowed, becoming the last Beatles album, the great "Abbey Road" is one of their finest records.
The album was issued in October 1969 to public and music press acclaim, a magnificent record complete with such outstanding
audio properties it was hailed as the finest sounding Beatles record ever made. As I said before, at the end of the year in the
UK, "Abbey Road" won the award for "The Best Engineered LP Of 1969." I could offer this unplayed Mint record without playing it,
as "Abbey Road" has so many sections and whole tracks wide open to irritants and sound flaws, so I decided a full description
would give potential buyers a 'blow by blow' account of every track, well....that was my excuse and my plays are undetectable.
I wrote this earlier on when concentrating on the same careful handling required when taking pictures of such a rare true Mint
record. As usual, for a 'live' review, I wrote this in the present tense and that is how it will remain, an astonishing sounding
record and one I am very proud to offer, because visually and audibly this is "Abbey Road" as it was intended to be heard by the
Beatles, in this ultimate condition, it will blow you clean away!!
I always anticipate some audible static / surface sound from an unplayed record, but often instant audio perfection is there from
the very first play. How exciting to about hear a first pressing of "Abbey Road" for the very first time since it was pressed!
Side 1's run-in grooves are completely silent, there is no surface sound at all before or during John's 'shooo......shooo' intro
for the outstanding first track, "Come Together," which now kicks in with exceptional power allied to razor sharp sound quality.
This original 1969 stereo mix is just awesome, the bass is extremely loud with John Lennon's vocals incredibly clear as you hear
every "shoooo" hissed with a 'sizzling' quality that I look for and found. They come just after the chorus and have the fantastic
definition that made "Abbey Road" and the studio itself, so legendary. You can experience every heavy thud from Ringo's superb
drumming, they are amazingly clear here, in spite of all this massive power and volume used for the first mastering, there is no
distortion from the highest or the lowest notes. Paul's magnificently played bass guitar has such an impact and as always, the
first sound to degenerate into distortion because of the fullest volume mastered onto these very first issues. Even with my amp's
excessively loud setting that bass remains crystal clear, just as well because it was an integral part of a really heavy sound on
"Come Together". After John Lennon shouts,"Right!", Billy Preston's superb but short organ solo suddenly errupts from the left
channel in stunning sound, then George's inspired lead guitar is also heard in the same incredible audio definition. This was to
become George Martin's final involvement with the Beatles, as he had throughout the 1960's decade, he mastered the maximum
sound possible for this album. Of course this is a 47 year old record, as well as enjoying such fantastic sound quality from the
vocals and instruments, I listen very hard to the background behind the the music at the same time. There is nothing worthy of
inclusion and I will not waste time with such immaculately clean and perfect audio, just incredible sound quality for such loud
bass & drums dominating backing, George and Billy hold back through the verses and I can conclude from those sections this is
one the the finest "Abbey Road" originals I have ever heard, which for me, means multiple records. I know and insist on the audio
standard mastered and pressed, now into the great soulful ending, the track gap only has very faint natural static, then a really
fantastic sounding "Something," Ringo's drums intro starts and this beautiful song is in stunning crystal clear audio, so I think I
will take the opportunity to detail the first UK stereo mix, such ultra clean clear sound allows such indulgences. The stereo
panning has George's vocal equally split between both channels to a great effect, Paul's bass is positioned in the right speaker
only, with the rest of the instrumental backing spread between both of the speakers. As the last note gradually fades away there
is complete silence before and during the quiet intro to "Maxwell's Silver Hammer." The piano is panned to the left, the drums
on the right and although Paul's voice was single tracked, by the placement into both speakers, that created a really effective
vocal. Original vinyl is all about an original mix and I end up writing more about a printer's error, this addresses the balance
or I would go crazy! The same panning technique was used for Paul's vocal on "Oh Darling", keeping 'a live in the studio feel,'
with the piano once again panned on the left, the guitar is positioned right. This has a completely silent gap, the sound quality
is awesome without any surface sound during the intro or the entire length of the song. Paul's wonderful vocals came straight
from the Beatles earliest years, one of my favourite moments here is when George and John sing harmonised 'ah's,' which are
panned from the right speaker, the sheer clarity of the delicately gentle sound is just staggering. Another total silence in the
gap leading into George's guitar intro for the song he helped Ringo write,"Octopus's Garden," right from 1963 to the final album
there was always a track with Ringo on the lead vocals, expect "Let It Be", but he sang this in the film. Surely the most melodic
of them all apart from "Yellow Submarine", even the water sound effects are in a true stereo mix, the backing harmonies are as
clear as a bell, every second is in mega sharp audio, especially on those very softly sung harmonised backing vocals, they really
are in simply stunning audio clarity. A very gentle song before John's Lennon's incredible "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," the
gap and the superb guitars intro are fully enjoyed in perfectly clean and clear sound, just how these records were first pressed,
only wear and abuse caused the noise found on the majority of first issues. I really do mean a silent gap here as well, Billy
Preston's inspired organ skills had assisted the very first attempts to perform this earlier in the year during those "Let It Be"
rehearsals, with brilliant versions with both Billy and John singing the vocals as a purely r&b /soul interpretations. John did
choose a much heavier approach and during this superb song, you really appreciate just how powerful a UK first pressed record
of "Abbey Road" actually is, the sound here on "I Want You" is just staggering! The volume increases and continues building until
an explosive and dramatic long instrumental ending. Some awesome stereo panning adds it's weight to the effectiveness of such
an amazing long instrumental ending, the white noise effect sounds sensational. The decision to leave the actual ending unfaded
and the sheer abruptness of how it finishes, means no matter how many times you play this track, it remains as an unpredictable
finishing point. Once again, of all the album's tracks is most liable to have horrific sound problems, not here, this maintains
immaculate audio clarity throughout, most importantly, the massive volume generated even at the end is totally undistorted.
A real problem on most original records, I cannot stress enough how wear alone causes the break up of the music signals. You can
use as much volume from your amp as you like with this astounding playing record, I have just turned it up even louder and that
white noise is perfectly clean, "I Want You," is simply overpowering! Unofficial out-takes have several fantastic versions, but
the version recorded and mixed for "Abbey Road" was the ultimate one. The Beatles did not just lamely record their final tracks
and slink away, they just rocked their way out with some of their most unbelievably powerful and glorious recordings to date!
For me, John Lennon was the greatest UK vocalist of all time, an opinion formed when a kid in 1963, here in 1969, you can hear
why on "I Want You," Lennon was just awesome! (Stating the UK only, spared me having to make a comparison to Otis Redding,
who was without any doubt the world's greatest vocalist.)
I forgot to say how the first issues / original records, have very wide and deep run-in grooves after the major high 'lip' on the
outside edge, that caused many dropped needles to skid off and leave terrible noise there. Really bad news for Side 2 usually,
because it opens with "Here Comes The Sun," becoming a very testing track for both the audio and for surface sound, the intro is
so poor normally, you might as well listen to a crackling fire! Not how I will ever sell "Abbey Road", silent run-in grooves are
allowing George's lovely singlular acoustic guitar's notes intro to be heard in superbly clean, clear ultra sharp edged sound.
A perfect first pressing, for all the discussions about what constitutes first issues, such breathtaking sound quality emphasises
what really matters once you settle down to take in the Beatles finest and final hour. That stunning purity of sound stays there
during the whole of "Here Comes The Sun," and the hand claps panned in the left speaker could not possibly be in any better audio
definition than I'm currently being blown away by. George Harrison's songwriting had now stepped out of the gigantic shadows
cast by the composing skills of the world's greatest songwriting pair of all time. For the first time on a Beatles album and very
sadly, for the the last, John, Paul and George were now writing to the same amazing highest standards. It was the major factor
that made "Abbey Road" such a great album, considering this is such an exposed recording to loud crackles and clicks, there are
none of those problems I can't praise this record pressing enough. Following this lovely track is one of the most beautiful songs
the Beatles ever recorded, the glorious "Because." Starting from an exceptionally silent gap, with such a soft, delicate backing
the total lack of any surface sound means relaxing and being blown away once more by those three part vocal harmonies, here in
pristine sound quality. The Beatles were always capable of singing the most intricate, close harmonies from their very earliest
recordings, only by 1969 their ability to create such memorable melodies had now reached the peaks of true greatness, a track
that is painful listening from average condition vinyl. I had every reason to hear a Mint record, this is simply staggering audio
clarity, as far as any surface sound, goes, there is nothing here to even write about, just astonishing clarity for the individual
sections of the harmonies, making nonsense of straining my ears for the slightest hint that these fantastic sounds are coming
from this age vinyl. The extremely powerful playing record really delivers here, the first George Martin stereo mix just floods
lovely sounds from both directions. The deeply beautiful melody and lyrics are carried almost entirely by the incredible vocals,
words cannot convey just how awesome the sound quality is on "Because." I had hearing this in mind when playing the record
and I'm really glad I did, this really is extraordinary audio, there is only one set of lyrics to open this description with when
I start the actual description with all the album pressing and printing details. The last note gradually fades away into silence,
from the left speaker only, the piano played by Paul creates yet another really delicate exposed to noise intro, a superbly clean
beginning for "You Never Give Me Your Money." Ironically Paul was first to announce he was leaving the Beatles in 1970, with the
lyrics about money and legal papers, but no questioning this was one of Paul's greatest ever compositions. Heard in outstanding
audio perfection, it didn't matter who wrote these "Abbey Road" songs, unlike their previous 1968 "White Album," all four had
contributed as a band to the song's recording. Sensing their last blow together, their solidarity can be physically heard by how
tight they were, particularly on this second side. George plays the lead guitar with such great subtlety, Paul's inspired vocals
are in multi-layering in parts, then John and George join him with fantastic harmonies, then they begin that vocal backing with,
"1,2,3,4,5,6,7, all good children go to heaven." Another gradually faded outro runs straight into a further totally exposed track
in the softly sung "Sun King". The gap is completely silent, a quiet intro but ultra clean, so wonderful to hear in such stunning
sound definition and audio clarity, a song with so many very quiet parts but there is nothing to break the spellbinding stillness
of the atmospherics. The final harmonies to John's lead vocal was in their good friends, the Beach Boy's direction, the audio is
as perfect as I have heard for "Sun King," I spent years topping up my own copies to reach this clean audio perfection, Ringo's
drums now act as the intro to the wonderful "Mean Mr. Mustard." This incredible, wide, dynamic first stereo mix is heard to it's
maximum on the break with the strident acoustic guitar chords, a moment of genius to overlap into "Polythene Pam". Lennon's
lyrics tell of strange fetishes, as a song it sequelled so perfectly into the continuous flow of music, what a shame to be near
reaching ithe end'. I will have to leave the story about the 'lost chord' here from "Her Majesty" and instead say how the medley
of "Golden Slumbers", "Carry That Weight" And "The End" all three have the most fantastic sound quality you could wish to hear.
The songs mirror Paul's inspired songwriting of this 1969 period, the entire piece was written during the "Let It Be" filming
earlier in January, Paul sat alone at his piano without the other three around in the empty studio, well worth finding a bootleg
to hear his genius in full flow, composing. Having all three of the band's guitarists playing a solo during the final section of
"Carry That Weight," was yet another factor to"Abbey Road" becoming the final blow for the Beatles. As writers who originated
so many inspired lyrics about love during the 60's decade,"All You Need Is Love" being a prime example, how fitting for those
beautiful final lyrics on a final album, "The love you take is equal to the love you make" from "The End," were as profound as
anything found on any of the Beatles songs. There is not even the slightest surface sound as "The End" plays, but amazingly,
nothing at all on the long gap before folk music, really gentle acoustic ending song "Her Majesty." As this has such superbly
perfect sound quality, I will go back to the missing chord story after all. "Her Majesty" was originally intended to be placed
on the album within the context of the medleys, just after "Polythene Pam," but it was moved to the final run-out grooves after
a last minute change of mind. "Her Majesty" and the chord you hear there, was not played during "Polythene Pam," but the result
of the original editing to accomodate the start of "Her Majesty." A stunning playing record, right from the opening of Side 1 to
the very last note of Side 2! Visually and audibly, this first pressing of "Abbey Road" is as clean and clear as you could wish
to hear, I'm delighted I decided to play the record and describe it in full, Christmas started early for me, have a great one!
R & M RECORDS.
My lifetime's love of music and records began at a very young age, the arrival of the Beatles and the 1960's decade
in general had a very profound effect. It was only natural to bring all my first hand experience of collecting vinyl
into becoming a professional record seller. Nearly thirty years ago we entered into the wonderful atmosphere
of record fairs with the highest possible standards set. When the Internet became the world's new market place for
vinyl, in 2001 it was time to join ebay. Those standards were rigidly adhered to as they will always continue to be,
the basics of honesty and integrity were very much part of the era the music I love originated in, so here is our friendly
and very efficient service we are proud to provide;
EVERY RECORD IS FULLY PLAYED AND COMES WITH A 'NO ARGUMENT' MONEY BACK GUARANTEE.
I USE GOOD OLD COMMON SENSE AS WELL AS A GLOBALLY ACCEPTED GRADING TERMINOLOGY
FROM THE U.K. "RECORD COLLECTOR PRICE GUIDE" BOOK.
THERE IT CLEARLY STATES "Sound Quality" AFFECTS EVERY GRADING LEVEL AND THAT IS THE ONE
AND ONLY POSSIBLE WAY TO ACCURATELY GRADE RECORDS. i.e. COMBINING A STRICT VISUAL
INSPECTION WITH VERY CLOSELY LISTENING TO EVERY SECOND, UNLESS PERHAPS IN THE CASE
OF GENUINELY UNPLAYED VINYL. EVEN THEN WE STILL TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR A RECORD
WHEN A CUSTOMER RECEIVES EITHER A SEALED OR AN UNPLAYED RECORD.
We take 100% responsibility after an item has been posted and offer our fullest support in the event of any problems.
"There Are No Problems, Only Solutions" (John Lennon)
MY DESCRIPTIONS WILL ALWAYS BE 100% HONEST AND TOTALLY ACCURATE ON ALL GRADINGS
FROM 'V.G.' ( VERY GOOD), TO THE ULTIMATE 'MINT' CONDITION.
ANY QUESTIONS ON OUR ITEMS ARE WELCOMED AND WILL BE PROMPTLY REPLIED TO.
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We have kept all our charges at the same level for years now, but due to the Post Office's new price increases, regretfully we
will have to increase the cost of LP's, however, singles will remain unchanged. Ebay were aware of that happening and have
increased their minimum postal cost for LP's to £7.00, that figure has been enforced by the UK Post Office and it will become
our UK First Class, Recorded Delivery cost for albums up to the value of £46. A temporary reduction this week means we can
now post LP's for £5, but who knows how long before the Post Office return to £7?
For LP's valued above £46, the cost will be £9, we are unhappy about either increase but our high standard of packaging has meant
in 13 years of ebay trading, there has not been one record damaged, we are determined to maintain that in the present and future.
IN THE UK RECORDS UP TO THE VALUE OF £46 WILL BE SENT RECORDED DELIVERY, OVER £46 WILL BE
SENT SPECIAL DELIVERY.
FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD ALL RECORDS WILL BE SENT VIA 'INTERNATIONAL SIGNED FOR.'
POSTAGE COST FOR LP's
UK: UP TO VALUE OF £46, FIRST CLASS RECORDED DELIVERY £5.00
UK: OVER VALUE OF £46, FULLY INSURED SPECIAL DELIVERY £9.00
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USA,JAPAN & REST OF THE WORLD FULLY INSURED VIA INTERNATIONAL SIGNED FOR £20.00
POSTAGE COST FOR EP's & 7"
UK: UP TO THE VALUE OF £46 FIRST CLASS RECORDED DELIVERY £3.00
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