A remix of the Beatles' legendary album, "Abbey Road," is out Friday morning, marking 50 years since its original release. It includes studio sessions the public has never heard.
The opening track, "Come Together," sets the tone for what would become the Beatles' swan song. The last time they would come together to record an album.
But rather than the last gasps of a dying band, John, Paul, George and Ringo worked even harder knowing it was their last chance, says record producer Giles Martin.
"I played 'Come Together,' the song 'Come Together' to both Ringo and Paul here at Abbey Road and the one thing they said was, 'We were really good this day,'" Martin said. "Abbey Road is the sound of a band at the top of their game playing together."
Now Martin has remastered that "Abbey Road" sound for a new release to mark its 50th anniversary. It is a sound that runs through Martin's veins. His father, George Martin, was the record producer who helped launch the Fab Four to the global stage.
The Beatles and that album helped make Abbey Road one of the most famous studios in the world. But Paul McCartney has said that when they first started recording here, they weren't even allowed in the front floor and had to use a side entrance.
The remastered tracks reveal a bit of the banter behind the scenes — insight into a band that was in harmony, not acrimony.
And the album gave rise to another songwriting talent. Turns out behind the Lennon/McCartney powerhouse songwriting team, George Harrison could write a tune too.
"George gave us 'Here Comes the Sun,' the most popular Beatles song right now in the universe and then 'Something,' one of the most beautiful songs ever written," Martin said. "And he suddenly hit this rich vein. He was younger than the other two so I guess he had to catch up. Imagine having John Lennon in a band, but then adding Paul McCartney in a band and then George Harrison in a band. They weren't short of songs. That's the Beatles."
A glut of talent at the top of their game and about to end it all as a band.
"The Beatles' life was cut short by themselves, but it was like 'Abbey Road' — it's like the light was shining on them was switched off by the band because they never made any more records," Martin said. "But the record they left us with is one of the best records they made. And that I think is why 'Abbey Road' is so iconic."
And why it's more apparent, even 50 years on, that "Abbey Road" was streets ahead of its time.