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Beatles – Abbey Road (DBM-002)

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Abbey Road (DBM-002)

Come Together, Something, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, Oh! Darling, Octopus’s Garden, I Want You (She’s So Heavy), Here Comes The Sun, Because, You Never Give Me Your Money, Sun King, Mean Mr. Mustard, Polythene Pam, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, Golden Slumbers, Carry The Weight, The End, Her Majesty 

Abbey Road is the very first Beatles album to be released on CD on Toshiba Black Triangle (EMI/Odeon CP35-3016) on May 21, 1983 and was withdrawn from the market due to legal problems.  Much better than the later 1987 release, many collectors point to this version as being the definitive since it comes from the master EMI tapes.  The 1987 release on EMI/Parlophone (CDP 7 46446 2) has been singled out as the one most in need of a remaster.  The official release used inferior, high generation tapes with high levels of hiss.  Since then there have been several needle drops released in the past couple of years that have stood out.  In 2000 a “fake” MFSL release came out with Abbey Road (MFSL 1-023) copied from the original MFSL vinyl.  This release has been criticized for pushing the low end too much at the expense of the mid-range frequencies. 

In 2002 Abbey Road (Millennium U.K. Collection) Millennium Remasters (MFSL 1-023) surfaced.  This is the sixteenth of a seventeen disc set limited to one hundred copies and is sourced from the early eighties MFSL box set.  Although very good sounding, collectors point out a ground loop hum noticeable in “Sun King” and “You Give Me Your Money.” Abbey Road (Japanese Toshiba/EMI Pro-Use Series) (EALF-97001) on Mirror Spock was released in 2003 and has been singled out as being among the very best.  It has also been criticized for using noise reduction, containing some hiss, and for distortion at 4:28 in “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).”  Another recent release is Abbey Road (Millennium Red Collection) (EALF 97001) Millennium Remasters issued in 2004.  This also has noticeable hiss, but is more dynamic than Mirror Spock. 

Dr. Ebbett has released Abbey Road four times previous to this one.  The first was in 2000 with the UK stereo (Apple PCS 7088), the Mobile Fidelity Studio Lab edition (MFSL-1-023) the same year, the US stereo edition (Apple SO-383) in 2005, and the blue box remaster edition (PSC 7088) last year.  All of these are on professionally produced cdrs with appropriate artwork.  The Dr. Ebbett DBM series has the same excellent sound and is one of the best transfers available for this album.  It captures the warmth and dynamics of the recording without sacrificing any of the gain.  There is a bit of distortion at 4:27 in “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and about 2:20 in “You Never Give Me Your Money.”  There is also a slight amount of hiss which is present on the vinyl as well and, unless the label used noise reduction, can’t really be helped.  Despite the limitations, this is still an excellent sounding release.

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