5 Oct 2019

The Beatles' Abbey Road returns to number one after more than 49 years

1:39 pm on 5 October 2019

The Beatles' Abbey Road is number one in the UK charts, 50 years after it first topped the album charts.

Abbey Road

The Beatles walk across the pedestrian crossing that became the cover for their album, Abbey Road. Photo: supplied

The Fab Four reclaimed the top spot with an expanded anniversary edition.

The feat also sees the album set a record - the gap of 49 years and 252 days since its initial chart-topping run ended in early 1970 is the longest gap before returning to number one.

"It's hard to believe that Abbey Road still holds up after all these years," tweeted Sir Paul McCartney on Friday.

"But then again it's a bloody cool album," he added.

The new version features original tracks such as Here Comes The Sun and Come Together as well as previously unheard material from the recording sessions.

The previous record for the longest gap between number one appearances by the same album was held by The Beatles again, for their seminal 1967 record, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The sprawling psych-rock masterpiece returned to number one in 2017 courtesy of another anniversary re-release - a mere 49 years and 125 days after its previous spell at the top.

Abbey Road was also this week's best-selling album on vinyl, shifting just under 9000 copies.

It knocked the new album by self-confessed Beatles superfan Liam Gallagher off the number one slot. The former Oasis rock 'n' roll star's second solo effort, Why Me? Why Not, debuted at the top of the chart last week.

Monumental medley

Despite being their penultimate release, Abbey Road was in fact the last album The Beatles ever recorded together. Let It Be, which came out the following year, had been recorded first, but was initially shelved over disagreements about its production.

The first side of Abbey Road contains well known songs like Something and Octopus's Garden. But it's the eight track medley on side two, from the McCartney piano ballad, You Never Give Me Your Money, to The End - which contains one of Ringo Starr's rare recorded drum solos - which for many marks the LP out as their crowning glory.

The Liverpool band revealed they created the sequence to "use up" a host of incomplete songs and while it was McCartney's idea, producer George Martin - aka the fifth Beatle - takes the credit for the kaleidoscopic structure.

The Beatles George Harrison, Paul McCartney, producer George Martin and John Lennon

George Harrison, Paul McCartney, producer George Martin and John Lennon in a studio in Abbey Road in 1965. Photo: Public Domain


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