The Beatles Had Plans for Another Album After “Abbey Road” According to Newly Uncovered Tape

The tape features the Fab Four bickering over whose songs are better

The Beatles at the press launch for their new album 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,' 1967 (John Downing/Getty Images)
The Beatles at the press launch for their new album 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,' 1967 (John Downing/Getty Images)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / September 11, 2019 9:46 am

Though Let It Be was released later, it’s been common knowledge for many years now that Abbey Road was the last album the Beatles recorded together. But as The Guardian reports, a newly uncovered tape of the Fab Four (minus Ringo) having a band meeting reveals that the group initially had plans for another album.

The tape was recorded on Sept. 8, 1969 — a little over two weeks before Abbey Road was released in the UK — in an attempt to keep Ringo up to speed while he was in the hospital undergoing testing for an intestinal issue. “Ringo, you can’t be here, but this is so you can hear what we’re discussing,” John Lennon says on the tape.

What they were talking over was plans for an Abbey Road follow-up and a potential Christmastime single release. And, as might be expected given what we know about the band’s squabbling during this time, there was some tension after Lennon suggested that the new album should consist of four songs apiece from him, Paul McCartney and George Harrison along with two from Ringo “if he wants them.” McCartney uses that as an opportunity to get in a dig at Harrison, saying, “I thought until this album that George’s songs weren’t that good.”

“That’s a matter of taste,” Harrison responds. “All down the line, people have liked my songs.”

“It’s a revelation,” writer/historian Mark Lewisohn told The Guardian. “The books have always told us that they knew Abbey Road was their last album and they wanted to go out on an artistic high. But no – they’re discussing the next album. And you think that John is the one who wanted to break them up but, when you hear this, he isn’t. Doesn’t that rewrite pretty much everything we thought we knew?”

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