The Beatles – Let It Be / Abbey Road (Mono)

As this is Black Friday, and Record Store Day also deem this a suitable time to release ‘exclusive’ vinyl, here is something I would like to see come out which no doubt never will. That is, the last two Beatles albums in mono.

Even though there been some experiments with stereo recording in the 19th Century, mono recordings would dominate audio recording from its early days until the late 1960s. This however began to change because the technology to produce a stereo sound improved and musicians were making more experimental music that would use the format to make the music move from one speaker to the next. Check out the end of ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ from Pink Floyd’s debut album for a good example. 

In the early 60’s, stereo was thought of a niche product and not as much time was spent on these compared to the mono mixes. Mono was also the broadcast medium for AM radio so singles tended to be exclusively in Mono. This would even continue into the 70s where mono mixes of records were made exclusively for radio stations until FM radio caught on. For a while, both mono and stereo versions were released with differing mixes but by 1967 in the US, mono versions would start to be discontinued. In the UK, mono was essentially gone by 1968 but in other areas of the world, this would not be the case. Mono records continued to be pressed and so it was with these records that were released in Mono in Brazil.

There is nothing particularly special about them as they are just a fold down of the stereo mix. However, they are a nice curiosity. 

Side 1 – Abbey Road (Side A)

  1. Come Together
  2. Something
  3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
  4. Oh! Darling
  5. Octopus’s Garden
  6. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

Side 2 – Abbey Road (Side B)

  1. Here Comes The Sun
  2. Because
  3. You Never Give Me Your Money
  4. Sun King
  5. Mean Mr. Mustard
  6. Polythene Pam
  7. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
  8. Golden Slumbers
  9. Carry That Weight
  10. The End
  11. Her Majesty

Side 3 – Let It Be (Side A)

  1. Two Of Us
  2. Dig A Pony
  3. Across the Universe
  4. I Me Mine
  5. Dig It
  6. Let It Be
  7. Maggie Mae

Side 4 – Let It Be (Side B)

  1. I’ve Got A Feeling
  2. One After 909
  3. The Long & Winding Road
  4. For You Blue
  5. Get Back

Since I initially put this together, I have discovered that a Mono version was released of Abbey Road in Czechoslovakia in the early 1970s which like the Brazilian, is a Stereo fold down mix. Let It Be was also released in a fold down Mono mix in Argentina. I am sure that further Mono versions will come to light once I have uploaded this. 

I was also able with my rudimentary computer skills to make up a front cover that is a mash up of both the original sleeves. 

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