George Benson – The Other Side of Abbey Road

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

An A++ side one backed with an A+++ side two! We just shot out a bunch of these and this copy finished way ahead of the pack. George Benson and a top-notch backing crew (Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Ray Baretto, Freddie Hubbard and many more) knock these jazzy Abbey Road covers out of the park, and Rudy Van Gelder did a great job putting it to tape. Of course not every pressing sounds good, but the best copies like this one are killer! 

Side one has excellent presence, tons of energy, and BIG BASS. The resolving power on side one of this pressing is dramatically better than practically any other copy we played. Just listen for all the air moving through the brass; . The overall sound is open and transparent with lots of texture all around. We gave it an A++. The cool version of Golden Slumbers that kicks things off sounds amazing!

Side two is KILLER, earning our top grade of A+++. The funky version of I Want You (She’s So Heavy) really comes to life here. The brass , winds, and strings sound just right. The immediacy is OFF THE CHARTS. Few copies give you anything like the big, open soundfield that’s heard here. I don’t think you could find a better sounding side two no matter what you did!

Half-Speed

Both sides are a BIG step up from most copies out there and DRAMATICALLY better than the godawful A & M half-speed mastered version. If you’re a fan of The Beatles, late ’60s jazz and great sound — and I know that means most of you guys — this is a record you should definitely check out.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Golden Slumbers 
You Never Give Me Your Money 
Because 
Come Together 
Oh! Darling

Side Two

Here Comes the Sun 
I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
Something 
Octopus’s Garden 
The End

AMG 4 1/2 Star Rave Review

Just three weeks after the U.S. release of the Beatles’ swan song, Abbey Road, Creed Taylor ushered George Benson into the studio to begin a remarkably successful pop-jazz translation of the record (complete with a parody of the famous cover, showing Benson with guitar crossing an Eastern urban street). It is a lyrical album, with a hint of the mystery and a lot of the cohesive concept of the Beatles’ original despite the scrambled order of the tunes. Benson is given some room to stretch out on guitar, sometimes in a bluesy groove, and there are more samples of his honeyed vocals than ever before… the record fits together as a whole more tightly than any other George Benson project, thanks to his versatile talents and the miraculous overarching unity of the Beatles’ songs. One wonders if the Fab Four liked it, too.