Ringo Starr says 1969’s Abbey Road will be next in the Beatles‘ expanded box-set reissue series. Noting the album’s looming 50th anniversary, Starr says he’s particularly thrilled with sound improvements over the years.
“I’ve loved all the re-releases because of the remastering,” Starr tells Billboard. “You can hear the drums, which got dialed down in the old days.”
The Beatles have already remastered and expanded 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and 1968’s self-titled “White Album,” adding acoustic versions and alternate takes to give fans a fuller picture of how these now-familiar songs evolved. Starr, who just kicked off his latest All-Starr Band dates, admits that he prefers to focus on the originally released material.
“I get a bit fed up, personally, with all those, like, Take 9 or Take 3, the odd takes that we didn’t put out,” he said, “but that’s part of the box set and you have to do stuff like that. But I’ve always just listened to the record itself, what we put out in the ’60s or 1970, and it’s brighter.”
Starr’s latest All-Starr Band, which also includes Steve Lukather, Gregg Rolie, Colin Hay and Hamish Stuart, played Thursday night at Caesars Windsor in Ontario, Canada. Their dates together continue through a Sept. 1 appearance at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.
Last night’s set was highlighted by a performance of the Rubber Soul deep cut “What Goes On,” which Starr noted was the only Beatles song credited to John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Starkey. “The names,” he quipped, “should have been the other way around.”
Abbey Road was released in September 1969 in the U.K., and that October in America.