Ringo Starr didn’t think ‘Abbey Road’ was going to be the last Beatles album

Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMeBeatles fans have long assumed that the Fab Four made the Abbey Road album knowing it would be the group’s final studio effort, but a recently discovered recording of a September 1969 meeting between most of the band members called that assumption into question.

Now, in a new U.K. radio interview, Ringo Starr says he believed at that time that Abbey Road wouldn’t be the last album The Beatles ever recorded.

“[N]one of us said, ‘OK, that’s the last time we’ll ever play together,'” Ringo tells BBC 6 Music. “I never felt [that]…It was like not ‘the end.’ I never felt it was in stone.”

Starr, the only member of the group not to attend the aforementioned meeting — he says he wasn’t even aware of it — explains that he thought after completing Abbey Road that the band members would take a break and then eventually reconvene for a new project.

“[After we’d make a record,] we would go off and do whatever we wanted to do,” Ringo recalls. “And then Paul [McCartney] would call us and say, ‘Hey, you want to go in the studio, lads?’ and we’d do another one.”

Abbey Road just returned to #1 on the U.K. albums chart following the release of the new reissues celebrating its 50th anniversary. Reflecting on the album, Starr says he particularly loved the long medley that takes up most of the second side of the record.

“Everybody was writing at a great level because they always did — but on side two, everybody wasn’t finishing the songs,” Ringo remembers. “But that medley? It works so great.”

He adds, “It’s like we could do no wrong: ‘You don’t have to finish the song! Let’s just edit them together.’ And it works like a mini play.”

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