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THE BEATLES - ABBEY ROAD
(1969)

This was The Beatles album that introduced a new, sparkling guitar sound. The tone on this album was largely bright and uplifting, as if, has been said, a funereal finale was not the way the world's greatest-ever rock band wanted to bow out.

With The Beatles imploding, 'Come Together' has to be a contender for the most openly ironic beginning to an album. John Lennon's pleading vocals sound rather tired, as if he knows it's not going to happen. A meaty guitar riff makes this an increasingly appreciated Beatles track, especially among indie merchants.

'Something' and 'Here Comes The Sun' sees George Harrison come to the fore as a great songwriter in his own right, and these two compositions are the best two on the album. Frank Sinatra once said 'Something' was the greatest love song ever written. 'Here Comes The Sun' is one of the ultimate feel good songs, from the 'too serious' George Harrison, and British TV and radio presenter, Michael Parkinson, described it as "the most optimistic song ever written."

'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' is one of those, on first listening, irritating Paul McCartney songs, but it gets more and more catchy, and can take over your life if you're not careful...On 'Oh! Darling' Paul is in great raucous form. He can do the heavy rock thing, and I wish he'd been more expansive post-Beatles.

'Octopus's Garden' is a lovely Ringo Starr song. His lilting voice was sadly underused in The Beats.

'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' goes on forever, and is one of the greatest tracks the group ever made. Simple, mesmerising, freestyle rhythm and blues. Their playing was never better.

'Because' and 'Sun King' both have a touch of Beach Boys harmonies about them. 'Because' being particularly wonderful.

'You Never Give Me Your Money' begins with plaintive Paul, and is an effective mood change song - one of Paul's specialities.

'Mean Mr Mustard', 'Polythene Pam', and 'She Came In Through The Bathroom Window' are three loosely connected pieces. Fun.

'Golden Slumbers' has Macca's voice at its moving best, accompanied by sweeping strings, followed by the powerful 'Carry That Weight'. 'The End' is a noisy jamfest ending, with Ringo imitating 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida'. Nice idea about the love we take, if untrue. Could have done without the Queen homage at the end, which was a strange, eccentric ending to the greatest-ever rock band's final great album.

- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.

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Abbey Road CD Abbey Road
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ABBEY ROAD FACTOIDS & MYTHOLOGY

Beatles Abbey Road Album Cover

'Abbey Road' was originally going to be called 'Everest' (not after the famous mountain, but after a brand of cigarettes).
Ringo wrote 'Octopus's Garden' when, disenchanted, he had left The Beatles for a few weeks. Apparently Ringo got the inspiration for the song while sitting by the seashore.
The cover photo on 'Abbey Road' galvanised the "Paul is dead" believers, as it showed Paul barefoot, with eyes closed, and holding a cigarette in his RIGHT hand. Though The Beatles could just have been jokingly fuelling the "Paul is dead" crowd.
'Her Majesty' is often regarded as the first 'hidden' track on an album.
George's 'Here Comes The Sun' came about after his working on some tunes with Eric Clapton. The Cream song 'Badge' also came out of this session, and both George and Eric decided on which song would be for their group. So, 'Here Comes The Sun' could easily have been a Cream song.
The first session of 'Here Comes The Sun', on July 7th, 1969, was notable for John being absent. He had been injured in a car crash, along with Yoko, his son Julian, and Yoko's daughter Kyoko.
'Something' was the first Beatles UK single to have been taken from an already released Beatles album.
The 16mm film accompanying 'Something' had all The Beatles filmed in different locations - such was the fragmented state of the group at the time.
'Abbey Road' was The Beatles first stereo-only album.
The Moog synthesizer featured on 'Abbey Road' was probably down to George's fascination with the instrument, using it throughout on his 1969 'Electronic Sound' album.

- Paul Rance.


Product image for ASIN: B000EA900W
The Beatles "Walking" Abbey Road Black T-shirt

 

'Abbey Road' Track Listing
(All Lennon-McCartney songs unless otherwise stated)

Side One
Come Together
Something (Harrison)
Maxwell's Silver Hammer
Oh! Darling
Octopus's Garden (Starkey)
I Want You (She's So Heavy)


Side Two
Here Comes The Sun (Harrison)
Because
You Never Give Me Your Money
Sun King
Mean Mr Mustard
Polythene Pam
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
Golden Slumbers
Carry That Weight
The End
Her Majesty

 

 

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