In September 1969 The Beatles released what should be considered as their last album. Abbey Road has a very accomplished sound and sees the band arguably go out with a progressive slice of accessibility.
The album was, unsurprisingly, a huge commercial success and features perhaps their most iconic sleeve. Abbey Road is the sound of a band putting aside their differences and going out in style. At just over the length of one side of a C90 cassette, the album fits the conventional length for albums, by other artists to follow.
Come Together (Lennon / McCartney) is not only a fine, fine song it features fantastic production too from George Martin. From the opening shooom it sounds like a monster tamed ready to escape at almost any given moment. The song remains restrained and is catchy and anthemic throughout.
Something (Harrison) and George Harrison pens another song of real quality. Ridiculously well put together and loving it is another example of The Beatles transcending pop.
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Lennon / McCartney) is a ploddy affair. Sorytelling style and not up to the standard of the two album openers.
Oh! Darling (Lennon / McCartney) ventures into a near blues rant with abrasive guitar bleeps. It sounds good but sounds to me like Wings already.
Octopus’s Garden (Starr) must be Ringo Starr’s best song. It does echo Yellow Submarine slightly but is possibly a better song.
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Lennon / McCartney) does and doesn’t sound like The Beatles. The first portion of the song sets a catchy repetative pace before we get Prog Rock Beatles. Noodling and spacious jams take the band into somewhat new territory. This is not a criticism. It is a great sounding song and only makes one think had The Beatles stuck around for the 70’s too – what kind of direction they may have taken.
Here Comes The Sun (Harrison) and George Harrison only goes and does it again. Deep, catchy, charming, optomistic and hitting that lullabye vibe. The songs widens and leaves you wanting more.
Because (Lennon / McCartney) and we are treated to souped up Sgt. Pepper. Harmonic and symphonic, it fades into…
You Never Give Me Your Money (Lennon / McCartney) is dreamy and sung over in a fresh deeper style by Paul McCartney. Near riffs form before it fades with nursery rhyme style lyric vocally.
Sun King (Lennon / McCartney) gets a tad early Fleetwood Mac on us as it washes its waves our way. The Spanish language vocals as the track eases out oddly remind me of Freddie Mercury.
Mean Mr. Mustard (Lennon / McCartney) is short and really serves to set up the similarly short Polythene Pam (Lennon / McCartney). Polythene Pam is more memorable and urgent.
She Came Through The Bathroom Window (Lennon / McCartney) and Side Two is turning onto a Rock/Jam/Opera. It’s a heady mix and was arguably imitated by the Beastie Boys with B-Boy Bouillabaisse on Paul’s Boutique.
Golden Slumbers (Lennon / McCartney) continues the shake up finale. it ambles along with a surprisingly charged McCartney vocal.
Carry That Weight (Lennon / McCartney) gets a bit All The Young Dudes on us. This was written first – right? Someone call the lawyers.
The End (Lennon / McCartney) and you can hear the 70’s previwed in 1969. Maybe more evidence of the influence on Paul’s Boutique (Beastie Boys) as the track throws a funky charged riff at right angles.
Her Majesty (Lennon / McCartney) is uncredited and makes me think of hidden tracks that were common place on CD’s in the 90’s that come on after you forgot you were listening to music in the first place.
Abbey Road is a very well constructed record and sees The Beatles back track from some of the heavy experimentation showcased on The White Album. It also shows the group could have made some outstanding progressive albums had they remained together. It would have made a great last album, but history does not read this way, the money men at Apple / EMI saw the final curtain on popular musics greatest ever exponents was in place but had not been fully closed yet…
Abbey Road, right now. July 5th 2012.