|Story Behind the Album|
| This is the last album to be released by the Beatles. Judging from what happened with the work on the previous album, "Let It Be", it is surprising that the Beatles decided to work together, and even more surprising the result was this good. Abbey Road clearly indicates that the Beatles are on top of their game, and with it being their last album, it had them leaving on top. Abbey Road is actually a much needed compromise. John wanted to have an album that was straight forward rock and roll and wanted each individual to have his cut on the album. Paul wanted to have a much more melodic album in which all the songs tied together into a medley. Each got what they wanted as side one is a bunch of unrelated, straight rock songs, and side two is a medley of songs, mainly put together by Paul and George Martin, who decided to join the Beatles once again.
Abbey Road contains the finest songs from ALL of the writers. Ringo contributes his best songs to date with "Octopus's Garden". Although it is really a remake of "Yellow Submarine" (Ringo had a knack of re-writing songs), this songs is pretty good. It is still sort of childish but it has adult meaning as well. George contributes 2 songs, and they are his finest yet. His first one "Something" is the second most covered song of the Beatles (first is "Yesterday"). "Something" is also George's first A side of a single, and it is a fantastic song, although it does go a little overboard with the strings. His second song is also a great one and very melodic and relaxed. "Here Comes the Sun" opens side 2 after a loud, but aprupt exit from John. This song has a very sweet opening guitar that sets the song, and the whole thing is very relaxed. George was very relaxed when he wrote it, as he was watching the sun come up with is guitar on Eric Clapton's land. This was the first time George had a guitar in a couple of weeks due to meetings and he played hookey that day and wrote this wonderful song.
John contributes some fantastic songs as well. His are very rocky, well most are, just as he wanted. In fact 2, are very very short lyrically but are dense with music. "Come Together" opens the album and sets it in a rocky mood. This is a great song, but it was not without its troubles. First, Tim Leary was very upset with the release of this as he had John write it for his campaign for governor. Secondly, and more important was that John seemed to borrow the beginning, or part of the line about a flattop from a Chuck Berry song, and he was subsequently sued. Nevertheless, the songs makes for a great listen. John's next one is a song that only has about two lines to it, yet it goes on for a very long song, and somehow it is not boring. "I Want You (She's So Heavy), is a hard rockin blues song, and in the end it fades out into a staticy mess, and cuts off in midbar to end side one. The songs is no doubt a tribute to Yoko. "Because" is the next Lennon song on the album and it was named by George and Paul as their favorite song on the album, and it is mine as well, if that means anything. This song has lyrics that are again, very short, yet the songs does maintain for at least 3 minutes. The song utilized John, Paul and George's harmonies, and it has nine vocal tracks all together (three from each). It also has a very mellow riff from a moog synthesizer that runs throughout the song. John's other songs are part of the medley although he really didn't contribute too many new songs. "Sun King" is another mellow song and most of it is jibberish that John made up, but it does have a nice feel to it. "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam" are John's songs that are stuck in the middle of the medley. Pam is mentioned in "Mean Mr. Mustard" as his sister. Both songs are upbeat and full of John's strange humor.
Paul is the dominating artist on this album,, which is no surprise as he had been leading for quite some time. On side one Paul contributes "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and "Oh Darling!". "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" caused much aggravation in the studio as Paul believed it would be the next single and had a lot of attention to be paid to it. "Oh Darling" is the better song of his on side one, and it took Paul a week to be able to sing it like he wanted. He wanted it to have a very hoarse sound so he screamed for a week to get his voice ready for it. John also liked it but believed he could do it better. "You Never Give Me Your Money" is an allright song of Paul's and it is a dig at the companies who only give the Beatles notes instead of actual money. "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" is the next song, and it is very cleverly linked into "Polythene Pam" with a guitar solo. The song is a good one, full of humor,and it was inspired by an actual girl coming through the bathroom window. Paul waas robbed when some fans came in through his unlocked bathroom window and many of his possessions were stolen and he was crushed. "Golden Slumbers" is a gorgeous song by Paul although it really isn't connected. The song is actually from an old poem and Paul put his own music to it. With "Carry that Weight", Paul begins a new song, but in fact it is a reprise of "You Never Give Me Your Money". "The End" is probably the most exciting song on the album. It is full of energy and each Beatle contributes musically, although it is Paul who writes the 2 lines of the song. First, Ringo has his very first drum solo and then the other three have a guitar war with Paul, George and John playing alternate lines in that order. The song has a build up, and then the actual lyrics come in very short and soft, and unlike the rest of the song. This should be the end of the album, but the Beatles throw in another studio trick, as they tack on a trick ending. Just when you think the album is over, a chord comes crashing in and Paul sings a little ditty, "Her Majesty".
Abbey road is a masterpiece in every sense of the album. Some argue that it is better than Pepper, or anything else done by the Beatles. Each song shows each Beatle at his best, and although it was not a joint effort completely you can still feel unity, yet you can also feel finality. The album cover and the music show how far the Beatles have come from their early days. Because it is the end, Abbey Road is somewhat sad, yet it is also a fantastic album.
|1. Come Together
2. Something [Harrison]
3. Maxwell's Silver Hammer
4. Oh Darling!
5. Octopus's Garden [Starkey]
6. I Want You (She's So Heavy)
7. Here Comes The Sun [Harrison]
9. You Never Give Me Your Money
10. Sun King
11. Mean Mr. Mustard
12. Polythene Pam
13. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
14. Golden Slumbers
15. Carry That Weight
16. The End
17. Her Majesty