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The Beatles - Abbey Road CD (album) cover


The Beatles



4.47 | 936 ratings

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5 stars The Grand Finale to the Greatest Band of All Time

ABBEY ROAD was the final album recorded by the Beatles, who hold the title of biggest rock band of all time and have been variously ascribed every superlative the English language holds. After the disastrous LET IT BE sessions, Paul immediately suggested the band get back together with "Fifth Beatle" George Martin, and record an album together as they had earlier in their career. The result was the perfect conclusion to the band's great career, an album with monster hits, experimentation, and great production. The album utilizes numerous elements that became staples of the Prog Rock style, placing ABBEY ROAD as probably the most important proto-prog album out there.

The album contains a huge variety of material that may seem scattered, but in fact effectively recaps the band's entire career. The bluesy "Oh Darling," perhaps better than any song on record, captures how the young band must have sounded (full of testosterone and hunger) in the basements doing covers of American songs. Harmony vocals are essential in many of the songs, with "Because" having some of the most lush of the Beatles' catalog. Ringo gets a light-hearted turn on "Octopus' Garden," which he actually wrote, and Paul gets one of his "granny tunes" (Lennon's term) on the album with "Maxwell's Silver Hammer." While this was a weaker song compared to much of the disc, it is an essential part of the Beatles style and deserved a place on this coda.

At the same time, the album also looks very much forward. George Harrison's most famous songs of his career appear here in "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun." Lennon leads off the album with the singular "Come Together" which might have been rather ordinary without the minimalist combination of Ringo's drumming, Paul's rolling bass line, and Billy Preston's keys. Lennon also lends a progressive wink on the extended "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" with its juxtaposition of styles and quite intense timbred sounds courtesy of guitar and Moog.

The second side contains the somewhat controversial medley. In fact the entire side forms a continued whole, and its suite-like construction became a recurrent element in prog to this day. Without a doubt, the piece has a pasted together feeling, and several of the transitions are extremely abrupt. Some were unfinished from previous records, but more importantly, some of the ideas may not have sustained an entire song. As they are, they are the coda to the coda, a final flourish recapping not only the album, but the career of the greatest rock band there may ever be.

ABBEY ROAD is a masterpiece of rock, prog, music, and art in general created during the memory of those currently living.

Negoba | 5/5 |


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