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The Beatles - Abbey Road CD (album) cover

ABBEY ROAD

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

4.47 | 948 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
5 stars For those who have been following my recent review streak might have already guessed my opinion on Abbey Road, but why would I have it any other way? Besides, what better way is there to celebrate my 500th review than by exploring this gem of a release?

After a solid streak of studio albums the Beatles finally stuck gold with the release of Abbey Road. Unfortunately the journey leading up to this point has been straining on the quartet, meaning that this turned out to be their final group effort. It's almost impossible not to experience the feeling of sadness when listening to this this album, but they say that if you plan to go out, make sure to do it on a high note. I honestly can't think of a better example of such occurrence.

After the exhausting The White Album-sessions followed by the even more nerve wrecking preparations for the Get Back performance, that was meant to revive the band's enthusiasm but instead did more damage than good, the Beatles had all the odds against them. Although, if we've learned anything about this band then it's the fact that they always worked best under pressure. According to the later interviews conducted with both Paul McCartney and George Harrison both members claimed that they knew that this particular recording session was going to be their final group effort. Whether this is actually true or not is entirely debatable, still the fact that this great album exist only adds to the already well established legacy left by the Beatles.

It's as if everyone in the band decided to chip in and do their best no matter the consequences. George Harrison had finally completed his songwriting maturity cycle and even surpassed Lennon/McCartney with Something and Here Comes The Sun. Ringo Starr also managed to chip in one his better offerings with Octopus's Garden, co-written by Harrison, this is easily the most enjoyable track Starr composed while being in the band. Of course Paul McCartney and John Lennon did their best to maintain their songwriting quality all the way to the end. Among the notable performances related to prog I Want You (She's So Heavy) is easily the most prog-related composition with Billy Preston playing the h#ll out of the Hammond organ towards the end while the abrupt ending is pure genius!

Still, the highlight of this album comes towards the end with the Abbey Road Medley that occupies most of side two. Since I've heard different opinions as to which songs are considered a part of this medley let me clarify by saying that I'm talking about Because and onwards. This medley was suppository composed out of incomplete song ideas from Lennon/McCartney but it's difficult to hear it considering how well each section fits in with the rest of the medley. Paul McCartney's outro section, beginning with She Came In Through The Bathroom Window is easily the highpoint of this album for me just for the sheer joy I get from hearing these masterful song hooks.

The final offering from the Beatles showed the band finally achieving their well deserved prog related credentials and it's a masterpiece well worth exploring! I can understand everyone who prefers the more cheerful side of the band on Revolver or Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band but those albums never sounded like complete self sufficient masterpieces to me. Abbey Road, on the other hand, has that special feeling plus a bunch of amazing stand-out moments attached to it. Essential for all fans of creative music!

***** star songs: Come Together (4:20) Something (3:02) Here Comes The Sun (3:05) Because (2:45) You Never Give Me Your Money (4:02) Mean Mr Mustard (1:06) Polythene Pam (1:12) She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (1:57) Golden Slumbers (1:31) Carry That Weight (1:36) The End (2:19) (Her Majesty) (0:23)

**** star songs: Maxwell's Silver Hammer (3:27) Oh Darling (3:26) I Want You (She's So Heavy) (7:47) Octopus's Garden (2:51) Sun King (2:26)

Rune2000 | 5/5 |

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