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The Beatles - Abbey Road CD (album) cover

ABBEY ROAD

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

4.49 | 693 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Words cannot describe the massive amount of creativity and effort The Beatles put in their swan song record Abbey Road. Recorded after Let it Be and released before it, this is truly final Beatles record. The creative juices were flowing and the songs kept churning, and this would become the Beatles finest outing on record. John sneers and soars vocally and along with McCartney creates some superb compositions (although Come Together is a "lift" of a Chuck Berry song). Paul sings staggeringly and creates rich and melodic bass runs even while singing his heart out. George is at his creative peak, with an overly emotional piece and a cheery acoustic number. And finally, Ringo has his moment of glory with his country-esque Octopus's garden.

Opening with the John Lennon piece Come Together, the song was meant to be a propoganda piece so people would vote for Timothy Leary for a Congress or Senate campaign. This song is often criticized for being a "lift" of the Chuck Berry song You Can't Catch Me. None the less, it's one of the great Beatles songs. Something is the first of two George Harrison songs on the album. This song became a huge hit for the band. It featured great augmentation of an orchestra by George Martin, and some great bass runs by McCartney, as well as a tasteful guitar solo from Harrison. One of the best songs in the Beatles catalogue. Maxwell's Silver Hammer is a McCartney track about a serial killer named Maxwell Edison. It features some great moog textures during the pre-chorus breakdown and is one of the more humorous Beatles songs available.

Oh! Darling is one song that John resented in the fact that Paul didn't let him sing it. A pretty standard 12/8 ballad number, but it features one of Paul McCartney's best vocal works in his career. Octopus's Garden is the second Ringo Starr composition to make it on a Beatles record (the first being Don't Pass Me By on the White Album, and although he helped write the bridge of What Goes On, he wasn't given a solo credit until Don't Pass Me By). It has a country beat to it and some nice guitar frills from George Harrison. One of the more experimental Beatles tracks, I Want You (She's So Heavy) is an overly overdubbed guitar powerhouse with some brilliant leads from Harrison. It goes through many time changes and towards the end, as the hisses and moans of moog synths fill the speakers, it all ends abrubtly.

Here Comes the Sun, another classic George Harrison track, is a simple acoustic track written around variations of the d chord. It features a great 3/8 breakdown as well as some uplifting moog during the chorus. The final song before the medleys is Because, the main riff inspired by John wanting Yoko to play the Moonlight Sonata backwards. This song features what I read to be 9 tracks of vocal (3 from John, 3 from Paul, and 3 from George) and is more about the music than the lyrics. You Never Give Me Your Money begins the medley to end all medleys. A very piano based intro leads into a great shift into a more rocky section, then into some great unison guitar runs from the band until gently cascading into silence with the mantra " 1234567/All good children go to heaven". Sun King is a very atmospheric piece which features some great harmonies, and some nice italian lyrics towards the end, it segues into...

Mean Mr. Mustard is a short little ditty with a very catchy riff, it leads right into Polythene Pam, which has a nice solo from Harrison; which then leads into She Came into the Bathroom Window, a bluesy number that has some great guitar frills from Harrison. It leads into Golden Slumbers, which features one of Paul's most emotional and heartfelt vocal performances on record. It leads into Carry that Weight, which has some great harmony vocals and a great reprisal of the You Never Give Me Your Money theme. It all is summed up with the stellar conclusion, The End, which has some great guitar runs from Harrison, and very fun drum solo (the only one on record) from Ringo. It all gets summed up in two phrases according to Paul McCartney "And in the end, the love you take/ is equal to the love you make". And the end is near. But then a little surprise awaits you. Her Majesty is a little ditty that seems to have fit in between Mean Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam, a bit of a throw away but none the less enjoyable.

Overall, I know I've written a lot about this album (I think this is my longest review ever), but I just can't help but say that this album is a masterpiece by and by. There are no weak tracks, and there are no sore spots. Utterly magnificent. Essential to any music collection. 5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 5/5 |

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