When someone mentions the Beatles, what exactly do you think of? Do you think of a revolution in music? How the very standards of music were raised? Or do you think about a bunch of young lads that really needed a haircut? Well, no matter what it is that you think, these Fab Four gave music a whole new meaning.
Right at the start of their careers in 1963 they were taking the charts by storm. Beginning with their album Please Please Me, records were flying off the shelves and their songs covering the charts. It is to no surprise that every single album of theirs has been critically acclaimed, making it difficult to review such masterworks. However, one album in particular sticks out from the rest of them.
Recorded in 1969 and released the same year, Abbey Road is truly what music is all about. The lyrics were astounding, the beats unmatched and the meaning beyond compare.
It was the greatest example of how a band should have ended its careers. Interesting to note, this was the very last Beatles album to be done. Most tend to think that Let It Be was their last work, which it technically was being that it was released in 1970 (the same year they would break up); however, the making of Abbey Road took place AFTER the completion of Let It Be. The Beatles decided to release it before Let It Be because they fault that Let It Be appealed more to how they wanted to go. In fact, the very last song on Abbey Road is titled, “The End.”
The album starts off with the song “Come Together”, which has become an anthem among fans as a song all about overcoming our differences and joining together in peace. It really drew the listener in quickly with its memorable bass line and unique drums sounds as contributed by McCartney and Starr, and with obscure, yet intriguing, lyrics by Lennon. Top it off with a simple yet addicting guitar riff by Harrison and you have already invited the listener to sit down and enjoy the next forty-five minutes of this record.
Following the first track was the song “Something”, a piece contributed by Harrison to his then girlfriend Olivia and the greatest example of a love song. Due to its romantic lyrics and deep emotional meaning, it turned out to be one of the Beatles most successful songs. Frank Sinatra once quoted saying that Something is, “the greatest love song ever written.” Rest assured, shortly after Olivia ended up marrying George.
Abbey Road was known to be one of the most experimented on records by the Beatles, and the song “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” really proved that point. It was the first song to feature a synth and was panned by Lennon who quoted it as a “meaningless song about destruction and murder.”
However, the most creative and well done song done for the album was “The Melody”. The Melody was composed of many short songs, those of which have been completed or uncompleted, and each previous song playing into the next. It starts out with You Never Gave Me Your Money, beginning with soft piano guys and a light bass/guitar riff and, at first, is a slow song but slowly progresses into a very jazzy and swinging song. This song demonstrated the band’s skills in being able to change the tempo and beat of a song without making it sound awkward or obvious. It slowly led into Sun King, a very soft and a track best described as a cross between easy-listening and country and sounds almost as if you are in a dream floating amongst the clouds as the beat gently beats you to sleep, but don’t sleep for long because the tempo is very unpredictable as it quickly picks up and leads into a three part song series made up of Mean Mr. Mustard, Polythene Pam and She Came In Through The Bathroom window. Just when you thought you finally figured out the song structure, you begin to hear the sound of a piano playing and joining with the sound of Paul’s heavenly and smooth voice, and finally mixed in with classical instruments to give you a tranquil and blissful lullaby which I consider the best contribution to Abbey Road; Golden Slumbers. This song would break up the Melody into two parts, with the final three tracks known as the Golden Slumbers Melody.
The final song on the album, and the last song that the Beatles would work on together, was appropriately titled “The End”. The song picks up fast after the previous two slow songs and is the only Beatles song to feature a drum solo by Starr. They really went all out for this song as all the instruments combined to make a very fast and heavy sound, and they made it work well. With Paul’s voice booming through the microphone, he started to sing a song with one simple message, a message that will forever stay with me until the day I die; in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.
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