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Akira 09-13-2008 04:23 PM

The Beatles - Abbey Road (1969)
 
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I cannot say anything new about Abbey Road, it has had nearly four decades of reviews and praise. Just think about it, this work of art is nearly fourty years old. Compare it to the ‘best’ albums of last year. It still feels fresh and original and outranks anything that last year had to offer.

This was the last album recorded by the Beatles, after a stunning career of sublime hits and wondrous works of art they top it all off by one of their best efforts and one of the best albums ever. My favourite has always been Revolver but Abbey Road has always been second place only just. These days, though, I think this album might just be my favourite Beatles Album.

This is such an iconic work of the twentieth century, from the famous and often imitated cover, to the fabulous melodies and lyrics. Which brings me to ask: Why are you reading this? If it is because you do not own this album, or even worse, have never heard it then quickly get it ordered and downloaded before someone sees you. Everyone should own this, in fact, in England you are sent it in the post once you become of age. It is that important to everyday life. That may be over the top but it certainly is essential to everyone’s music collection, even if you only have a few albums.

One of the joys is that each member of the band seems to be at their best on this album. Even Ringo proves his critics wrong by showing them up with a great drum solo during the album’s closing medley. Paul belts out some cracking vocals, very powerful stuff, John rocks like never before and George presents some of his finest songs ever. Individually they all shine in their own right and when they come together (pardon the pun) they shake the earth with their brilliance.

This album has the traits of genius running all the way through it from beginning to end. It is the trait that binds every song together to deliver the world a package of true beauty that continues to inspire and move people even after all these years.

There are a few weak tracks, mainly novelty songs, but these are merely small blips on an otherwise shining record. The highs are certainly well worth the lows.

Buy it now. Listen to it forever. You will never tire of it and neither will your neighbours if you turn it up.

Come Together- Paul’s bass line opens the album, then kick in the crazy lyrics. This is a good track but I wouldn’t place it in say their top 10 songs. It is just missing something to take it beyond the norm…..for a Beatles track anyway, which means it’s still pretty good.

Something- A simple beautiful song, George Harrison really knows how to write a moving song whilst keeping it simple, even the brilliant guitar solo is just a simple and wonderful piece of music. Absolutely nothing over the top about this track. One of the best Harrison songs.

Maxwell’s Silver Hammer-The first novelty song. A tale of a serial killer who hits people over the head, told in a light and amusing way. This song is ok, it’s fine….the first few times. After a while it is certainly a track that you are going to want to skip. Even Lennon didn’t like it!

Oh! Darling-Sung by McCartney I think his voice sounds great on this, even if Lennon thought that he should have recorded this instead.

Octopus’s Garden-Whilst being quite catchy, I really do not like this song. It sounds too cheesy, childish lyrics, adequate vocals and nothing more.

I Want You (She’s So Heavy)-Overly long. That’s the first thought that comes into my head. It has some good moments but not enough to keep it interesting for 7:47. The guitar intro is great as are some little jam moments, the vocals are also very good throughout. But there is also too much that just doesn’t work.

Here Comes The Sun- An amazing song, once again written by George Harrison. From the very start it’s beauty grabs you. The guitar throughout is pure perfection, the lyrics shine and gradually the song blossoms into the work of genius that it is. It is both optimistic and uplifting.

Because- It is not the best track, though a very solid one, on the album but it is a great showcase for the band. Stripped of all the trimmings that a lot of bands need to sound good, the fab four deliver amazing vocals and harmonies, only bettered by the Beach Boys. After all, the Beatles were primarily a vocal band and this song clearly reminds us of this. A fine performance.

You Never Give Me Your Money- A lovely song, sung in McCartney’s best voice. The piano in the first half is great, the harmony in the second half very pretty and the guitar is once again brilliant yet not overdone.

Sun King- Sit back and relax, here comes the mid-album chill out zone. The first minute sounds similar to Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross.

Mean Mr Mustard- Despite being a novelty song, it is much better than the previous two. Plus, it is only a minute long. Quite catchy, silly lyrics, nothing terrible here and nice little jaunt that quickly leads into…

Polythene Pam-One of the few times I actually notice John’s accent. A daft song with a great intro that bursts open from the end of the previous track. Again, only a short song but very catchy.

She Came In Through the Bathroom Window- Written by Paul about a fan that did what the title says. This is a great follow on from Polythene Pam, the change is fantastic.

Golden Slumbers- Soaring strings, soft piano, gentle bass; a wonderful start to this song. Then we get Paul’s top-notch vocals come in during the chorus. Another gentle dip and then it goes straight into…

Carry That Weight- ‘You never give me your money’ makes a comeback halfway in, with different lyrics, then back to Carry That Weight and then, without looking backwards we plunge into….

The End- The band on flawless form; guitars, vocals, melody and Ringo all merge into one great showmanship of their abilities. The last great piece of music they laid down. For many this is the highlight of the entire album and it is kind of hard to disagree with them.

Her Majesty- 23 seconds long and a novelty song once again. I don’t see the point of this and certainly it’s position on the album. We’ve just heard a magnificent medley of several songs and then the last track would have been an awesome and perfect end to the album and then this gets put in right at the end.

RATING: 8/10

jackhammer 09-13-2008 04:34 PM

My favourite Beatles album by far. Completely disagree about I Want You (She's So Heavy). Such an amazing track and a big feck you to all those that accuse them of being a bubblegum pop band. It's so heavy it should be on a Sabbath album.

Akira 09-13-2008 04:36 PM

I would think that track would be amazing if it was edited slightly. Like I said, it is awesome but there are a few things in there that prevent it being truely great.

jackhammer 09-13-2008 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ToeAndno (Post 518199)
I would think that track would be amazing if it was edited slightly. Like I said, it is awesome but there are a few things in there that prevent it being truely great.

Yeah but I like heavy shit and long tracks so it is good for me. So why did'nt you review 'Revolver' if that is your favourite Beatles album?

Akira 09-13-2008 04:43 PM

Abbey has pipped it recently to be my favourite Beatles album. Plus, Abbey Road seemed more straightforward to review for some reason.

Piss Me Off 09-13-2008 04:50 PM

Yeah She's So Heavy would be my favourite too along with the short tracks at the end. Abbey Road's probably 3rd favourite for me behind Revolver and Sgt Peppers.

Seltzer 09-13-2008 05:36 PM

Nice review, and nice avatar too. :D

I have to say that I Want You (She's So Heavy) is possibly my fav Beatles track ever... it's so incredibly dark and brooding. Great bassline too (I had to learn it!).

I like Octopus' Garden too - even having to sing that at primary school didn't ruin it for me (unlike Yellow Submarine).

WWWP 09-13-2008 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Seltzer (Post 518243)
I like Octopus' Garden too - even having to sing that at primary school didn't ruin it for me (unlike Yellow Submarine).

QFT.
Nice review, I agree with you mostly.

FireInCairo 09-13-2008 06:52 PM

definitely my favourite beatles album
but i just dont get the point of the novelty songs
they seem misguided and dont add anything

4ZZZ 09-13-2008 06:53 PM

I have to admit to not listening to any Beatles albums in many a long year. Not because I do not like them but because as I fast approach my dotage I seem to have a need to not go over (overplayed) old ground of my youth. Having said that when reading the review of each song individually I was nodding my head in agreement and thinking "yes good/great song". IMO this was a fine way for the great Beatles to end it all. It was almost an album that was an (unthinking?) tribute to a wondrous career.


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