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Abbey Road - The Beatles

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Genre: Rock - Pop Rock / Artist: The Beatles / Audio CD released 1988-11-01 at Apple

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      23.08.2013 17:49
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      One of their finest albums, and a fitting swansong to a short but remarkable career

      Abbey Road is the final album that the Beatles recorded together as a band. Although Let It Be was released in 1970, it was recorded mostly in January of 1969 and was such a miserable affair for all involved it almost completely ended the group at that point. Determined to go out on a high, Paul McCartney persuaded the group and stalwart producer George Martin to come together (no pun intended) to record one final album that would show the world that they were still at the top of their game. The writing was on the wall - this was going to be their last party, and they made it a good one.

      Given that they were only together for 7 years, the rate at which they grew and matured from their first album to this is astonishing. Opening with Lennon's downbeat, funky blues-rock number 'Come Together', which features all the unusual hallmarks of a Lennon composition, it's one of my favourite openers to an album to date. A quirky riff and rhythm hiss and groan at each other, sliding out of the speakers like some sort of hypnotic snake. George Harrison punctuates it with a few moments of liquid guitar playing that he had come to make his own, and dense harmonies pack it out. It's a killer song, and has been covered many, many times. Aerosmith did a pretty decent job of it some years later.

      Harrison had also blossomed into a song-writer to match his more prolific band mates, with the woozy, aching 'Something', penned for a mysterious female, the identity he never let on. It's heartfelt without ever sliding into sentimentality in the way that McCartney would do countless times later in his career. However, things take a massive nosedive shortly after. Paul's song 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' is the biggest stain on this album by far, and is so crass and annoying that Lennon refused to participate, deriding it as 'granny shit'. I'd be inclined to agree with him, as two 'kid-friendly' songs on side one is one too many, and I wish it had never been included - 'Across the Universe' would have made a better choice. So well done Paul, you managed to be out-written by Ringo, who penned the silly but actually quite fun 'Octopus's Garden', complete with underwater gargling sounds.

      Things look up again though, and Paul redeems himself with 'Oh Darling', a bluesy-piano led song with his voice contorting into a pained, but not painful, throaty delivery. Better yet though is 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)', where the Beatles go full on doomy-prog. Built round a simple minor riff, it churns and seethes for a lengthy 8 minutes. Its sparse sound, driven on by guest keyboard whizz Billy Preston's bluesy runs, features the barest lyrics, with Lennon obsessively muttering than screaming 'I want you/I want you so bad it's driving me mad', crescendoing into a white-noise, wind driven soundscape as he confesses his clear obsession for Yoko Ono. Or possibly heroin. As a stark piece of art rock, it's pretty damn good.

      Side two is a different beast altogether, and is primarily the baby of McCartney and classically trained producer George Martin. Opening with the gleaming Harrison song 'Here Comes the Sun', composed in Eric Clapton's garden, it makes a glaring contrast juxtaposed to the wintry sonic blasts of the previous song. A finger-picked folk tune that builds into a ray of optimism, it shows just how well-developed and nuanced Harrison's songwriting had become. The Lennon-penned 'Because' is an odd track, even by later Beatles standards. Reversing the chord sequence to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, its distorted harpsichord and multi-tracked harmonised vocals give it a real ethereal sound. Typical Lennonisms abound, with the cool line 'Because the wind is high/It blows my mind'.

      However, the album is perhaps most memorable for the lengthy, 20 minute suite that closes side two. Reminiscent of the continuous seguing pieces on Sgt. Pepper, this takes it one step further. With numerous fragments of songs left, George Martin cleverly stitched them altogether into one long piece, foreshadowing the penchant for similar multi-part epics that would turn up on numerous prog albums in the following decade and beyond. 'You Never Give Me You Money' turns out to be a recurring theme, as the band's financial problems, which were a sore point for all, are the subject of much of the movement. 'Sun King' is another typical Lennon piece, all dreamy and Lewis Carroll-esque in its imagery and textures. 'Mean Mr. Mustard' is about a miserly bloke they read about in the papers, and 'Polythene Pam' recounts Lennon's encounter with a kinky groupie who had a taste for leather boots and polythene bed-sheets. The whole movement comes to a head though with 'Golden Slumbers', 'Carry That Weight' and 'The End', all of which continue the seamless blending of the music but building impetus towards the appropriately titled 'The End', which signalled not only the closing of the album but also their career. Featuring Ringo's only drum solo with the band, which thankfully isn't too long or embarrassing, it sees the other three trading guitar riffs and solos, while the piece comes to a close with perhaps the best and most succinct couplet they ever wrote - "And in the end/The love you take/Is equal to the love you make'. Written by McCartney, Lennon later dished out some uncharacteristic praise for the lyric, saying it was 'a very cosmic, philosophical line'. Again I think he was right, and does serve to remind us that love perhaps isn't perhaps universally unconditional, and must be shared in order to exist. While some of their earlier songs that mention the theme of love are perhaps mawkish and immature, this does sound like they've come to realise what it really means, right as they bring the curtain down and finish it all.

      Except of course it doesn't, as the silly, throwaway 'Her Majesty' acts as a hidden bonus track. Not intended for the album, it was accidentally tagged onto the master tapes and they decided to leave it in there, and why not.

      While an awful lot of drivel has been written about this band, ranging from "they're the best band ever and invented all modern music!" (they're not, because there's no such thing, and no they didn't) to their being written off as the first boy-band (they're not, can you imagine Westlife writing or playing anything as challenging as 'Helter Skelter' or 'I Am the Walrus'??), it's safe to say that they had an extraordinary career. While most bands last several decades, theirs barely made it to seven years, and evolved at a breakneck speed. It's also a blessing that they never got back together, as it would only have disappointed, and like those bands like Led Zeppelin or Nirvana that were ended by the death of a member, have their reputation intact. As a headstone to such a career, this could hardly be a better one.

      This album can picked up for a few quid, so isn't going to break the bank. On CD, the 1987 version sounds dreadful, as do all their other albums from that release. The 2009 remastered versions do sound better, although to experience the full rich, lush production and warm analogue tones, I recommend a vinyl copy, preferably an early pressing before LPs went all flimsy in the 70s after the oil price crisis. It's also available for digital download, though why on earth anyone would pay iTunes for something that you don't end up owning (read the smallprint, it stinks), and on Amazon's download pages as well.

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      • More +
        15.02.2012 22:27
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        A perfect closedown to a mind-blowing era

        RELEASED: 1969

        MUSICIANS: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, George Martin, various session musicians in the form of an orchestra

        PRODUCER: George Martin

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Long ago, far away, in another time and another place...a carefree time and a golden place....the four mop tops hung up their hats and released their last official album before going their separate ways a couple of months later. As the halcyon decade of the 1960s gradually closed its doors in preparation for stepping into the 'sinful 70s', the album Abbey Road kind of stamped its final seal in preparation to kiss goodbye to everything which had been so important for so long and to so many.

        Fraught with tension and acerbic squabbles regarding all things fiscal, the presence of Yoko Ono in Lennon's life, George admirably rising up the songwriting ladder, Ringo being bored with the whole shebang and Paul wanting to immerse himself in cutesy love songs, Abbey Road presents The Beatles at their most fractured, yet for many, including myself, at their very best. From what I can recall directly from the actual time, I believe that the four lads had more or less already called it a day, but gathered together for one last time for the purposes of giving their swan-song their all.

        The result of this final departure is the magnificent Abbey Road album, which in my own opinion is by far my most favoured of The Beatles' work. Of course I adore their other albums, but this one spoke directly to me, even as a naïve little 15-year-old (my age at the time), and it continues to shout its poignant message loud and clear, over forty years on.

        Abbey Road opens with Lennon's Come Together, which contains words typical of his slightly surreal way of making observations about himself and the world. There have been several different interpretations put upon the lyrics of this song, but I suppose now that Lennon is no longer with us, we shall never know exactly what he meant....that's if he meant anything at all. Come Together doesn't quite give a true flavour of what is to follow on the album, as it is very slightly funky-sounding in mood, yet it isn't at all out of place and from the whole album's contents, and I feel is the only track which could have chosen to begin it perfectly.

        Although George Harrison had made valuable contributions in the songwriting sense on other Beatles' albums, it was on Abbey Road that he really made his mark as an individual, undeterred by constantly being overridden by kingpins Lennon and McCartney. To this day, George's composition Something remains an all-time classic, and has been covered many times over, earning itself a highly respectable place in the annals of not just easy-listening middle of the road, but having gone down as one of the very best pop songs ever written. Speaking solely for myself here, I must confess it isn't by any means my own favourite Harrison song, as I feel he came even further into his own once The Beatles had properly disbanded and he pursued a successful solo career.

        The overall mood of the Abbey Road album is mixed and there are a few 'fun' songs present, such as McCartney's Maxwell's Silver Hammer - a tongue-in-cheek little ditty which according to McCartney himself, had more to do with analogising the ups and downs of life, rather than the face value interpretation of a guy called Maxwell who makes a habit of donking people over the head, killing them with his silver hammer.

        George is very much in romantic mood on this album, and up to a point so is John, but they are coming from very different places to one another. George's contribution is soft yet strong, understandable to everybody, taking a universal love song approach and even lightening the load of the whole album with Here Comes The Sun, but John's romantic input is far more intense as he continues to express the powerful feelings he is undergoing by having Yoko Ono as the object of his affections....as can be picked up especially from I Want You (She's So Heavy)....almost like a desperate plea for his life to be simpler regarding all things love-orientated, yet still clinging onto the safety bar of the ride for dear life.....fearful of, yet enjoying the rise and fall of the roller coaster of all-out mind, body, spirit and soul romantic involvement.

        Paul too has something to say about the whole ballgame of love and romance, with his song Oh Darling, yet I do sometimes wonder if it is a veiled snipe at Lennon?

        One of the most interesting tracks on Abbey Road (well at least for me) is the Lennon penned Because, which has a haunting, unusual tune, apparently based on having listened to Yoko Ono playing Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata backwards. The words are pretty much in line with what was happening in people's brains at the time....large swathes of the youth of the Western world had experimented with hallucinogen which had opened their minds, but left them directionless....they - and Lennon too - turned to meditation in the quest to further their understanding of life, the universe and everything.

        Peppered with the pleasant yet rather plodding Mean Mr. Mustard which John apparently wrote after reading a newspaper article about a skinflint, and the upbeat Polythene Pam (allegedly based on a girl John used to know from Liverpool's Cavern Club during The Beatles' early days)....also not forgetting Paul's odd She Came In Through The Bathroom Window followed by the lullaby-like Golden Slumbers, the album then dives into a little vitriol whereby Paul has a snipe at John with Carry That Weight, which sounds almost a warning of some sort of karma being imminent (John retaliated during the 1970s with Instant Karma and How Do You Sleep?). When I'm feeling particularly over-sensitive, this section of the Abbey Road album can succeed in making me rather uncomfortable, particularly from the aspect of perhaps being lulled into a false sense of security regarding The Beatles and the establishment figures they had become, delivering a couple of semi-surreal life observations typical of their material when all between them was hunky-dory, then drawing full attention to the seriousness of the rift between the two main songwriters of the band which had carried the 1960s on its shoulders and spoke reams, becoming almost a religion to a whole generation.

        As soon as I hear the first few bars of The End, I am plunged into a mood of expectancy and excitement which is liberally tinged with a sadness in that yes, this IS the end...the end of something wonderful (in the sense of the album, but more particularly that of The Beatles' career)...and a golden glow inside in that for me, musically, this is The Beatles at their very best. I love the way the track builds and builds, containing some wonderful guitar work and a real, uptempo rock feel...something you can really get into, albeit briefly as it is rather short...then slowing right down as John takes the vocals, saying a poignant 'Beatles Goodbye'..... "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make". I've never been quite sure how to interpret that statement, because I see several sides to it with several possible meanings, but what a fitting farewell.

        In true Beatles' style, they couldn't let this powerful and in parts emotive album go without a little touch of humour at the end, in the shape of Her Majesty...just 23 seconds long, and it has been said that it was Paul alone in the studio messing around with the microphone after the others had gone home. Only Paul himself can accurately determine the truth or otherwise of that rumour, but it kind of seals the whole 'goodbye' thing of the Abbey Road album in that, at the end of every day, did they take anything 100% seriously?

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Bearing in mind everything I've said above and how much I adore the Abbey Road album, it's one I rarely play, simply because I don't want to become so inured to its contents that it ceases to hold all which was and still is important to me about The Beatles' and their career as a band..... but, when I do dig it out, dust it off and slot it into the CD player (un-electronically enhanced so I'm hearing it how it was intended to be heard), I'm cast back to the end of that long, hot, dusty summer of 1969 when I felt the music was about to die...perhaps very similarly to how people ten years' previously felt when Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash.

        Now in 2012, Abbey Road still excites me, still ruffles my mind, still stimulates my sense of all things musical, still speaks tomes to me and still makes me a little bit sad, although I do with the gift of hindsight appreciate that The Beatles simply couldn't have gone on together any longer as they'd have ceased to make sense. When the iron goes cold, we have to let go and seek out new pastures ....Abbey Road sums up that philosophy perfectly.

        As a final thought, it is possible I'm being a little unfair to people younger than myself, but I have a conviction that to truly appreciate and accurately, deeply feel what Abbey Road as an album is all about - not just from a Beatles' point of view but from that of a whole era and a whole generation - one has to have 'been there', alive and involved in everything that was going on...feeling it, BEING it, and nowadays not merely taking influence from it, but actually remembering it. For anyone younger or older than myself, they will have their own icons to recall with deep fondness, but here I speak for myself and at least most of my own generation.

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        At the time of writing, the original recording of Abbey Road can be purchased on Amazon as follows:-

        ON CD:

        (from 1988, and not re-mastered)

        New: from £10.30 to £23.52
        Used: from £2.13 to £17.77
        Collectible: One copy currently available @ £14.99

        ON VINYL (for the collectors/connoisseurs):

        No new copies available
        Used: from £10.95 to £39.95

        A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.

        Over and out....and, thanks for reading this piece of self-indulgence.

        ~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~

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          27.09.2010 02:53
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          A great final album from The Beatles

          Abbey Road, the final album to be made by The Beatles (Let It Be was recorded before but released later - FACT), is, despite some shortcomings, one of their best. Before I go on to say why, I'll explore the negatives first.

          Many people bemoan the inclusion of the songs 'Octopus' Garden' and (shudder) 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' on Abbey Road, but for me, it's the final medley of songs - beginning with 'You Never Give Me Your Money' and ending with, fittingly, 'The End' - an amalgamation of unfinished songs from across The Beatles' entire varying career that sticks out like a sore thumb. It's the very nature of this medley, the fact that it's just a mixture of bits and pieces of incomplete work, that it sounds so disjointed and a departure from the dazzling first half, which in contrast sounds like some of the most glorious and complete-sounding work of the fab four's career. Fair enough, 'Octopus' Garden' (which, despite some predictably wacky and infantile lyrics courtesy of Ringo Starr, features some truly wonderful guitar work) and 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' (John Lennon accurately described Paul McCartney's rather twee tune as 'more of his granny music') aren't going to be counted as the best songs of The Beatles' output any time soon, but at least they bare that immaculate production-quality and sound part of a whole. The Abbey Road medley , on the other hand, awkwardly flip-flops from the Let It Be-era ('You Never Give Me Your Money') to Sgt. Pepper psychedelia ('Mean Mr. Mustard') to some ridiculous adolescent nonsense about a girl named 'Polythene Pam' that resembles a man. Of this distractingly eclectic second half, only 'Sun King' and 'Carry That Weight' emerge as commendable work, the former for embracing Abbey Road's gorgeous production design and guitar work, the latter for essentially being one long, extremely catchy chorus singalong.

          If the second half of Abbey Road leaves a lot to be desired, the first half more than makes up for it. For included here are some of the best and most famous of The Beatles' work.

          'Come Together' kicks off The Beatles' most coolly rock 'n' roll record in a stomping fashion, Lennon kicking it off with the whisper of "Shoot me..." over Ringo Starr's effortless drumming. The former-Mr. Richard Starkey is often criticised for his drumming skills, but he is undoubtedly at ease behind a drum set. The same could be said for the men behind the guitar work (namely Lennon, Harrison and McCartney) on 'Come Together', work which seems to improve in quality over the course of the album. Harrison, in particular, does some unbelievable things with his instrument on Abbey Road, pre-dating the sound of '70s guitar rock by a few good years.

          'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' carries on in the same vein of 'Come Together', a song that relies simply on basic bluesy rock 'n' roll ethics (i.e. not much more than a few laid-back guitarists and singers, plus an organ for good measure), all the more powerful for being so relaxed and unforced. It's a remarkable song that somehow manages to hold your attention for its almost 8-minute running time despite featuring only 15 words in the lyrics and a slow, grinding, repeated guitar riff.

          'Oh! Darling' is a more conventional pop song sung by a by-turns melancholic and angry Paul McCartney in a style that's a cross between '60s Motown and '70s heavy rocker. Less well-known but still a gorgeous and oddly haunting tune is 'Because', a simple song that relies on some basic lyrics (Because the wind is high/It blows my mind) - sung in a delightfully return-to-form Beatles harmony - and a Moog synthesizer. That the Moog synthesizer doesn't age the song is remarkable; that it actually gives 'Because' added depth is more-so.

          Last, but not least, are what I deem the two best songs on Abbey Road: 'Something' and 'Here Comes The Sun', both curiously from the pen (and guitar) of George Harrison, the Beatle whom Lennon and McCartney once deemed not good enough to have his songs featured on albums. 'Here Comes The Sun' is a tender and sweetly affectionate ode to life that has no doubt soundtracked countless hot family summers relaxing outside in the sunshine, but 'Something' is another thing entirely.

          A track that Presley and Sinatra admired so much that they went on to cover it, 'Something' is, put simply, one of the greatest love songs ever conceived. Whereas much on Abbey Road is musically sound but lyrically, shall we say, rather shallow, 'Something' is the complete package. This is the sound of a band working not as individuals but as a whole unit, with Starr's slow and plaintive drums backing the beautiful, contemplative guitar work and Harrison's supremely heartfelt words. Has there ever been a more undying confession of love than "Something in the way she moves/Attracts me like no other lover"? If there is, I haven't heard it. In fact, if there's one criticism of the song, it's that topsy-turvy kids' TV show theme tune 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' should begin where the far superior 'Something' ends.

          The Beatles made better albums in their career - Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour (why do reviewers always leave that one out?!) - but Abbey Road is still a better record than most bands can achieve in their entire lifetime. It's an ideal send-off, one full of positive messages and of a relaxed composure, that sounds unfeasibly cool and finally gives 'quiet Beatle' George Harrison his time to shine.

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            22.05.2010 01:09
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            Penultimate released Beatles album

            Arguably the most speculated about album The Beatles produced, Abbey Road is 'that' one with the Fab Four walking across a zebra crossing. Much is made of the cover art, whether it signifies a rift, or the order they walk across means something. There have even been speculations about things in the background, and the real Paul McCartney being dead. Interesting - to me, it's just a great music album.

            Ignoring the album cover, instantly recognisable and interesting though it is, the music inside came at a time when the band were on the verge of splitting up. Indeed, this was their last studio production together, albeit not their last released. Let It Be was the last official Beatles album, but it was recorded before this one.

            Perhaps the most noticeable thing about this album, to me, is the diversity within the musical styles. They have experimented before, keen to be a foursome and not just rely on the writing and singing scraps between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. This has led to the introduction of a number of styles from all four of the band, and here is no exception. It is heavily lead by McCartney, and he is said to have been the dominating force in the studio for the duration of this creation. Who knows if there may have been a different construction with different dominance?

            There is the usual clarity in vocal performance from the two main lead vocalists of the band, namely Lennon and McCartney, with the first track, Come Together, being Lennon-led and giving a strong start to proceedings. Lennon's advice influenced Harrison somewhat for his writing on the second track, Something, but the sound is definitely Harrison, and although it's less involving in terms of Harrison's Indian travels and sitar playing, it's a lovely tune and smooth throughout.

            In fact, smoothness is something that's a bit of a trend in this album. There is diversity, as I have mentioned before, and I'll get to that, but I find it quite surprising that the squabbles behind the scenes resulted in such a smooth album being produced. There are frantic elements and a wide range of styles, but it's all so smooth. Harrison's Something flows effortlessly into the familiar McCartney vocals and cheeky piano chords of Maxwell's Silver Hammer, itself a structurally quirky and curious piece that is in complete contrast to the melodic and consistent flow of the previous track.

            Yet it works completely, and by the time the 'rocky blues' style of Oh! Darling comes in for track four, I was hooked. Four songs in, four different types of music, but all flowing very smoothly indeed. I was impressed, and lyrically, I had been issued with a treat as well. This made the pressure on the rest of the album quite high, and I wasn't really sure that it was going to muster it in order to impress me as much as, say, Revolver had as an album of construction.

            In many ways, you could say that the seriousness of the construction of the rest of the album was thrown completely out of the window. 17 tracks is quite long for a single album, and having experienced the first few regular length tracks, I wasn't sure how to take the rest of it. However, the now famous Abbey Road Medley of songs, which encompasses the majority of the second part of the album, means that 5 or 6 tracks end up being as long as a regular 1 or 2 would be, and shortens the time a little bit. This doesn't mean I wouldn't have welcomed further Beatles magic on this album - I would have done. What it does do is add yet another element of diversity to the album.

            It's this diversity which really has me going. The smooth transition between Harrison's romantic Something and McCartney's cheeky Hammer, followed by the heavier Oh! Darling, doesn't stop there. There's a lighter and perhaps more childish element about Ringo Starr's contribution, Octopus's Garden, which many see as being the weak element of the album. However, I find it a break away from the tensions that are obvious in this, and it makes it seem as if Ringo wants to just get away from all of the crap and go live somewhere peaceful, like............an octopus's garden! Just another hint of the tensions they were feeling. Whether my insight is true or not, I guess I'll never know.

            The heavier and more morose sounds of I Want You (She's So Heavy) reminded me a bit of The Animals around the time of their House of the Rising Sun release. There is a darkness and a power, mainly in the instrumental element, that stands out from the rest of the album in this sense, and is quite provocative, and in complete contrast to the light hearted and fun Here Comes The Sun which follows it. The same thing happens later on when You Never Give Me Money develops a heavier end and then continues on into Sun King, which is much lighter and airy. There is contrast in their inconsistency!!!

            The medley features a number of tracks towards the end of the album, and while it's all enjoyable music, there didn't seem to be much of a point to the inclusion, and the lyrics were a bit confusing and seemed to make no sense in a collaborative way. Titles such as Mean Mr Mustard and Polythene Pam don't really give any clues, but there seems to be a bit of a clue with She Came In Through The Bathroom Window as to what she is up to. It finishes with Carry That Weight, a powerfully sung track that leads to the aptly named final track The End. This was the last studio album recorded by the Beatles, and for their last track to be named The End was either a preternaturally well timed choice, or a deliberate one based on what they knew what would happen. Musically, it's reminiscent of Sgt Pepper, with its rising guitar sounds and almost introductory sound (seems weird for a final track to feel this, doesn't it?!).

            In a typical twist, the construction takes a bit more of an inconsistent turn with the 'hidden' track number 17, entitled Her Majesty, which was originally sandwiched elsewhere in the medley. Now at the end of the album, it's a smooth acoustic sound from McCartney, very short and sweet, and again, almost pointless in its lyrics and placement, that I can see. All in all, I finished it feeling confused, but also with the notion that there was something completely brilliant about it all that just worked. Abbey Road may have been their last group work and penultimate release, but what I noticed was the initial gruel and grit and raw talent they always had, and it came through in the music, showing that they hadn't been moulded by the industry, and in fact it was more of a vice versa role - they had been the ones doing the shaping!

            I notice elements in some of the music here that I spotted elsewhere, too. There were a lot of moments where the tunes sounded exactly like McCartney's Wings songs, and progression from Lennon is there, too. His Imagine album featured a lot of cold and harsh lyrics that seemed to want to lash out, and there's an element of it in here, too, that came out, despite the album being McCartney dominated.

            Abbey Road is brilliant stuff, there's no denying it. There are elements, such as the Medley, where I was more confused than anything else, but the knowledge that the quirkiness and experimentation were there right until the end do mean that the power of the Beatles' music will not diminish for a long time yet. I find this a great album to play from start to finish without having any random flicking, and this is the sign of good construction. Completely diverse, and it shouldn't work in this order, but for some reason it does, and I'm well impressed. Not their best album, and there were some moments I wasn't a great fan of, but still a great album I recommend having.

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            • More +
              21.04.2010 17:41
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              One of the greatest albums of any era

              This is one of the most iconic of the beatles albums, with the four guys crossing the pelican crossing on Abbey Road, the album cover is iconic.

              The album has some of the Beatles greatest songs and allows all four members to contribute, it is widely accepted that by this time the band weren't functioning, so we do have segments which are clearly influenced by John and those by Paul and they don't meet perfectly.

              The album is top heavy with an exceptional first half and then it gradually weakens but it is a 5 out of 5 album as it has some absolutely world class songs on it.

              For me the best songs on this album are those by John and George, but the thing that ironically stands out is how tight the bands melodies are. Produced by George Martin, this is a stand out album full of invention, verve and a style which still sounds vital today.



              Come Together - From the opening bar this song is heavy and an absolute classic, heavy bass, fantastic distorted Lennon vocal this led the band in a more mature direction and you can hear its influences on Lennon's later works as well as that of Wings. The song is superb, the lyrics are a mix of genius and ridiculousness but they are fun, the thing here is the tune which bangs out and would still put bands like Kasabian in their place (in the nicest possible way as they are a good band). This song is one of the Beatles greatest tunes and at just over 4 minutes it doesn't outstay its welcome either.

              Something - Track 2 and another fantastic Beatles song which is up their with their greatest, with George Harrison on vocals this is a beautiful love song, fantastic harmonies, beautiful vocals and a really great backing track, I love this song, it is soft, gentle and utterly beguiling. It is a lovely contrast to Come Together but really shows the variety in this majestic band.

              Maxwell's Silver Hammer - This is a silly song, its fun, utterly catchy with a great chorus and the kind of lyrical story which was popular at this time, it is a funny story but has a sinister edge as Maxwell keeps hitting people on the head with his silver hammer, it's a light hearted, comedic song about a serial killer, which is weird as you could play this to your kids but its got an incredibly weird, scary edge, with creepy carnival music occasionally heard in the background. So far this album has had three utterly different songs, if the next song were a bhangra based drum and bass track from the sixties I wouldn't be shocked at all. Paul takes vocals here.

              Oh! Darling - This is kind of a throwback song to the old beatles, its rock and roll with harmonies, its gentle and doesn't rock your world but its good enough with lovely melodies and a strange guitar which is well ahead of its time.

              Octopus's Garden - Country and Western from the boys here with Ringo getting a go on vocals singing about visiting an Octupus's garden, this is a nice song with good chorus, nice use of piano and guitar and as always Ringo does add something to the album. This is a silly song, but in form and substance is still pretty brilliant. The experimentation on this song is light years ahead of most of the era's music and I can hear elements of Supergrass in this song.

              I want you (She's so Heavy) - Another awesome tune with majestic bass and guitars, this is moody and steps away from the bands usual melodies for a smokey, moody number with Paul growling about wanting somebody over cool organs, drums and bass. This is a wicked tune which just maintains the utterly contemporary feel of the album and its eclectic nature.

              Here comes the sun - Another classic song, this is gorgeous, it has a light edge, George Harrison sings again and it is a beautiful optimistic tune which always makes me happy. The lyrics are beautiful, the arrangement stunning and again the album just keeps twisting and turning.

              Because - Apparently the moog sound on this song was inspired by Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata' being played backwards, we then add in amazing vocal melodies by the boys, this is a weird song which builds and is so complex you have to really concentrate to appreciate it fully, in some senses the layers remind me of the Beach Boys, but this is utterly Beatles-Esque and not comparable in anything other than the clever melodies.

              You never give me your money - A slower tune apparently based on a contract dispute with Apple, this is a soft, gentle kick in the balls for the record company, it is cutting but the melody and chorus are so even tempered you don't notice until you listen to it twice. The song goes off into something weird with a faster pace and it's a nice ragtime tune.

              Sun King - The tune for this is really well known, its so relaxing with the guitars and a nice shifting cymbal, it is easy listening at its finest with 90 seconds of gentle chorus and instrumental, its not one of the best songs on the album but provides a nice interlude with some cool organs.

              Mean Mr Mustard - This is another odd song, I think its John singing this as it doesn't sound like him, the song meanders with lots of musical styles and some good drums from Ringo but is mid album filler again (But then filler for the Beatles is greatest hits for most other bands!!!!)

              Polythene Pam - Love Lennon's proper scouse accent on this one, slagging off Polythene Pam, the lads enjoy getting back to their roots. It's a jokey song with some great guitars but isn't memorable.

              She came in through the bathroom window - This segues in nicely from the last song and Paul takes over vocals, there are some lovely vocal harmonies on this but its not a great song by any means. Although the chorus is very catchy and sticks in your head.

              Golden Slumbers - Another track from Paul, this has the feel of a musical theatre number, the arrangement is nice, but it sounds more suited to something else. The song is nice enough, it's a sweet gentle song which Paul absolutely roars through, showcasing his vocal skills.

              Carry That Weight - A nice chorus as this song segues in from the last, it's a decent enough song that builds in pace, I like this a lot, it's a nice gentle song which is quite memorable.

              The End - This reminds me of the Muppets for some reason, the guys have a good old jam, with strange vocals and lots of freestyling but it finishes off a disappointing second half of the album in some style.



              The album is available on Amazon.com for £7.99.

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                24.03.2010 20:31
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                A must buy for music fans.

                After the difficult sessions in recording the White Album and Let It Be, The Beatles recorded Abbey Road as their last studio album. The 17 track album includes well renowned Beatles hits such as George Harrison's 'Something', which Frank Sinatra actually labelled the greatest Lennon-McCartney composition, 'Here Comes The Sun', another classic from Harrison and the beautiful 27 second long track 'Her Majesty', which is McCartney's tribute to the Queen of England. 'Her Majesty' is actually a hidden track on the album, coming after 'The End' a track signalling exactly that of the illustrious career for this legendary band.
                The album culminates in a medley consisting of several tracks that cleverly blend together, creating an interesting addition to standard album layout.

                Any review on this album can surely not fail mention the legendary album front, showing the group crossing Abbey Road. It has been replicated many times and is just another one of the memorable covers from Beatles' albums.

                As a studious listener and fan of The Beatles, I enjoy listening to anything made by them and rate Abbey Road among the best albums made during a wonderful period for rock and roll music. In conclusion, Abbey Road is a must for any music fan's collection.

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                22.03.2010 11:11
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                One for the fans!

                It is said by many that in the 60`s you were either an Elvis fan or a Beatles fan but the two never mixed and this is simply not true and I am living evidence of that, as a huge fan of Elvis I also had a lot of time for the Beatles music and could appreciate how good they were.

                Having said that, I also have to say that had I been given an ultimatum and I could only listen to one or the other ever again then I would have dropped the Beatles like a hot potato but never the less they were an excellent band that produced a lot of excellent music.

                The Abbey road album that the Beatles done is seen by many to be one of their most iconic but musically it is certainly not their best, the Beatles were changing their image and their music and not for the better most would have to say.

                This album lacked the enthusiasm of many of their earlier releases and some of the tracks on it were very flat and this could rarely be something the Beatles were accused of, flat music and the Beatles just didn't mix but suddenly it seemed they did.

                Of course all that being said this is a classic album and no fan of the Beatles would be without it, everything from the famous cover picture of the Beatles crossing over a zebra crossing to the music inside is seen to be an insight into the Beatles true being and the music they delivered.

                Tracks such as "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and "Octopus's Garden" could have easily come from the same era as Yellow submarine and strawberry fields but again the feeling and enthusiasm seems to have gone here and they are more like weaker copies of great ideas than great ideas themselves.

                There are a couple of very, very good tracks on here such as "Here Comes The Sun" and "Come Together" but not enough to make it a musically brilliant album, there is something about the album and the way the tracks are laid out that makes it one of those albums very special to the fans but if you gave this to someone that had never heard a Beatles track in their life they would certainly wonder what all the fuss was about.

                As I say fans need to own this as it is an iconic album of the Beatles time together and where their music led them but non fans would probably take little or no interest in this whereas they would be happy to listen to other Beatles albums that for me better portray what the Beatles and their music was really all about.

                TRACK LISTING:

                1. Come Together
                2. Something
                3. Maxwell's Silver Hammer
                4. Oh Darling
                5. Octopus's Garden
                6. I Want You (She's So Heavy)
                7. Here Comes The Sun
                8. Because
                9. You Never Give Me Your Money
                10. Sun King
                11. Mean Mr Mustard
                12. Polythene Pam
                13. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
                14. Golden Slumbers
                15. Carry That Weight
                16. End, The
                17. Her Majesty

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                  09.01.2010 05:06
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                  A work of genius

                  Abbey Road - The Beatles

                  I had this albom on vinyl but got it again as a CD for Christmas. Abbey Road was the Beatles last album together and is one of my very favourites.

                  I still love the artwork on the front cover of the fab four on the zebra crossing outside the Abbey Road studios in North London it has become so iconic. I must say that the artwork works better on the vinyl LP though because of the size of the sleeve.

                  What really is more important than the artwork are the songs. Unlike earlier albums it is much easier to tell who wrote what on Abbey Road as the writing styles of Paul, John and George had really solidified by 1969.

                  Paul is all about little stories pretty melodies and cleverly joing tracks together into a long seemless piece. You can hear Paul's influence most strongly on what was the middle and end side 2 of the vinyl album. On my new cd this equates to tracks 11 through 16. Mean Mr Mustard to The End and then after a long silent gap the joky jibe at the Queen called Her Majesty.

                  John's writing is really acidic and biting with his old rock and roll roots melding with new avante garde arts influences thanks to his new girlfriend Yoko. Despite John's outstanding work I've still never met anyone who is fond of Yoko -me included.

                  The tracks Come Together and I Want You She's So Heavy in particular really highlight this clashing of stlyes and concepts in John's writing. Both are phenominally good.

                  George is the suddenly uncovered diamond of the Abbey Road album though. Here Comes The Sun is impossible to stop whistling if you hear it even once during the day. It is such a good song and catch guitar part.

                  My favourte George song on the album is Something. The Bealtes all shine on this with their individual musical contributions to George's track. George's guitar solo is particularly stunning.

                  Ringo also makes an appearence on Octopus's Garden garden which is a catch children's song. I don't know if he wrote it though. I suspect Paul and John did that. I could go check the CD's liner notes but it is really cold upstairs so I'm staying put and guessing instead!

                  Overall this is a brilliant Beatle's album. Stranger than some, but better than or at least equal to their very best other Albums. When I hear Abbey Road itbreaks my heart that the Beatles ever split! What other classic albums have we missed because of that break up? We can but wonder.

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                  13.08.2009 21:37

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                  The most beautiful and carefree sound the Beatles ever committed to tape.

                  Seeing as the 40 year anniversary of the record has just passed, the time seems fit for a reappraisal of the Beatles' swansong, Abbey Road.
                  Released in 1969, Abbey Road was actually the last album by the band, and as such one can choose to read its contents accordingly. For instance, the long medley that dominates the second half the record, where small vignettes flow into a coherent whole, or the Beatles first use of synthesisers on songs such as Because have been held up by fans as possible indicators of where the band woud've gone next had they not broke up. George Harrison finally coming into his own as a songwriter, contributing two songs ('Something' and 'Here Comes the Sun') that could stand proudly among the offerings from Lennon and McCartney makes the record possibly their most consistent.
                  Put simply, this is perhaps the Beatles most beautiful album. To these ears, their most summery and soulful sound, and a prime reminder of the dominant force they were in music.

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                  25.07.2009 23:40
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                  An Album That Should Be In Every CD Collection

                  Information about the creation and the recording of Abbey Road has been well documented, with the group coming off what they saw as the failure of the Let It Be sessions. From this they decided that with the tensions within the group and the general unrest, most notably from George Harrison, they would try and create one final album that would return to some of the roots of their earlier albums, although this became somewhat subverted throughout the recording process. The story behind the cover is also well known with Paul McCartney walking barefoot and out of sync with the rest of the group, which some claim is an indication of the Paul is dead theory, but was simply Paul losing track of himself and being perhaps just not caring too much about the photo.

                  The recordings began in April 1969, making it the final album recording by the group, although Let It Be would be released later in 1970, which I am entirely thankful for. This for me makes this album all the more important in terms of the Beatles catalogue, and I would probably place it as my third favourite album, after The White Album and Revolver. The album itself is made up of two parts, the first being the more traditional separate tracks running from Come Together to Because, and then the second constituting a medley of tracks from You Never Give Me Your Money to The End, although Her Majesty does come in at the end as a bonus track. This for me makes it the more interesting listen, as the medley part helps to create a sense of unity and fluidity within the album that was perhaps for some part within Let It Be, which despite containing a lot of strong material, did feel a bit disjointed.

                  Despite there being only two George Harrison songs on the album, I feel that at this point in the Beatles reign he was becoming a stronger member of the group and his material was reaching a level of quality that some of his earlier songs lacked. This is perhaps most evident in his first solo album All Things Must Pass, which showcased some of the material that he had hanging around after the dissolution of The Beatles. The album though is dominated by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, who take writing credits on fourteen of the seventeen tracks, with the former probably most evident in the vocal department. The dominance of McCartney on the album though is perhaps a reflection of the dominance he is claimed to have tried to push in the studio, a major reason for the unrest, but if this was the case, the strength of the material is not affected. In fact I feel that this separation within the group helped to make it the album it became, perhaps in a similar vein to The White Album, where tensions were also high.

                  1. Come Together *****

                  This for me is the best Lennon piece on the album, encompassing a great piece of production that creates a very sinister tone to the song, which although perhaps in contrast to the rest of the album is a great opening track. The lyrics a suitable obscure with lines that perhaps don't make sense when listening closely, but make up for that in sheer suggestion and creativity. The song has a number of builds and falls that make for quite a dynamic track that still remains quite low key and understated, with some great Lennon vocals that fit the lyrics and backing perfectly. The little 'shoot me' bits chucked in around the song can be heard more clearly on the Anthology release, which I would equally suggest for anyone with even a passing interest in the album.

                  2. Something *****

                  This is a great Harrison track that features, as with most of his songs of the Beatles era, a nice little guitar line and bass part that for me makes the song. The lyrics are some of his best, and the quiet nature of the song fits in well with the previous track and really does help to differentiate the first half of the album with the second. But for me the best version of this song has to be the Anthology version, which features Harrison alone with his guitar, which for me is how this song should be played, especially the main lift in the track which is done to perfection on there.

                  3. Maxwell's Silver Hammer ****

                  This is a fun little track that although not to the standard of the previous tracks in terms of lyrics and power, does stick in your mind. The song features a jaunty rhythm and backing that is dominated by a piano/keyboard part and recurring drum and symbol beat. The hammer sounds during the chorus though for me detract from the track and make it slightly too over the top, but the Anthology version (something I will probably return to many times) does not include this, which for me is to its benefit.

                  4. Oh! Darling ****

                  This is a moderate track and coupled with the next track makes for a slightly weaker patch, as this song does feel too repetitive. The dynamics of the song though are good, and although some of you may think that I am coming to this too often, the Anthology version, a more rough and ready version that falls into disarray is a better listen, with greater variety.

                  5. Octopus's Garden ****

                  As with most Ringo tracks, Don't Pass Me By not included, this is the weakest piece on the album, making for a dull overly silly piece that doesn't even come within a mile of the better tracks on the album. It has its moments, with some nice guitar work, but the lyrics it can never really achieve much more.

                  6. I Want You (She's So Heavy) *****

                  This is a track that many will simply skip, but for me this 7.47 near epic track is a classic, consisting of only three lines, its simplicity is its gift. This in truth is more of an instrumental track dominated by the guitar, which in the end leads to an abrupt end when Lennon decided that the track had gone on long enough. The instrumentation at first seems incessant, changes as they switch to the She's So Heavy part, something that continues throughout and means that no momentum is lost and the song retains its hold on you.

                  7. Here Comes The Sun *****

                  This is such a great track and another Harrison classic, with a very light backing and quite happy vocal and lyrics. This feels so fresh even today, and this helps it to slide into this album with ease and still manage to shine. Compared to the previous track, this seems miles apart in terms of style and it is, but both hold their positives, with this sitting not quite as a ballad, as it retains a certain degree of obscurity in the movement of the track and instrumentation, which contains the unusual parts that make a lot of Harrison tracks.

                  8. Because ****

                  I have never really liked this track and it is the one that probably lead to many seeing this as over-produced as it feels to fake and lifeless, taking away some of the magic that makes many Beatles tracks and simply looking at odd ways of presenting a lyric. The lyrics themselves are nice enough but don't really rank up there, and perhaps if they did it would improve the track. But then this does really mark the end of the singular tracks and it does act quite well as a transition, as it is very haunting and quiet, but not much else.

                  9. You Never Give Me Your Money *****

                  This is the beginning of what is often called the Abbey Road Medley, which runs from tracks nine to sixteen. This track is great with some really nice changes and dynamics going from a slower vocal piece to a slightly more powerful narrative part and back again. This marks the beginning of what I see as the second half of the album and it is a great one to boot.

                  10. Sun King *****

                  This is a slight reflection of Here Comes The Sun and holds a few similarities to it, but as a track in its own right it is a nice easy going piece with some more quite vocals and slightly haunting lyrics. In some ways I feel this track sums up what this album is about, a more laid back affair that is simply The Beatles making a great album.

                  11. Mean Mr Mustard ****

                  This is the beginning of a more obvious medley that has some nice jaunty backing and slightly surreal narrative lyrics about the eponymous character of the song title. In terms of progression the lyrics help to move into the next song with the mention of his sister Pam, but as seen in the Anthology, this was not always the case.

                  12. Polythene Pam *****

                  This is a more rock based number that follows straight on from the previous track and does continue in a similar fashion to the lyrics of the previous track. This is a great central track in the middle of this trio of songs that flows near perfectly together.

                  13. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window *****

                  At the business end of this medley within a medley, we have this great track that contains some nice lyrics that although not entirely logical and continuous, do make for a nice track and my favourite of the trio. The Anthology version though I feel is even better, although it is more of a single track in its own right and wouldn't have slide so easily at the end of the medley, as the arrangement changed so much.

                  14. Golden Slumbers *****

                  This is the beginning of another trio of tracks that really spill into one. This though is more of an introduction and has some great vocal work by McCartney to help to build you up and prepare you for the finale, which at the time was thought to be the last that would be heard of the Beatles in terms of studio material.

                  15. Carry That Weight *****

                  This flows from the next track with a nice drum beat and really builds on the last track by introducing more of an epic feeling song with harmonics and orchestral parts along with a nice guitar part that is really indicative of the rest of the album. Although not on the same lines as Hey Jude, this is close in terms of the structure of the final part of the song.

                  16. The End *****

                  For me although this fits in well with the rest of the album and features some really nice guitar and drum work, it is not really indicative of the rest of the band's work and makes for a slightly strange assumed end to The Beatles. This is a really good strong end to a strong album though, and considering what is seen on the Anthology release, this track improved immensely and the last few lines which many see as the overriding message of the Beatles, I won't spoil it, does actually making for quite a good finish.

                  17. Her Majesty ****

                  This is a 'hidden' track that was simply a song that was meant for the Mean Mr Mustard to She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, but was found not to suit the piece particularly well. But one of the engineers quite liked the track so he kept it and put it onto the end of the reel for the album and this was the result. It begins with the symbol from Mean Mr Mustard and is simply Paul with his acoustic guitar singing a silly little track about the Queen.

                  Overall then, this is a great album that should be right up there with everyone's favourite Beatles album as it is one of their best and for me better than the slightly overrated Sgt Pepper's, which although is a great album does not really sit at the peak of the Beatles catalogue. If you want to bolster a Beatles collection then look no further, and for those that want to start one, this would not be my first recommendation, but it wouldn't be a bad one either.

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                    25.06.2009 15:01
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                    Best Beatles Album? Probably -Best Album Ever Full Stop; Could Be!!

                    My review of Abbey Road - by The Beatles
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                    INTRODUCTION
                    This is the final Album made by the Beatles (though Let It Be, recorded before Abbey Road was released after it).
                    FEATURES, INFO, PROS & CONS
                    Named after the legendary recording studio; Abbey Road - the Beatles album, marked for many the high point in their career, and is arguably the finest music album, ever, by anyone!!

                    Containing a magical wealth of ideas - it's also possible to feel the band splitting into their separate favourite genres, ready for their soon to start solo careers.

                    Lennon's offerings a very raw and rock n roll based, tinged with his usual depth of vision; Carry This Weight, Polythene Pam (allegedly about a Liverpool prostitute), and the stunning Because (inspired when John began playing the chords of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata backwards).

                    Paul and his wonderful, whimsical tales are very much in evidence too; Maxwell's Silver Hammer (a happy go lucky tale about an imaginary serial killer!), plus digs at the bands management with 'You Never Give Me Your Money' (supposedly a side swipe at the trouble Paul was having at the time getting paid his money from the band).

                    George is at the top of his song writing powers here, with the unbelievably good; Here Comes The Sun and Something (John said George's tracks were his favourite on the album).

                    Ringo does some excellent drumming too (much joked about for his playing -this album is was perhaps Ringo's deliberate attempt to show his musical credibility while giving an erm...two fingered salute to his critics -lol!!). The End -especially showcases Ringo's drumming skills.

                    Here's the track list;
                    1. Come Together
                    2. Something
                    3. Maxwell's Silver Hammer
                    4. Oh Darling
                    5. Octopus's Garden
                    6. I Want You (She's So Heavy)
                    7. Here Comes The Sun
                    8. Because
                    9. You Never Give Me Your Money
                    10. Sun King
                    11. Mean Mr Mustard
                    12. Polythene Pam
                    13. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
                    14. Golden Slumbers
                    15. Carry That Weight
                    16. End, The
                    17. Her Majesty

                    CONLUSION (IN MY OPINION)
                    This is a must have album - make no mistake, generations of musicians, producers and song writers did and still do come back to this album as the holy grail of how to 'do' pop music. It spawned a million copies but no equals.

                    You'll probably never hear a better album.
                    Hope you found my review of some help, and good luck with your bargain hunting!!

                    Best wishes,
                    Brett

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                      27.05.2009 02:46
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                      Amazing album with barely a filler in sight

                      The last album recorded by the Fab Four - & one of their best it certainly is. Paul McCartney is the catalyst here, providing much of the material, & adding depth with impressive production ('Maxwell's Silver Hammer'), classic ballads (You Never Give Me Your Money') & the epic medley that took up the entire 2nd side of the original vinyl release.

                      The album only came to pass after McCartney attempted to coax the other Beatles into one final album, to go out with a bang, rather than with the messy sessions for the ill fated Let It Be film release. George Martin agreed to be involved, but only if the album was recorded as their earlier albums has been - together, as opposed to the fragmented sessions that had begun with the White Album.

                      The result is a stunning collection which also features some of George Harrison's finest moments ('Something', 'Here Comes the Sun'), but very little from Lennon, besides opener 'Come Together'.

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                        03.04.2009 19:13
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                        A classic album, a MUST have.

                        A band who needs no introduction.... The Beatles! The four liverpool lads went back into the studio for their final album in 1969, Rolling Stone's 14th Greatest Album Of All Time. Lets see what all the fuss is about shall we?
                        The album begins with the sure-footed Come Together. Undeniably foot tapping bluesy number. Feeling a bit restrained at first the boys finally relent and we hear all manner of guitar, drums, bass and even organ. The nonsensical lyrics are so blatantly of Lennon's concoction. Its a brilliant opener that I can't fault.
                        Something is Harrison's ballad, completed with organ and and flangey guitar. It feels like the 70s already! The real cherry on top is Harrison's majestic guitar solo, Harrison is a great guitar player and makes it full well known here.
                        Maxwell's Silver Hammer does not include Lennon as he refused to play on it as it was 'Paul's granny music'. Right John....
                        Oh Darling is a personal highlight, the 3/4 waltz number is only interupted by the screaming chorus which acts as a brilliant clash of genres and demonstrates Paul's brill voice!
                        I Want You is trippy psychadelic rock of Lennon's creation, notice the abrupt ending which was caused by John's refusal to play any longer. As you can see he was becoming quite a diva...
                        I love the Mean Mr Mustard collection of songs which see three songs leading into one another: Mean Mr Mustard, Polythene Pam and She Came In Through the Bathroom Window. Really fun and adept songs. I love the scouse accents on Polythene Pam. Its astounding how tight a unit The Beatles appear on this album whereas behind the scenes they were falling apart.
                        This album is truly a masterpiece and deserves every accolade it achieves. The world will never see anything like The Beatles again so we'd best make best use of what we've got! The musicianship is impressive yet restrained and tasteful and songwriting is on top form, it's really a shame that they all went on to do frankly, worse things. Some worse than others though it has to be said (Ringo stick to playing drums).

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                          09.02.2009 12:00

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                          Simply, one of the greatest albums EVER

                          Amid all of the stories of the group breaking up, with personal relationships completely breaking down, somehow The Beatles managed to conjure up one more great album before they called it a day (Let it Be falls slightly short of great)

                          This is the most complete set of songs since Revolver, stripping the songs back down to their basic structure (Come Together) without all the technical trimmings of Sgt Pepper and the White Album. Harrison really comes into his own here with two of the standout tracks (Something, Here Comes the Sun) showing just what a valuable cog in the Beatles machine he really was. THe first half of the album is potential single after another, before it splits into an extended medley over the course of its second half. The album reaches its highlight with the perfect 'Golden Slumbers'(The best 90 seconds in Pop history?) and the way it leads into the boisterous Carry That Weight.

                          This was as good as it got for the Beatles, and for everybody else - One of the greatest albums of all time

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                          04.09.2008 00:25
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                          You don't have to like it just because it's by The Beatles.

                          I doubt that my review of this album is going to make me popular, but here goes. This is an OKAY album, but by no means flawless. There is an overwhelming tendency to view everything The Beatles did with rose tinted glasses, as if they could do no wrong, and whilst the high points of this album (come together, I want you she's so heavy, here come the sun, etc) are worthy of note as great pop tunes, there is also music here that would be universally derided if it came from any other band. I'm talking about 'maxwell's silver hammer' and 'octopuses garden', mainly.

                          Are these two songs inherently BAD? I'll answer that with another question. Compared to what?- well, no, they aren't bad when compared to the output of Macca's brother's band- The Scaffold (remember lily the pink?), or The Wombles, but as critics darlings, The Beatles shouldn't really be compared to such acts- their music should be standing up against Tim Buckley, The Beach Boys, Nick Drake- all of whom made albums of stunning emotional depth, with gorgeous lyrics, melodies and arrangements in the same year, whilst The Beatles saw fit to grace their final album (let it be had already been recorded, but not yet released) with these childrens songs with simple melodies, trite lyrics, and dumb arrangements (note Ringo hitting the anvil in 'the hammer', just in case you hadn't noticed the song is about a hammer ;)

                          I know it seems harsh to say so- but no one else has achieved such fame making this type of music, and if these songs appeared on an album by a new band- they would be laughed out of town! So why should The Beatles be allowed to get away with it?

                          This album also suffers from a 'medley' that consists of several half written songs edited together. Now, much as I have fond memories of 'mean mr mustard' from my childhood, compared to genuinely great music made by their aforementioned peers at the time, this doesn't stand up, and doesn't have a place on a highly regarded album by what is supposed to be the greatest band of all time.

                          As I said at the start- this album has it's moments, but it's 50% of a good record, and the remainder is just filler...the sound of a group running out of steam. A strange alternation between smug, throwaway numbers, and the immense pomposity required to turn several half finished, and not particularly good songs, into some sort of 'suite'.

                          I implore you to use your ears, and don't listen to the received wisdom that graces everything The Beatles did with an unquestionable, untouchable aura!

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                        • Product Details

                          Disc #1 Tracklisting
                          1 Come Together
                          2 Something
                          3 Maxwell's Silver Hammer
                          4 Oh Darling
                          5 Octopus's Garden
                          6 I Want You (She's So Heavy)
                          7 Here Comes The Sun
                          8 Because
                          9 You Never Give Me Your Money
                          10 Sun King
                          11 Mean Mr Mustard
                          12 Polythene Pam
                          13 She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
                          14 Golden Slumbers
                          15 Carry That Weight
                          16 End Her Majesty