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Author Topic: Abbey Road  (Read 1303 times)

Mervap

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Abbey Road
« on: March 21, 2013, 09:09:50 AM »

Released September 26, 1969.
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Mervap

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Re: Abbey Road
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013, 09:10:23 AM »


Sadly, "Abbey Road" was the last album the Beatles would ever make...but if you're going out, this is a blueprint for how it's done.

The Lads dropped or submerged all the rancor that had crippled the "Get Back" project and got down to the business of making a 'studio' album again, something at which they had no peer. The result is a snapshot not just of its time, but of just how far the Boys had come musically in just the 6 or so years since "Please Please Me". Playing those two albums back to back is just astonishing. The musicianship and songwriting have gone lightyears ahead, as has the studiocraft.
What about the tunes? "Abbey Road" finally puts a spotlight on the emerging songwriting talents of George Harrison, who contributes two of his finest songs ever, "Something" and"Here Comes the Sun". Frank Sinatra called "Something", "the greatest love song of the 20th century"...and he also said that it was his favorite 'Lennon & McCartney' song. Duh!
Lennon ponies up with "Come Together" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy) on side one, and the lovely "Because" on side two...and a couple of character shots during the medley. "Because" features, in my opinion, the finest harmonies on any Beatles record.
Macca has a typically wide variety of tunes here, including the song "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"...most Beatles fans are split on this song...I think it's a fun throwaway, not that that's a bad thing...the real 'meat & taters' for Paul on this album is the side two medley, or as he & George Martin called it, 'the Big One". Starting with "You Never Give Me Your Money", and with the exception of "Sun King", Polythene Pam" and "Mean Mr. Mustard", all of the rest of the medley is Macca's...is it pompous to say that this medley is the finest piece of recorded rock-n-roll music ever? Maybe, but it's certainly not a stretch either. It's as close to a rock-n-roll symphony as you could find anywhere, and that's a good thing.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 09:08:54 AM by Mervap »
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2 of 3

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Re: Abbey Road
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2013, 02:12:05 PM »

Yup...great album. Take out Maxwell and Octopus and replace them with Maybe I'm Amazed and It Don't come Easy and you have the best album ever....ever!
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Greg

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Re: Abbey Road
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2013, 08:31:16 AM »

"...is it pompous to say that this medley is the finest piece of recorded rock-n-roll music ever?"

I'd never considered that thought.  That's a cool point.  I would just state it exactly as you put it...in the form of a question.  The dilemma is trying to name a song where someone goes, "Oh yeah, that song is better than the medley on Side 2 of Abbey Road."  Ha! 
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chris

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Re: Abbey Road
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 08:10:35 PM »

this was the first album that I really...really connected with. I was astonished at the medley...how perfect. still my favorite piece of music of any kind...ever.
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kylenz

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Re: Abbey Road
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2013, 07:50:20 AM »

Yup...great album. Take out Maxwell and Octopus and replace them with Maybe I'm Amazed and It Don't come Easy and you have the best album ever....ever!

Haha! I guess it's easy to knock those tracks, but hey it's all part of what Abbey Road is!

And I quite like Maxwell's Silver Hammer. I like how it has an innocent melody to it, yet the lyrics are daffingly sinister!
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Keri

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Re: Abbey Road
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2013, 02:19:42 AM »

Am I the only person here who thinks this album is over rated?

Maxwell is twisted in an odd way, that just doesn't work for me. Whereas Yellow Submarine was a great joyful novelty song, this one is a scary mixup.

I Want You - Great experimental track? Not for me, noise, repetition and naked need are not the perfect recipe for a great song and it goes on way too long. It mars the album.

George created two of his best songs for this album and they're head and shoulders above any of John or Paul's songs. Something is gorgeously beautiful and Here Comes the Sun is perfectly made and with Real heart.

Come together has a great vibe to it, Lyrically it revisits I am the Walrus territory, but in a kind of throw away manner. I like it though, Ringo's drumming is fantastic.

Oh Darling is quite nice, but seems a bit out of place.

I do love the side two suite, the Beatles take a whole lot of half finished reject songs and mould them together into something that is thoroughly engaging. There is something almost alchemical in what the Beatles achieved here, taking base metal and turning it into gold, well almost.

I quite like Octopus it is a charming Ringoism.

For me this album doesn't represent the Beatles at their creative best, John & Paul's writing just isn't on form here. I place it way below the wonderful mid period works Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Pepper. I also don't find it as vital as White Album and it lacks the charm and energy of their earlier works although I prefer it to many of those. It doesn't feel quite so down as Let it Be, I have mixed feelings about Magical mystery Tour too.

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2 of 3

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Re: Abbey Road
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2013, 09:32:03 PM »

I guess it depends on who is doing the ratings :)

I like the album just fine...though, I have a song or two I would change also. The thing about Abbey Road though, to me, is the sound of the album. The production makes it sound like no other Beatle album...and that's a good thing in my book. :)


Good to see you back by the way. :)
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Mervap

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Re: Abbey Road
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2013, 07:17:50 AM »

I think it was in Geoff Emerick's book where he recounted that, just prior to the Lads recording "Abbey Road", the EMI Studios had installed a new recording desk that was solid state rather than valve-type. He said that was the main reason for the overall sound on "Abbey Road" being softer and more rounded. He also said that Ringo, in particular, was dismayed by his drums lacking their former 'punch'.
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kylenz

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Re: Abbey Road
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2013, 08:16:34 PM »

It's interesting reading a different opinion on Abbey Road. It's certainly different to anything The Beatles had done previously. Paul doesn't have his 'obvious hit singles', but instead dedicates his composing focus to the medley on side 2. John with 'Come Together' is a strong single contribution, but it is the one Beatle album where both John & Paul's work is overshadowed by George. Somehow he pulled out a couple of massive rabbits from his hat in 'Something' and 'Here Comes The Sun'. 

Even in 2013, Abbey Road still has amazing production to my ears. It sounds like it was recorded in the 1970s, it even has synthesizers on it! The orchestral arrangements are superb. Sure, Ringo's drums are a tad softer, but they have more reverb and a bit more 'body' to them. Prior to Abbey Road, the drums had that 60s 'clunk' sound, and here they sound more living and breathing. Overall there's far more dynamic range to them. The benefits of recording on 8-track rather than the old 4-track machines and bouncing every instrument down to 1 compressed track.
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Re: Abbey Road
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2013, 05:04:45 PM »

I've been listening to isolated tracks of Abbey Road in Youtube....vocals...guitars..etc etc....it's breathtaking. Is it possible that The Beatles are actually UNDER rated? It's crazy to think about really. The BEST are under rated. Wow!  8)
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Keri

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Re: Abbey Road
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2013, 04:01:07 AM »

I agree that Abbey Road has a great production. Hardly surprising that it is George Martin's favourite. Possibly we could see it as the great bonus Beatles album, after things had fallen apart they managed to pull themselves together enough to make one last strong album. We should be thankful for that.

As I say I don't think John and Paul's song writing is at their best, although as previously stated George really shines. But that side two medley makes the best use of what they had. There is no single great song in it, but some great lines and an excellent trip.

Could the Beatles be under rated? They're still usually rated as the greatest pop rock band, they may sometimes be taken for granted. They sparked our imaginations, and were on such an amazing creative roll, to me there is something almost miraculous in what they achieved.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 09:08:39 PM by Keri »
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