34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
And in the end...,
By A Customer
This review is from: Abbey Road (Audio CD)
Bob Geldof has been known to express the opinion that the brilliant segued song medley on the 2nd side of Abbey Road (from track 7 onwards on the CD version) has never been equalled or beaten by any other pop artist. That is a view which I share 100%. I love this album, apparently the Beatles' biggest selling record, and I can never tire of listening to the famous medley section - 22 minutes and 22 seconds of sheer musical brilliance. In later years, Lennon apparently dismissed the medley section as being just bits of incomplete songs cobbled together. How modest! If that really was his view, then it's a shame because it's the highlight of the album. Only the Beatles could have bowed out in such magnificent style and not once does the medley section of the album seem pretentious or ill-conceived. This was the last Beatles LP to be recorded, although the ill-fated Let It Be album was released after it. Abbey Road is a classic Beatles album, packed with quality songs (with the possible exception of Maxwell's Silver Hammer, perhaps the worst ever Beatles song). Even Ringo's Octopus's Garden is like a remake of Yellow Submarine, ie children's song with lots of silly noises. Although this LP was recorded in 1969 at the end of their remarkable career, I feel it has more in common with mid-period albums like Rubber Soul and Revolver as opposed to later works like Sgt Pepper and the White Album. Aside from the much-lauded medley, Lennon's contributions are outstanding - Come Together, I Want You (She's So Heavy), Because (the best Beatles harmonies ever? ). And as for George Harrison, his songs (Something, Here Comes The Sun) are as good as any Lennon/McCartney composition and demonstrate that his songwriting ability had come on leaps and bounds by this point. Another great (and oft-forgotten) feature of this LP's sound is the subtle use of an early Moog synth on a number of tracks. Final verdict? A brilliant classic album that's only let down by one thing - shoddy and poor quality mastering. These Beatles CDs are in dire need of upgrading - they have not been upgraded since they first appeared in 1987. To prove the point, listen to this CD on headphones then listen, again on headphones, to the more recently remastered Red & Blue CDs or even the Yellow Submarine reissue from last year. Come on EMI, do the Beatles justice and remaster the whole back catalogue.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Dec 2013 15:26:30 GMT
J. I. De Beresford says:
I absolutely love Maxwell's Silver Hammer but George and John didn't like it, so you're in good company.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jul 2015 10:07:05 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Jul 2015 10:20:24 BDT
Bob Geldof's overbearing loud mouthed opinions mean nothing to me - I can't stand him !
Lennon was spot on - side two IS largely a collection of unfinished snippets of incomplete songs mostly begun when they were in India, that to quote a line from 'Michelle' - go together well...very well indeed !
George is in fine form with his two songs whilst Lennon's Beethoven inspired 'Because' and 'Come Together' see him in top form too
His 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' is an interesting experiment on themes (influencing Pete Ham's Badfinger song 'Timeless') but perhaps goes on too long & is rather repetitive (The Beatles aren't above criticism like anyone else)
Ringo's song 'Octopus' Garden' (which an uncredited George helped him write) is another song for kids (as were 'Yellow Submarine' & 'All Together Now') and is rather average (by Beatles standards), as was Paul's 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' (with Mal Evans striking the 'anvil')
Paul's 'Oh Darling' (which clearly influenced 10cc's 'Donna' later) is a decent song but overall Paul's main contribution is as the overlord of the medley on side two where his songs mostly feature (John's medley of 'Sun King' complete with nonsense Spanish words that nevertheless sound great ! / 'Mean Mr. Mustard'/ 'Polythene Pam' all form one memorable part otherwise it's Paul very much in the driving seat but on top form - 'The End' sees all three guitarists trading solos and the much underrated percussionist Ringo given a brief but great drum solo too ! (the group going out in a blaze of glory !)
The early synth (that resembled a telephone switchboard !) - programmed by ex-Manfred Mike Vickers & George Harrison - is distinctive & effective (used sparingly and well...as it ought to be !) while the band sound relaxed, happy to be back with George Martin at their home studio one last time and free from pressures as they know this is their swansong...
makes you wonder, if they had taken a well earned break after 'The White Album' and done their own thing(s) - ('Plastic Ono Band' / 'McCartney' solo album/ 'All Things Must Pass'/ 'Sentimental Journey' etc...) instead of diving headfirst into 'Get Back'/ 'Let it Be'...then, after this album, they could have done more of their own thing and might have 'come together' around late 1971 with songs that clearly suited the band they could have gone on as 'occasional Beatles' without all the silly infighting & letting petty longtime disagreements grow out of all proportion
but that's hindsight, too many business 'issues' (and the odd interfering 'whisper in the ear' influence ?) put paid to what might have been...
as it is this not quite 100% perfect as some claim but certainly was a very strong album saw The Beatles bow out in fine style....
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