Classic Rock n Roll Web Site
Released - September 26, 1969, Apple Records. Produced by George Martin.
John Lennon - Lead & Backing Vocals; Rhythm Guitars, Lead
Guitar Solo, 12 String Acoustic; Organ; Percussion
Additional Personnel - Billy Preston plays piano on "Something".
All songs written by Lennon & McCartney except where noted below.
Perhaps the greatest concept album ever made. It might not be my favorite Beatles album, but it gets my highest rating compared to any of their others. Other than the LP's very short and isolated and hidden track, "Her Majesty", every song on this album is great.
John Lennon's "Come Together" opens the album and you just know your ears are in for something good as soon as it starts to play. That is followed by George Harrison's "Something", a brilliant song, yet not even his best one on the album. That honor goes to the positive thinking number, "Here Comes the Sun", which might even be better than his "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". There's no better tune to listen to on a cold, late winter morning, than this one. It's the best song on the whole album. Paul McCartney also adds some dandies to Abbey Road. My favorite of his is "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", which has to be one of the most upbeat and humorous songs ever written about a mass murderer. The tune was actually started during the Let It Be sessions, in fact you can see the band 's first take of it in the Let It Be movie. Paul also adds some of his best bass playing on this album too, especially on the songs "Oh! Darling", "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "Sun King". Even Ringo Star's "Octopus's Garden", another song started during the Let It Be sessions, isn't bad, even if it does remind you a bit of the earlier tune "Yellow Submarine".
When Abbey Road was released, "Her Majesty" was a hidden track and not shown anywhere on the album's sleeve, with the LP being listed as having 16, and not 17 songs on it. Then when the CD came out in 1987, the song was noted on the album as being "track 17", so although it's no longer a hidden track today, it officially was a true hidden track for 18 years. The story behind the song was that Paul wrote the ditty and he was the only performer on it. He intended to have it appear on the album on side 2, where the medley of short songs are, appearing between "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam". But Paul decided after he heard it that he didn't like how it sounded, and he decided not to use it on the album. He told the engineers to remove the song, and they did, but they were trained not to throw anything away that the band was recording, so it was temporary placed on the master tape 20 seconds after the last song, and it was planned to be removed and saved on another tape before the album was pressed. But when the master tape of the LP was played for the Beatles, it hadn't been removed yet, and when hearing the 24 second song in the way it showed up - 20 seconds after the close, the Beatles loved how it sounded in that way, and decided to keep it on there just like that and use it as a hidden track.
In all, Abbey Road, the last recorded album by the Beatles (Let It Be was recorded before, but released after it), just makes you wonder just where the Beatles might have gone if they hadn't broke up. They just seemed to top themselves with each new recording and after this album they would split up for good - and at the very top of their game. If you consider that no other band or artist did it better than them, it really was a blow to rock music the day they went their separate ways.
- Keno 2000
To listen to some soundclips from ABBEY ROAD or to purchase it, click on this link: Abbey Road