Sunday, May 07, 2006

#3 The Beatles' Abbey Road

Another surprising turn of events!

This album for a while was number one. Then it got bumped to number two for many years. Recently, The Beatles in general have just not been a listening priority in my life and so, here we are, Abbey Road moves down once again. This has nothing to do with the album. Just my personel listening habits have moved the Beatles down in some cases on these types of lists. Regardless of that, how does one rank perfection? The past few albums are, in fact, perfect. So making one higher than the other doesn't mean that this one is less perfect than the other. Times change and I feel like shaking things up a bit.

So Abbey Road. The final album of argueably the most important rock and roll band of Great Britain. A flawless gem in a discography of 13 albums (in seven years!) that stands the test of time. Everyone knows the songs on this album and most of the best Beatle moments lie on this album. From start to finish, you get an amalgamation of the sounds that the Beatles have dabbled in over there shot in the pan career that produced of 25 number one hit singles and varying sounds in pop music. For my dollar, this is the pinnacle (which is cool since they ended it on top of the world) and this album showcases the fun sounds, the dark personal sounds and the overall beauty of what the Beatles did for music.

Kicked off by Lennon's "Come Together", you get that sense a career coming together on one disc. Then the album really starts turning on. I mean, don't get me wrong, "Come Together" is great and all, but when it's followed by easily the greatest love song written in the 60's, its hard to not try and look past it! "Something" is one of those songs that can easily bring a tear to my eyes. Harrison's simplisticly honest lyrics and the beautiful music behind it adds for a romantic song that shows us that George was clearly the best Beatle (see his album All Things Must Pass for some of the best George songs that he was sitting on because he was only allowed by contract to have one song on a side of any beatles album...which sucks.) The next three songs, "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", "Oh! Darling" and "Octopus's Garden" shows the days of old with the innocent sound of the early Beatles circa 64-66. "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" shows the bad side of The Beatles with a more harder rocking feel over a sprawling 7 minutes with an ultimate noise creschendo that stops abruptly.

Flip side.

The light at the end of the dark tunnel of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" comes when "Here Comes the Sun", yet another brilliantly beautiful George song, kicks in with its pretty chord progression and optimistic feel of the dark days being over. "Because" and "You Never Give Me Your Money" set up the feeling for the last leg of the last Beatles album with interesting arrangements and structurally changing songs. The last few songs are then coupled in amazing medleys. The "Sun King" medley holds some psuedo-Sgt. Peppers/Magical Mystery Tour-esque Beatles with songs like "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam." The key to the greatness of this medley is "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" which is one of McCartney's finest moments in Beatles fame. The final and most profoundly poingant and amazing medly comes in the form of "Golden Slumbers." Starting with yet another amazing McCartney moment in "Golden Slumbers", going straight into "Carry That Weight" which reprises the sounds of "You Never Give Me Your Money" and ending with... well... "The End" where we get a Ringo drum solo and all three guitar playing beatles Dueling back and forth and ending with the famous "And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make line." You can't help but not be blown away how a final album of a band could go any more perfect.

Oh yea... and there is "Her Majesty." It's like they didn't want to give up and just end it, so they tacked on this little ditty.

You can say you aren't a Beatles fan. That is fine with me. But saying the Beatles "suck" is kind of like saying that cake sucks. They are good. You don't have to love em, but you can't deny the fact they changed music forever. Abbey Road is the Beatles. It encompasses so many of the great facets of what the Beatles were that its eerie. Ending on top was the best way to go. People debate this and The White Album alot as being the best, but this is the best Beatles album where the White Album feels more like Beatle Solo songs lumped together (which is funny since the actual name of that album is just The Beatles.) It's a beautiful album altogether. I can't deny my love.

And then there were two....... almost there. I'll be done in time for a HUGE graduaysh post.

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