on October 20, 2013
Classic Beatles - on Vinyl no less. My first, original, copy was worn out. This purchase filled the void. Nuttin like hearing the Fab Four on good ole plastic. The way it was intended. Modern day playback turntables do it more than justice. It exalts the audio to new pinnacles. Good price for a reprint. Vinyl weight a little low but just means it needs more TLC. Cheers.
on December 6, 2003
Released in 1969, Abbey Road was the final statement from a band that was collapsing from within. At this point the Beatles (especially John and Paul) were no longer friends, and the tension showed. The Fabs rehired their old producer George Martin and proceeded to release their swan song. At the time, the psychedelia of the mid-'60s was giving way to the blues-based hard rock of Led Zeppelin and later Rolling Stones and the proto-punk of bands like the Stooges and MC5. In this darker, edgier environment the Beatles' lighter and occasionally whimsical pop appeared to some passe, but their final album has aged very well.
It's clear that both Paul and John were releasing less consistent work than before, but it still stands fairly strong. Lennon's Come Together opens the album, with bizarre Dylanesque lyrics and the opening line of "Here come old flat top.." that was swiped from a Chuck Berry tune. While it's a fine song, it can't compare to Taxman, Back In The U.S.S.R, or the title track of Sgt. Pepper as a Side 1, Song 1. Maxwell's Silver Hammer is a hiliariously macabre Paul ditty that John despised. John's dedication to Yoko Ono, I Want You (She's So Heavy) is a decent song, but unfortunately drags on for far too long with its heavy, dreary arpeggios, and Because, though it features some nice vocal harmony, doesn't fare much better. However, McCartney's You Never Give Me Your Money, a sly shot at their record label, is a great way to start Side 2.
There are two things that redeem this album: Harrison's contributions and the excellent medley on Side 2. George definitely steals the show with the excellent ballad Something and the so-beautiful-it-hurts Here Comes The Sun, which will stand alongside Taxman, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and Savoy Truffle as the best material he's ever released. The Side 2 medley consists of incomplete songs, but the way they are integrated together is simply brilliant. I especially love the marching-style chant of Carry That Weight preceded by the wistful Golden Slumbers.
The End is the last song the Fabs ever recorded, and it's definitely a fine way to wrap things up. Of note is a Ringo drum solo (the only one he did with the Beatles) and the brilliant closing line "And in the end/The love you take..is equal to the love you make." Sublime. The throwaway Her Majesty humourously undercuts this with Paul strumming his acoustic for 18 seconds.
While for me this album doesn't rank on the level of either Revolver or the White Album, it certainly deserves its classic status, and is way better than Let It Be (which consisted of Spector-ized previous sessions recorded earlier and released after Abbey Road). If nothing else, Abbey Road is worth it for that timeless cover art alone.
on October 26, 2003
A lot of people think "Let it Be" was The Beatles last album, it's only because it was released in 1970, after "Abbey Road" was released. "Let it Be" was done back in 1968 I think that's the right year. I could be wrong about the year, but I know "Abbey Road" was their last album.
Anyway, I thought this album was really good. I really don't know what "Come Together" really means, it has the oddest lyrics. "Something" is the most beautiful song I ever heard. George did a fabulous job on that. "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is a catchy song as well, I like that one. I really didn't like Ringo's song ("Octopus's Garden") too much. "I Want You" is a great song, a bit long, but still great. I wish there were more lyrics to that songs instead of John repeating the same line over and over again. "Here Comes The sun" another great Harrison track. "Because" is a good song, they really harmonize well. Okay, here's the down fall. From tracks 11-17; the songs are way too short. I love the song "Polythene Pam"; why wasn't this song longer? "The End"; excellent drum solo and guitar, still too short. Plus, these tracks run into each other. I wish they could've made these tracks longer; there's nothing wrong with having a short song, but as soon as you start to get into the song; it's already on the next track. I think that's the only thing I didn't like about this album. Also, they could've left out the song "Her Majesty"; it's not even 30 seconds long, what a waste of space. Overall, this album is well done, just a few short tracks. For everybody, even if you're a not a Beatle fan, give it a try. You'll love it.
on July 19, 2003
I know a lot of die - hard Beatles fans will slam me for not giving this album a five star review, and I can understand that. I do it all the time to people who don't like Led Zeppelin or The Who. Anyway, for those who want to learn about the album, read on...
Abbey Road was recorded near the end of the Beatles as a group (I wouldn't know personally, not being at the time, but that's what they say). The whole group was kind of in disarray and everyone was working on solo albums. That doesn't make for a great start towards an album, but this is the Beatles, so no matter what it has to be better than most.
Personally, I very much enjoy the first seven or eight tracks on the album (Come Together through Here Comes the Sun). They are classic Beatles, and would make a great album on their own. Heck, I'd buy it. Anyway, it is primarily the B side of the album that I have a problem with. 'Because' and 'You Never Give Me Your Money' are just kind of, well, odd, dare I say kind of dumb. Kind of repetative and redundant. Then the rest of the songs just lead in to each other like one big song, but I don't like that bit much either. It isn't very, um, I want to say 'gripping.' It doesn't hold my interest like 'Octopus's Garden.' It is simply one of those songs that you can let your mind wander while listening, and chances are when it comes back you won't remember a bit of when it comes back.
Of course, we're talking about the Beatles, whose worst is better than 99% of everyone else's best (excluding the Who, the Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc. etc.). Therefore it would be an insult to give any of their albums any less than 4 stars out of 5. Hope this helped and Peace Out!!
on July 9, 2003
"Come Together" Contrary to what very many reviewers say, this is not a nonsense song. And it hardly should have been considered so given its melody/mood - let's get real folks! If you can't understand the lyrics here, you certainly ought to steer clear of Bob Dylan, and/or any other singer-songwriter who impels you to bask in the light of seamless and/or surreal metaphor. Lennon serially hangs attribute after attribute upon the image of a man, strange indeed, but the image gains in power and mystery with each added appendage. This image is what 'comes together' - get it? I sincerely hope so. In a way this song title outlines the plan for the album as a whole - whether or not it works depends much upon the ingenuity of the listener. Lennon was very fascinated by, and fond of these types of word/mind games. When I saw Yoko's traveling art exhibit of Lennon's works 7-8 years ago, there were several that were like lists of word riddles - exceedingly clever and thought provoking. My friend Lon and a young woman who'd ambled up were busy deciphering one set, wholly amazed, when an arrogant young man breezed by and made some trite comment about 'nonsense' or some such thing. You get the point. Some Beatles appreciators and detractors are of the plain air-headed type.
"Something". As good a love song as ever was, compares favorably to the best of former pop crusaders like Bing Crosby and Sinatra. Beautifully conceived/written, arranged, played, and sung/crooned.
"Maxwell's Silver Hammer" Another song in the guise of nonsense, but again, 'separates the men from the boys'. Come on folks, what's the real message here, and how is it so imaginatively worked out? Of what is this story a metaphor?
"Oh! Darling" OK, this one sounds like filler - even though it takes us back to the memory of certain things from the White Album, musically and lyrically it's not nearly as interesting. It's likely the Beatles were offering this in a satirical vein, otherwise the song is just breaking wind.
"Octopus's Garden" Reminiscing back to the days of "Yellow Submarine" - an excellent kids song. But the evocation of dream imagery isn't so stunning as were some of their earlier offerings, nor of the multidimensional tour de force of the Rolling Stones' 'Their Satanic Majesties Request'. Kind of lightweight.
"I Want You (She's So Heavy)" John gets heavy. Not much in the way of lyrics; the melodies are repetitious and uninventive, the transitions between its sections are uninteresting. Feel and overall sound are pretty good, but not enough to justify its existence if you ask me. And I'm not alone here*.
"Here Comes the Sun" Through both words and melody/harmony, George invokes positivity along with pathos and compassion, via the image of the sun emerging from . . . Continues in the tradition of earlier Beatle songs like "Good Day Sunshine" and "The Word". There's plentiful acreage of feeling and skillful writing/playing here.
"Because" More nature imagery - this one lends toward allowing the listener to really soar in different directions emotionally. An altogether brilliant effort, though possibly a bit too short. Beatle-Us-Interruptus.
"You Never Give Me Your Money" Back to the White Album World of "Ob-La-Di" and all points west, including destinations such as Pepper Land. Close your eyes for an instant (don't blink) and you might find yourself there.
"Sun King" Musically evocative to the nth degree, with a minimum of means to achieve it. Sort of takes you to a villa on the Italian Riviera and leaves you in place. Another short vignette, powerful nonetheless.
"Mean Mr. Mustard" Comical depiction of a villainous fellow. Almost at 'The Marriage of Figaro" in tone, though not nearly the artistry of W. A. M.
"Polythene Pam" They finally throw those "nonsense-talkers" a bone.
"She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" More (as if) photographic flashes building up an image, telling a story using the barest, quickest little verbal cues, which if you're as sharp as they, will grab you just as intended. Get it? If not, spend a few years at galleries of modern art and catch up with them and the rest of us. The images and flashes flow together as if being guided by some overriding and/or inner impulse. Don't just stand there gaping at it!
"Golden Slumbers" Oh yes . . . by the way, this is all about dreams and vision, and the deep rest that sometimes travels the same journey.
"Carry That Weight" And by the way, "she's so heavy!"
"The End": summing up, gorgeously.
"Her Majesty": stepping out.
[* But, thematically it dovetails into one of the later songs on 'side 2', and thus proves mighty essential.]
on July 25, 2002
...but not quite as good as Sgt. Pepper or The White Album, in my opinion. What drags this album down a star? Two songs in particular: Maxwell's Silver Hammer and Octopus' Garden...and while I appreciate these songs, they fall solidly into the same class of filler that I would put Yellow Submarine. I loved these songs when I was 13, but nowadays they are merely quaint and interrupt the flow of what would otherwise be a perfect CD.
"Come Together" is a classic Beatles tune, "Something" is among the best love songs of all time, and "Because" is utterly brilliant!! The production is (of course) among the best you'll find from the 60's, and the level of creativity is astonishing considering that this is a recording of a band about to die.
None of the individual Beatles did anything close to this after breaking up, with the possible exception of Harrison's "All Things Must Pass".
A very solid 4 to 4-1/2 star album by a 6-star band.
As I see it:
5-Stars: If you love The Beatles, and don't mind the two songs mentioned above.
4-Stars: If you agree with what I said above.
3-Stars: If you like the "early period" Beatles better, or if you are one of those people who "like The Rolling Stones more". You know who you are!
2-Stars: If you don't like the music your parents listened to...after all, Journey was the real supergroup!
1-Star: If you don't like the music your grandparents listened to...after all, The Backstreet Boys are the real supergroup!
on May 12, 2002
The swan song of the Beatles proved that they could rock out right to the end of their days. Now, after listening to all the Beatles albums, I have to say Revolver's the best. This one is very good. How did they do this stuff with only 4-tracks? Anyway, this has 10 songs, with 2 medleys. The normal length songs are good. Come Together is a strange opener, but it rocks. Something is a very nive ballad from Harrison. It's got that unexpected chord change. Maxwell's Silver Hammer is silly. Oh! Darling is an old doo wop song with screaming lyrics. Octopus's garden is, well, just plain strange. I Want You is the darkest tune the Beatles ever did. Here Comes The Sun is the prettiest Harrison tune yet. Nice capo use. Because has soothing harmonies. You Never Give Me Your Money is pretty cool. It's got some cool piano stuff.
Then, the medleys come in.
I don't want to waste more time, so I will just say that it's a good comibination of ballads, psychadelic, punk, glam rock, and jamming. It's like a symphony, in a way. And then there's Her Majesty. Yea!
Well, after getting Let It Be, which came before this, where do you go from here? No more Beatles, everyone. I guess you eithr get their solo albums or just listen to the old stuff, or get the anthology. Bye.
on May 3, 2002
A melange of all things good about the Beatles. More sprawling than even the double album 'The Beatles', it is a smorgasbord of Beatle delights.
Many people believe that 'Something' should have been the first track on this album but Lennon's blues number is superb.
Something is exquisite. No more to be said.
Highlights of this album for me include the synthesiser used in Here Comes the Sun' to such wonderful effects, the fact that this was the first album to be released in stereo only in the UK, and the medley of songs which made up side two of the vinyl album.
PLEASE APPLE RE-RELEASE ALL OF THE APPLE PRODUCT ON CD.
The history of the band in Germany shows up in Paul's delivery of 'She Camr in Through the Bathroom Window', and the last four tracks are all excellent songs.
'The End', an album early seems a forlorn hope of reconciliation but recognises that whatever their personal differences they still loved one another.
As Joni Mitchell pointed out "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone".
A must for everyone's collection. Peace, John and George. We miss you.
on December 7, 2001
Yes, I'm one who as a raw youth listened many ,many times to SIDE TWO of ABBEY ROAD in some amazement, since it was a new sound,each track sliding into the next with some smart rhythms,nifty harmonies (as on "Sun King"), and wry humor, very rare in rock then, and even more so now.But in the past thirty years, I have listened (and played) many other types of music: Broadway,Pop,Jazz,Swing,Classical,among others. Now as a semi-grizzled case,SIDE TWO seems a little childish,which was always part of it's charm,but now at times can get underwhelming.SIDE ONE I always thought so-so, though "Maxwell's Hammer",and to a lesser extent,"Octopus's Garden",maintain a certain breezy "Alice in Wonderland" feel."Something" may be the best love ballad of 1969-70,but,given the competition,that's not saying too much. The rest of SIDE ONE is overdone basic rock, retreaded under a different brand name, thousands of times to no real avail. Yes, the Beatles are still the best rock band of them all yet who,for an aging fan, do not often go beyond the youth audience,even on ABBEY ROAD. The one album that does stretch the Beatles' into more timeless territory for all ages is "Revolver" , my pick for the Beatles' best,and really among the great albums of 20th Century popular song and music,not just "Rock" albums.
on June 28, 2001
This was actually the Beatles' last album together, not Let It Be. So, as splintered as their relationships were at the time, it's a pretty good album.
Just about all the songs on here would rate a "B" or better. The exceptions might come on the second side, and they include Polythene Pam, Sun King, and Mean Mr. Mustard, and maybe another. But it depends your taste, I guess. Sung King has sort of a laid back, smooth kind of sound, which isn't all that bad, but it can get boring.
I think Come Together is a stand out track, as is Because, She's So Heavy, and Oh! Darling. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight is a beautiful part of the suite. The End is just all 4 of them jamming. Oh Darling is a neat bluesy/rocking song from Paul. Octopus' Garden by Ringo is a fun sounding song, and Something, by George, is very nice. John's Because is the remnant of earlier psychedelia, and is an almost mystical sounding tune.
As you can tell, each individual's work shines through, but the album still has a coherent sound to it. Too bad they couldn't just love each other and keep it up.