ARTIST:

THE BEATLES

(DEFAULT)
TITLE:

ABBEY ROAD

(1969)
LABEL:

EMI

GENRE:

POP

TAGS:
Easy-Listening, Old School
"Such an accomplishment at the end of a career and which opens new musical horizons, Abbey Road is a true masterpiece."
ABADDON (23.05.2008)  
5/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

In 1969, the Beatles knew they were going to split up. They had just recorded 'Let it Be', in fact a rather sloppy track that had required a lot of imagination from the sound engineers to come up with a good result. This group which in only 7 years revolutionized music, which started from the basic rock n' roll, made it evolve according to exhausting tours, this group which had to give up the stage in 1966, victim of a too overwhelming success but which knew how to make still its music evolve in studio, this group cannot part without delivering an ultimate work, a summary of all its know-how. The four boys therefore met in the summer of 1969 at Abbey Road studios, and used some of the songs written in 1968 during the sessions for the White Album.

Technically, the Beatles had the best equipment of the moment: Abbey Road is the first album recorded in 8 tracks, and we hear on some tracks (Maxwell's Siver Hammer and Because, for example), one of the first synthesizer sounds (a Moog held by George Harrison). Musically, the Beatles have gradually drifted the rock 'n roll of their beginnings to a sophisticated pop, integrating contributions blues, folk, orchestral, world-music (the term did not exist at the time), classical, jazz, etc ... Since "Sgt Pepper's", the work done in the studio has allowed them to move forward in all directions, with growing success and esteem. They cumulate successes: in 1969, they sold 300 million albums (and a little more than a billion, all media included, to this day...). So what can we expect from this "Abbey Road" : a collection of hits or a new musical opening ?

Both ! The side A of the vinyl is definitely a collection of hits, each one of them having its own outstanding composition: Octopus's Garden for Ringo, Oh, Darling + Maxwell's Silver Hammer for Paul, Come Together + I want You for John, and Something for George (the only Harrison song that will win the top position in the charts with the Beatles). This first part is a demonstration of the know-how of a group that has nothing to prove on this point.

The B side opens with Here Comes the Sun, signed by Harrison, and the listener could say that the originality is not there. We still evolve in a terribly effective and remarkably calibrated top of the range pop. And then comes Because, with its 9 voices harmonies, placed on a quasi-classical support (if it wasn't for George's Moog...), and there, the group points out that it is one of the best composers of harmonies, especially vocals.

From You Never Give Me your Money, opens what some people called the Medley. This combination of tracks, some of them only a few tenths of a second long, will last 16 minutes and introduces a new way of linking musical themes. The harmony brought to the unit, the efficiency of the breaks (the entry of She Came into the Bathroom Window!), the resumption of theme towards the end, the use of the instruments (the linked solos of guitar by Paul, George then John in The End: surprising of modernity! ), everything contributes to make this dizzying whirlwind one of the first progressive structures ever played. The orchestral conclusion is a pure splendor, completing to pin down the listener.

We remain stunned by such a unity of set, as the band was on the verge of splitting up, and in the grips of serious internal dissensions. Such an achievement at the end of a career, and which opens new musical horizons, can only bear one name: a masterpiece.


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TRACK LISTING:
01. Come Together - 04:21
02. Something - 03:03
03. Maxwell's Siver Hammer - 03:27
04. Oh ! Darling - 03:27
05. Octopus's Garden - 02:51
06. Want You (she's So Heavy) - 07:47
07. Here Comes The Sun - 03:06
08. Because - 02:46
09. You Never Give Me Your Money - 04:02
10. Sun King - 02:26
11. Mean Mr Mustard - 01:06
12. Polythene Pam - 01:13
13. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window - 01:58
14. Golden Slumbers - 01:32
15. Carry That Weight - 01:37
16. The End - 02:20
17. Her Majesty - 0:23

LINEUP:
George Harrison: Chant / Guitares
John Lennon: Chant / Guitares / Claviers
Paul McCartney: Chant / Basse / Claviers
Ringo Starr: Chant / Batterie
   
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