Hello and welcome back to The Weekly Sound as we start off a month of Beatle-May-nia! A month long celebration of my favorite band, and one of the most influential bands of all times, The Quarrymen. I mean, The Silver Beatles. Wait, no just The Beatles. Of course this isn’t the first or even second time we’ve talked about The Beatles, but today we turn our attention to the penultimate album as a full band, Abbey Road.
Released in 1969 while the band was starting to break apart, Abbey Road is consisted of only a few fully completed songs. Some of those songs are my favorites too, as we start with Come Together, quickly followed by Something ( a song so beautiful, that even Sinatra called it the best love song of the century), and even quirky songs like Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and Octopus’s Garden. The entire A side is both old and new Beatles, showing progression with distinct sounds but still feeling classic.
While the A side features an entire line up of completed songs, the B side features only two songs that were completed, Here Comes the Sun ( one of George Harrison’s best songs that while always make me feel happy to the point of tears) and Because, which is Moonlight Sonata played backwards.
The rest of the B side features a melody made by bits and pieces of uncompleted songs the band never finished. Some were never completed due to the band simply moving to better material, while others were victims of the rising tension within the group causing periods where recording further was impossible.
Really that’s where the real treasure of this albums, as the songs seem to transition so well. You Never Give Me Your Money turns into Sun King so smoothly that the first time i heard it, I didn’t know it was two different songs. Then you have the Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam/ She Came in Through the Bathroom Window three piece that is so fun and jumpy, so different from what comes next that when Golden Slumbers comes on you swear it’s not even on the same record.
Golden Slumbers is so sweet and tender, like a real lullaby. I sang this to my niece when she was less than 1 and it put her to sleep (once, I was never able to repeat it). Carry That Weight and The End round it our with messages of life and love. After all, it would be the band taught the world that All You Need is Love to agree one last time that “in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” Like a farewell from a band knowing they were on the way out.
And then John Lennon sings of getting drunk to rid his neves to the point that he can seduce the Queen of England. Music legend indeed.