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Abbey Road
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Abbey Road

First released: 1969, October 1

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Mike Kurtz (2009, October 5)
My favorite Beatles\\\'s album and quite a fitting one to be their last. I know \\\"Let It Be\\\" was released after, but \\\"Abbey Road\\\" was recorded after \\\"Let It Be\\\". You get the feeling right from the first track that the group knew this was to be their swan song . After constant bickering nearly split them up during the Let It Be sessions, Lennon calls his mates to \\\"Come Together\\\" one last time. It\\\'s the most impressive and tight that they have played since Sgt. Pepper. The lyrics are bittersweet and peppered with sentimental utterances of a love affair at it\\\'s end. \\\"Here comes the sun and I say, it\\\'s alright...It seems like years since it\\\'s been here\\\", \\\"Once there was a way to get back homeward...Boy you\\\'re gonna carry that weight a long time....Soon we\\\'ll be away from here, step on the gas and wipe that tear away....all good children go to heaven....and of course the resounding \\\"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.\\\" Paul even has the last word with \\\"Her Majesty\\\". The first side (showing my age here) is just pure rock at it\\\'s best, with songs written by the premiere song writers of the day and performed by the greatest group in the history of popular music. George Harrison\\\'s two contributions are far and away his best as he too was blossoming into a great song writer. And don\\\'t forget Ringo\\\'s Octopus Garden! Side two is the farewell tour if you may. It starts off with Harrison\\\'s \\\"Here Comes The Sun\\\" and goes of into a series of mini songs and eventually ends up with the band \\\"fighting it out\\\" musically. John and George argue back in fourth on guitars, Ringo gets his two cents in with a solo and the music breaks them down until all that\\\'s left is a lonely piano waiting for Paul\\\'s melodic and sad goodbye. After he sings \\\"the love you make.\\\" the band comes back slower and softer, as if they just realized it\\\'s gone to far and cannot be fixed anymore, you can almost see the curtain come down on the greatest band of all time. A true masterpiece.
Jimmy C. (2003, July 13)
Possibly the best Beatle album. Two Harrison songs are on this one, Something and Here Comes the Sun, and both are classics. Come Together is another great rocker, though it's been covered by too many bands. Maxwell's Silver Hammer is a fun little song about a serial killer. I Want You, with 13 different words in the entire song , is practically the definition of minimalism, even though it goes on for over seven minutes. The cutoff at the end is classic! Ringo even has a great little tune here, Octopus's Garden, with an Allman Brothers-style guitar intro. Oh Darling! is a desperate-sounding rocker (in a good way). Because's harmonies and You Never Give Me Your Money lead into the medleys that fill up the second side, though the latter is practically a medley in itself. The tracks in the medleys flow seamlessly, and culminate in She Came in Through the Bathroom Window and the appropriate The End, respectively. Her Majesty is an unnecessary ditty that's a curious inclusion on this album, and seems like an optional hidden track, since there's such a long break before it. Overall, this is a fitting farewell for music's greatest band ever.
All Music Guide (2002, April 28)
The last Beatles album to be recorded (although Let It Be was the last to be released), Abbey Road was a fitting swan song for the group, echoing some of the faux-conceptual forms of Sgt. Pepper, but featuring stronger compositions and more rock-oriented ensemble work. The group were still pushing forward in all facets of their art, whether devising some of the greatest harmonies to be heard on any rock record (especially on "Because"), constructing a medley of songs/vignettes that covered much of side two, adding subtle touches of Moog synthesizer, or crafting furious guitar-heavy rock ("The End," "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," "Come Together"). George Harrison also blossomed into a major songwriter, contributing the buoyant "Here Comes the Sun" and the supremely melodic ballad "Something," the latter of which became the first Harrison-penned Beatles hit. Whether Abbey Road is the Beatles' best work is debatable, but it's certainly the most immaculately produced (with the possible exception of Sgt. Pepper) and most tightly constructed. — Richie Unterberger