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Author Topic: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road  (Read 16121 times)

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tkitna

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Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« on: July 30, 2011, 03:07:07 PM »

Abbey Road

The lads rally and give us this timeless classic. It was no secret that the ‘Let It Be’ sessions didn’t come off as the boys planned and they weren’t happy nor proud of the effort.  Realizing that the end was eminent and knowing they didn’t want it to end like that, they put their differences aside for one last time to put forth an effort that would show the world why they were the greatest band to ever be assembled.


Come Together - I admit that this is not one of my favorite songs. I’m not saying its bad and I realize its one of their most famous songs ever, its just that it doesn’t grab me for some reason. It starts off with one of the most innovative drum riffs ever and the people that cap on Ringo need to shut up already. Awesome stuff. Love the bass and guitar in the beginning too. Johns voice sounds great. 0.50 love Pauls deeper backgrounds. 1:10 love that guitar tone. 2:02 organ sounds awesome here. 2:13 like the guitar solo tone here also. 2:30 don’t know who does it, but one of them slides their finger down the guitar strings and its my favorite part of the song.  3:12 really like the simple guitar solo. Johns exaggerated ‘Yeahs’ at the end are sweet too and the ending is an alright fade out. Good song, but one that I could care less if I hear or not.

Something - George gives us one of his strongest songs as a Beatle to date. A nice, slower, love song that would do anybody proud. I like the drum fill, bass, guitar beginning. Great way to start a song. Speaking of the bass, its awesome sounding. George’s smooth voice is a welcome touch to the song. 0:27 like the organ here. 0:33 the crash cymbal buildup at the end of the bar is so important to the song, that I cant even begin to explain. It would fall way short without it. 0:42 strings added. 1:14 the middle portion here is nothing short of amazing. I love the buildup and emotion. George almost pleads to us. Love it. The violin plucks throughout this part are neat too. Hard to pick out, but cool nontheless. 1:42 what a nice guitar solo. I like the tone and the execution. Ringos drumming is top notch throughout also. Sometimes I can find myself becoming a little sick of this song, but it was nice to hear because it reminded me how damn good it really is. George outdid himself on this one.

Maxwells Silver Hammer - Every album has a sore spot it seems and this is Abbey Roads. This song sucks and is easily one of my least favorite Beatle songs ever. Besides Paul, I think the other band members felt the same way. Pauls voice sounds good enough and I like the piano and Ringos drums in the beginning. The anvil makes the song sillier than it already is if that’s possible. I do like the guitar tone throughout. 0:51 the Moog or whatever keyboard effect here adds to the frustration. It sounds dumb. 1:20 Paul laughing is the best part of the song. 1:34 like the inclusion of the acoustic here. 2:31 love the ‘Maxwell must go free’ backgrounds here. 3:16 backgrounds are silly and sound awful. Song couldn’t end quick enough for me.

Oh! Darling - Love Pauls voice here. Guitar tone on the strums sounds great. Bass is strong. 0:15 harmonies are top notch. Ringo is awesome throughout the entire song. 0:54 Pauls high ‘Oooooh’ here is great. 1:04 please do me a favor and listen to Ringo here. Please. 1:08 Pauls voice,,,,what more can I say? I love the piano here too. 1:52 best part of the song. Love how Pauls emphasizes that bar. This is a nice song for Paul to showcase his amazing vocal ability, but I get bored of it pretty quick. When the last few guitar notes are plucked, I sigh in relief.

Octopus’s Garden - Here’s a rather silly number that George and Ringo kind of collaborated on during the writing process. Its enjoyable enough and it kind of hinders on the same vein as ‘Yellow Submarine’, but its more widely accepted for some reason. Not crazy about the opening guitar tone. Ringos drums sound good. His voice,,,eh, its Ringo. The bass is stellar as usual. 0:31 piano is awesome here. 0:42 the large chorus, background vocals sound kind of silly to me. 0:54 I do like the background ‘Ohh’s’ and ‘Ahh’s’ though. 1:32 like the guitar solo, but the underwater effects kind of kills any momentum it builds. All in all, it’s a silly, fun song that hangs on the neutral side for me.

I Want You (She’s So Heavy) - I hate this song. Just thought I’d toss that out there. I like the guitars in the beginning. Johns voice sounds good. Ringos drum are great as is the bass. 0:56 speaking of bass, I love this part. 1:57 organ is killer here. 2:24 tempo change is the best part of the song. I do like the guitar here also. 4:32 something is said in the background, but I cant make it out. The song just keeps going on and on and on. Its so long and monotonous that I can hardly stand it. The abrupt ending is one of the most welcome things my ears have ever heard.

Here Comes The Sun - Can we be honest with ourselves for a moment? Can we? This is probably George’s best Beatle song ever. Sure we all choose our favorites and so forth, but if push came to shove, this song would probably win in a back alley fight with the others. Its not my favorite by George, but its probably his best if that makes sense. The opening guitar sounds so good. The light hearted organ adds also. Georges smooth voice again works perfectly. The strings coming in at 0:14 are great (might be from organ). Drums sounds amazing. Bass is nice. Backgrounds are top notch. 1:36 even the ‘sun sun sun’ chorus and hanclaps work for me. The keyboards are heavy throughout. The ending is awesome too with Goerge finishing it off with the guitar. Fantastic song. George was on a roll.

Because - Love the keyboard beginning and how the guitar comes in on the other channel at 0:14. The layered harmonies are beautiful and haunting. I love Pauls voice climbing the ladder at the 0:38 mark. Bass sounds nice. 1:31 the keyboard horns sound good and it’s a reminder that we are falling right into the 70’s. Short, sweet song that I enjoy. Whenever a conversation about bands and harmonizing comes up, I always bring up this song. People don’t realize they triple tracked the harmonies so they always agree with me that the Beatles are hard to beat. Sometimes you have to be sneaky.

You Never Give Me Your Money - This has been my favorite Beatle song forever. I know its not their best, but it has so much going on that I just have always loved it. Probably because of Pauls stamp that he put on songs like this, but what can I do? Piano beginning is nice. 0:08 guitar comes in. Great. Pauls voice is fantastic. 0:32 the double tracked backgrounds blend in. 0:47 bass comes in and sounds amazing. Love it. 1:10 song totally changes. Now all of a sudden, we’re in a saloon with the beer barrel piano. The walking bass is neat. 1:31 the high pitched guitar. 1:48 legendary Beatle harmonies. Don’t ignore that guitar being played either. 2:09 if you did ignore it, here it is a little more pronounced for the buildup. 2:28 love the guitar tone here too. Pauls voice is awesome too. Love how Ringo ends the bars with a hi-hat splash. How do they think of things like that? 3:03 Paul singing here is my favorite part of the song. 3:09 the counting backgrounds are silly and a sore spot, but not every song can be perfect I suppose. I love this song.

Sun King - And I dislike this one. Too slow and boring, plus a lot of nonsense being sung. Filler. I like the guitar and bass in the beginning. 0:13 guitar is pretty. 0:52 heavenly harmonies. 1:18 I dig the organ. 1:14 Johns voice has never sounded better. All in all, I’ll pass.

Mean Mr. Mustard - Like this one a lot. Like the fuzz bass in the beginning and Ringos drums. 0:09 nice use of the tambourine. Electric guitar tone is good. Backgrounds are nice. Paul can really be heard here. Nice short tune.

Polythene Pam - Love this tune and wish there was more of it. It really drives hard and I love Ringos drumming. Guitar sounds great in the beginning. Johns voice is good, but the background vocals are sublime. Bass is decent. 0:43 Love the tambourine/woodblock hit here. 0:48 really dig the guitar solo. Not the best, but sounds good. Cowbell throughout also. The buildup into the next song is great. Awesome bit of music there.

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window - Like Pauls voice. I also love Ringo on the hi-hats here. Love the acoustic and electric being played at the sametime. Love the backgrounds too. Bass sounds good. 0:30 like the lead guitar here. 0:51 congos being played in the background. Never heard that before. Wonder what makes the cracking noise in the background?  Another nice little song.

Golden Slumbers - Paul could have made this song into another ‘Let It Be’ , ‘Hey Jude’ type song if he really wanted. I truly feel that way. If he extended this into an entire song, it would have been a biggie. Piano beginning in nice. Strings are wonderful and huge. Pauls voice is great. Bass sounds good. 0:34 how big is that? This is good, but we only get a hint of how good it could have been. I feel cheated in some ways.

Carry That Weight - This is stupid. Not sure what this was going to be, but I’m glad theres only a short piece of it. I suppose it fits alright into the setup tune, but its nothing I would have been interested in.
Bass and drumming is alright. Piano is powerful. 0:25 like the brass. 0:35 love guitar tone here.

The End - We always talk about moments of Beatle magic. Well, this is surely one of them. What a way to end a partnership. All four of them get to showcase what they were a part of the biggest musical phenomenon in history. They go out with a little bit of fun between themselves and I cant help but to think that they each had a smile on their face when it happened. 0:19 Ringo solo. Not the greatest technically, but probably the most copied solo ever. He then throws down the beat for the John, Paul, and George to trade licks. Words cant describe the pure awesomeness. Piano and backgrounds end the song with some strings and a little bit of lead guitar. Thanks for the memories guys.

Her Majesty - Why is this on here? The End sets everything up to close the book, but they open it back up again for this. Its like the whole saga lost a little piece of magic due to this. I little acoustic ditty from Paul that I don’t even mind, but placing it here is just wrong.


I play this album more than any other Beatle album, because when I want to show off how good the band was, no other album seems to approach this one for some reason. Maybe it’s the studio. Its easily the cleanest produced album. Maybe because they came back with a vengeance from a dire situation that nobody thought they would recover from. Who knows. All I know is, I’m happy they decided to go out in top fashion and they accomplished that. Great album!

Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2011, 05:21:59 PM »

I've always felt that this album is slightly overrated, but it's excellent anyway. If you ask me, I prefer Rubber Soul, Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's, the greatest trilogy ever, but Abbey Road is still an outstanding album. In my opinion the high points are "Come Together", "Something", "Here Comes The Sun", "Because", "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End", which I agree it would have been the perfect end of the album (just from its title and the cosmic final line) and there was no need for "Her Majesty" (actually, on some early LPs this song was not printed on the cover). This record is so fresh, sounds like it would have been recorded today, though I love "dated 60's music"!
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blmeanie

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2011, 06:22:27 PM »

tkitna - love your reviews, this one for the most part is a homerun with many of my opinions.

Questions for ya - I've read/heard that John wasn't too pleased with the side B and the amount of producing that went into it vs. side A, truth to that?  To your points, the back and forth when the medley gets going with Mean Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam is great, neither would suffer if made into a stand alone song but both benefit from the production aspect of linking them.

Also - in The End, can you (or somebody), detail by x:xx who is playing which parts of the dueling guitar solos?  Is there any video of them playing it?  Does Paul, while touring, divvy out the parts to his band, like, "you, you have John's part and you, you take my part, I want to play George's tonight"  lol

Here Comes the Sun has evolved to be my favorite Beatle song in the past year to so.  Rock Band has something to do with that, it is by far the most enjoyable song to play in that game for me. 

(If anybody doesn't play rock band and look down on it because you play real instruments so be it, for us untalented souls it provided a nice way to pretend)


Carry that weight and sunking don't annoy me like they do you.  I fully understand where you are coming from but they "fit" as filler for me and can't imagine the medley without them.
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Bobber

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2011, 08:18:23 PM »

. 4:32 something is said in the background, but I cant make it out.

According to the Beatles anomalies site: 4:32
    Left channel, shout, something like "Turn it down man/Mal" or "Bloody loudmouth!"
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2011, 09:33:26 PM »

Golden Slumbers - Paul could have made this song into another ‘Let It Be’ , ‘Hey Jude’ type song if he really wanted. I truly feel that way. If he extended this into an entire song, it would have been a biggie. Piano beginning in nice. Strings are wonderful and huge. Pauls voice is great. Bass sounds good. 0:34 how big is that? This is good, but we only get a hint of how good it could have been. I feel cheated in some ways.

Carry That Weight - This is stupid. Not sure what this was going to be, but I’m glad theres only a short piece of it. I suppose it fits alright into the setup tune, but its nothing I would have been interested in.
Bass and drumming is alright. Piano is powerful. 0:25 like the brass. 0:35 love guitar tone here.

The End - We always talk about moments of Beatle magic. Well, this is surely one of them. What a way to end a partnership. All four of them get to showcase what they were a part of the biggest musical phenomenon in history. They go out with a little bit of fun between themselves and I cant help but to think that they each had a smile on their face when it happened. 0:19 Ringo solo. Not the greatest technically, but probably the most copied solo ever. He then throws down the beat for the John, Paul, and George to trade licks. Words cant describe the pure awesomeness. Piano and backgrounds end the song with some strings and a little bit of lead guitar. Thanks for the memories guys.


Todd, I feel the same as you do regarding Golden Slumbers which is one of my favorite pieces on Abbey Road.  Indeed, The Medley has always been my favorite part of this album.  Although this live performance is the familiar segment of The Medley, we get an idea as to how Golden Slumbers could have been extended with full orchestral accompaniment...

Paul McCartney - GOLDEN SLUMBERS Live
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stevie

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2011, 10:49:45 PM »

My second fave album after Revolver but is the best sounding of all the boys albums.

YNGMYM is also one of my favorite Beatle songs, along with Something.

I'm puzzled about Her Majesty, TK? Its common knowledge that an engineer who was told to get rid of the master for it, tacked it on at the end!!
It was originally slotted in between PP and SCITTBW - that sloppy guitar chord is the final strum of PP.

When Paul heard the final mix, he left on the end, so as The End wouldn't sound as too much of a 'pompous' statement? Something like that anyway.

OH, and re The End solo? I think in 'Revolution In The Head by Ian McDonald, it details the order of the solo. Actually, its in Geoff Emerick's excellent book, 'Here, There and Everywhere'>
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nimrod

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2011, 12:36:16 AM »

Magnificent, my favourite album ever, 11/10, love every second of it (although Maxwell couldve been changed) Georges best songs etc etc

Todd how can you say you hate I Want You ?, the track that gave King Crimson its sound, its f***in brilliant man, turn the bastard track up to full and listen to that guitar tone and diving bass parts, and Lennons vocal = ecstacy
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tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2011, 01:39:09 AM »

Todd how can you say you hate I Want You ?, the track that gave King Crimson its sound, its f***in brilliant man, turn the bastard track up to full and listen to that guitar tone and diving bass parts, and Lennons vocal = ecstacy

I dont know Kev, just cant do it. I guess its alright if i'm blitzed, but for just sitting down listening enjoyment, this one is boring to my ears.

nimrod

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2011, 03:27:08 AM »

I dont know Kev, just cant do it. I guess its alright if i'm blitzed, but for just sitting down listening enjoyment, this one is boring to my ears.

man its completely wrapped in sheer awesumness   ;D
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raxo

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2011, 06:39:28 AM »

[...]
Also - in The End, can you (or somebody), detail by x:xx who is playing which parts of the dueling guitar solos?  Is there any video of them playing it?  Does Paul, while touring, divvy out the parts to his band, like, "you, you have John's part and you, you take my part, I want to play George's tonight"  lol[...]

Saliendo de my cave...
The order is: 2 bars George (00:53-00:57 & 01:05-01:09 & 01:17-01:21), 2 bars Paul (00:57-01:02 & 01:09-01:13 & 01:21-01:24) & 2 bars John (01:02-01:05 & 01:13-01:17 & 01:24-01:29) ... this sequence repeats itself (by them, obviously) 3 times 'til the famous "and in the end..." etc ... and no, there's no footage of them playing (or duplicating, in any way) this sort of solo guitar parts ... what a moment, by the way! :)
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tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2011, 04:52:52 PM »

I'm puzzled about Her Majesty, TK? Its common knowledge that an engineer who was told to get rid of the master for it, tacked it on at the end!!
It was originally slotted in between PP and SCITTBW - that sloppy guitar chord is the final strum of PP.

When Paul heard the final mix, he left on the end, so as The End wouldn't sound as too much of a 'pompous' statement? Something like that anyway.

I'm not certain of the how's and why's, but I just wish they would have excluded it. It takes away from the magic in my opinion.

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2011, 08:26:16 AM »

I always wondered whether fans in 1969 realised it was really The End for The Beatles.
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tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2011, 11:59:10 AM »

I always wondered whether fans in 1969 realised it was really The End for The Beatles.

Probably not.

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2011, 03:46:48 PM »

If you ever get a chance to listen to this album on the original Japanese CD 1983 issue, don't pass it up. I blew it off for a long time, had heard it wasn't that good, etc... It is that good. I think it is better than the current CD. It is very warm sounding and unlike the way CDs are mastered now.

Or, listen to the MFSL vinyl.
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Brynjar

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2011, 08:47:35 PM »

Abbey Road

Golden Slumbers - Paul could have made this song into another ‘Let It Be’ , ‘Hey Jude’ type song if he really wanted. I truly feel that way. If he extended this into an entire song, it would have been a biggie. Piano beginning in nice. Strings are wonderful and huge. Pauls voice is great. Bass sounds good. 0:34 how big is that? This is good, but we only get a hint of how good it could have been. I feel cheated in some ways.


You took the words...
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Walrus

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2011, 03:40:33 AM »

????

Maxwell's Silver Hammer sucks?!?!?!?!?

I think its a interesting tune and it's certainly a fun one to play on piano!
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tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2011, 11:58:32 AM »

If you ever get a chance to listen to this album on the original Japanese CD 1983 issue, don't pass it up. I blew it off for a long time, had heard it wasn't that good, etc... It is that good. I think it is better than the current CD. It is very warm sounding and unlike the way CDs are mastered now.

Or, listen to the MFSL vinyl.

Thanks for the heads up Gary. I dont think i've ever listened to the Japanese version (or ever had access to it). I'll look around on ebay. Sounds interesting.

tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2011, 12:00:54 PM »

????

Maxwell's Silver Hammer sucks?!?!?!?!?

I think its a interesting tune and it's certainly a fun one to play on piano!

Sorry Walrus. Definately not one for me. It would probably fall into the top 10 worst tunes they ever did in my opinion.

Of course, if I were a piano player, who knows how I would feel.

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2011, 09:00:38 PM »

Thanks for the heads up Gary. I dont think i've ever listened to the Japanese version (or ever had access to it). I'll look around on ebay. Sounds interesting.

If you get one, expect to pay many $$$$$$$$ for it.
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Re: Beatles under a microscope - Abbey Road
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2011, 09:27:49 PM »

Sorry Walrus. Definately not one for me. It would probably fall into the top 10 worst tunes they ever did in my opinion.

Of course, if I were a piano player, who knows how I would feel.

Maxwells Silver Hammer is a perfect showcase of why The Beatles fell apart.
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