|Released||26 September 1969|
|Studio||EMI Studios, Olympic Studios, and Trident Studios, London|
|Genre||Rock • pop • blues • progressive rock|
|Label||Apple • Capitol|
Let It Be
Abbey Road is the eleventh studio album by English rock band The Beatles. It was first released on 26 September 1969 in the United Kingdom by Apple Records and on 1 October 1969 in the United States by Capitol Records. The recording sessions for the album were the last in which all four Beatles participated. Although Let It Be was the final album that the Beatles completed before the band's dissolution in April 1970, most of the album had been recorded before the Abbey Road sessions began.
Abbey Road is primarily a rock album that incorporates genres such as blues, pop, and progressive rock, and makes prominent use of the Moog synthesizer and the Leslie speaker. The album was recorded amid a more enjoyable atmosphere than the Get Back/Let It Be sessions earlier in the year, but there were still frequent disagreements within the band; John Lennon had privately left the group by the time the album was released, and Paul McCartney publicly quit the following year. The album's cover photp, which features the four band members walking across a zebra crossing outside EMI Studios, has become one of the most famous and most imitated images in the history of popular music.
Although Abbey Road was an immediate commercial success and reached number one on both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard Top LPs chart, it initially received mixed reviews from critics, with some describing it as inauthentic and bemoaning its production's artificial effects. However, it has received retrospective acclaim since its release, and is considered one of the greatest albums of all time; it has also been certified 2x platinum by the British Phonographic Industry and 12x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. In 2003, Rolling Stone placed Abbey Road at number 14 on its list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time".
While Abbey Road is a rock album, it also incorporates genres such as blues, pop, and progressive rock and makes prominent use of the synthesizer and the Leslie speaker. It is also notable for having a long medley of songs on side two, that have subsequently been covered as one suite by other notable artistes. The album was recorded in a more collegial atmosphere than the Get Back / Let It Be sessions earlier in the year, but there were still significant confrontations within the band, particularly over Paul McCartney's song "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", and John Lennon did not perform on several tracks. By the time the album was released, Lennon had left the group, though this was not publicly announced until McCartney also quit the following year. Although it was an immediate commercial success, it received mixed reviews. Some critics found its music inauthentic and criticized the production's artificial effects. By contrast, critics today view the album as one of the Beatles' best and rank it as one of the greatest albums of all time. George Harrison's two songs on the album, "Something" and "Here Comes The Sun", have been regarded as some of the best he wrote for the group. The album's cover, featuring the group walking across a zebra crossing outside Abbey Road Studios, has become one of the most famous and imitated in the history of recorded music. Abbey Road remains the Beatles' best-selling album.
"Let It Be was actually the last release, but Abbey Road was the last recording" — Paul McCartney
"Abbey Road was a competent album" — John Lennon
"Also, Abbey Road, the second side" — Ringo Starr
The album opens with "Come Together", written by John Lennon. The song was inspired by a campaign song that Lennon partially wrote for Timothy Leary. Come Together, on the surface, is a nonsense song. Come Together was released as a single with "Something".
"Her Majesty" is notable for being the first-ever hidden track. It became so by accident; it was cut from the rough master tape on the orders of Paul McCartney, but the engineer doing this had been instructed never to throw away any Beatles material, so he spliced it on to the end of the tape, preceded by ~12 seconds of leader tape. Initial pressings of the album did not list this track.
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All songs written by Lennon/McCartney, except where noted otherwise.
- "Come Together" - 4:20
- "Something" (George Harrison) - 3:03
- "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" - 3:27
- "Oh! Darling" - 3:26
- "Octopus's Garden" (Richard Starkey) - 2:51
- "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" - 7:47
- "Here Comes the Sun" (Harrison) - 3:05
- "Because" - 2:45
- "You Never Give Me Your Money" - 4:02
- "Sun King" - 2:26
- "Mean Mr. Mustard" - 1:06
- "Polythene Pam" - 1:12
- "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" - 1:57
- "Golden Slumbers" - 1:31
- "Carry That Weight" - 1:36
- "The End" - 2:19
- "Her Majesty" - 0:23
- John Lennon:Lead,Harmony,Backing and Chorus Vocals.Acoustic (six and twelve-string) Electric Guitars.Piano,Electric Piano, and Moog Synthesizer,Noise Generator,Maracas and Sound-Effects
- Paul McCartney:Lead,Harmony,Backing and Chorus Vocals.Bass,Electric and Acoustic Guitars.Piano,Electric Piano,Moog Synthesizer,Hand-Claps and Sound Effects
- George Harrison:Lead,Harmony,Backing and Chorus Vocals.Electric,Acoustic and Bass Guitars.Moog Synthesizer,Hand-Claps.
- Ringo Starr:Lead,Backing and Chorus Vocals.Drums,Tambourine,Maracas,Cowbell,Bongos,Congas,Piano,Anvil,Wind Machine and Hand-Claps.
- George Martin: Producer,Lowrey Organ and Electric Harpsichord
- Billy Preston: Hammond Organ
- Mike Vickers: Synthesizer
- Geoff Emerick: Engineer
- Phil McDonald: Engineer
- Mal Evans:Anvil
- Uncedited:12 Violins,4 Violas,4 Cellos,2 Double Bass,4 Horns,3 Trumpets,Trombone and Bass Trombone.
- Gibson Les Paul Standard
- Fender Stratocaster
- Epiphone 230TD Casino
- Rickenbacker 4001S
- Hofner 500/1
- Fender Jazz Bass
- Fender VI
- Gibson J-160E
- Martin D-28
- Ludwig Hollywood drum kit with Jazz Festival snare drum, calfskin heads
Behind the scenesEdit
- This album has one of the most homaged covers ever. Tributes include a spring 2014 poster by UK chip (fry in American English) manufacturer McCain, with their four guys walking across a potato field striped like the crossing.
- In 1973, Morris Levy, the publisher of Chuck Berry's song "You Can't Catch Me" sued John Lennon, because the line "Here come old flat-top" was lifted from the song itself. The sue was settled out of court, with Lennon agreeing to record 3 songs for his next solo album.
- "Here Comes the Sun" was written by George Harrison in Eric Clapton's garden whilst taking a break from stressful Beatles meetings.
- "The End" was the final song recorded in which all four Beatles played together, as "I Me Mine" from Let It Be, was recorded while John Lennon was on holiday at Denmark.
- "Something" remains the most covered Beatles song.
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