Beatles comment #7 (of 30)

The “swan song”. All true Beatle followers know that the album LET IT BE came out last (‘70), but, ABBEY ROAD was made last, released in Autumn of ‘69. It was made by the band, knowing it would likely be the final LP, and doing a bit of damage control. The previously recorded LET IT BE was a fiasco. Aware that they had not put forth the best eight feet, the four artists made a concerted effort to make a great album. Almost all agree they did just that. I believe it. I will look at it, a bit, here. Ringo’s “Octopus’s Garden” gets the best treatment from his band mates than ever before on a song he wrote. True, the sample size is small, but, the treatment on “Don’t Pass Me By” in ‘68 was less. Here, the instruments are greatly in tune, the backing vocals are superb, the newly acquired Moog synthesizer is utilized well. Gee, you would have thought Paul or John wrote it by the efforts given. Harrison plays a nice string-bending solo on electric guitar. His intro is one all fans can sing out loud, too. Go ahead, fix it in your mind and sing it! I think Ringo’s drum kit is sonically great on the whole album, by the way. The record seems to hold up well against later recording eras. Harrison scores with two staple hits on this album (“Something”, “ Here Comes The Sun”). His two best Beatle tracks, arguably, are these two. What a way to launch a solo career that was right around the corner. Each remaining Beatle artist’s moments on this wonderful album are huge (meaning, John and Paul). “Come Together” could very well be the best track the band ever made, as far as the “cool” factor. The fact that the lyrics are confusing to most, and probably throw-away stuff, means nothing because of the SOUND OF THE TRACK. For some of us, we remember what it was like for side one of the vinyl record to come to an abrupt halt. “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” has a mesmerizing groove, with pre-Heavy Metal guitar darkness, climaxing it’s menacing notes over a growing ‘noise’ (Moog synth, again). Then, like a brick upside your head, it shuts off. I mean, OFF! That was a new thing to experience, as a listener. These guys seemed to give us new things over and over again. But, the end of 1969 would guarantee that this band would no longer feed our hunger for it. Before closing, I should mention McCartney. His multi-themed “mini-opera” on side two, using his songs, along with John’s, is heralded as a high point in Beatle history. And, everone surely knows his screaming “ Oh Darling” from side A, as well as the snippet “Her Majesty” that ends this 33 1/3 LP experience. Funny, the Queen makes it onto this record twice, at least. The other time is on “Mean Mr. Mustard”. The biggest subject over the years, at times anyway, has to be the cover photo. Walking across the “zebra” crosswalk, John/Ringo/Paul/George stride together onto a rock Mount Rushmore. The reputation was left intact. The music was great, holding up to anything before or after. We are still aware of Maxwell, Rose & Valerie, Polythene Pam, The Sun King, spinal crackers, and all good children going to Heaven. Thank you, Beatles, for taking the time during your implosion, to give us this jewel, this “swan song”.

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