“The way we used to do it.” This is how John said he wanted the new album to be. It was 1969, and the Beatles were drowning in frustrating arguments and heated recording sessions. When they finally decided to come together, they created one of the greatest albums of all time.
Abbey Road is everything. It strolls through funny, dark, sweet, sexy, and melancholy as smoothly as the way they cross the street on the cover. But over everything, the album is wonderfully poignant. There is real, raw emotion woven through Abbey Road, and it’s so good it hurts.
When you find out all the conflict that led up to its conception, the hushed intensity of “Come Together,” is a thrilling way to start the album. Gritty vocals tangle with the throbbing drums, which seem to lead the group into battle again. You are then immersed in the cool serenity of “Something,” and you somehow know they’re back.
You can’t help but smile when you hear Paul trying to stifle a giggle in “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.” But “Oh! Darling,” reveals so much ache in his voice right afterwards. It’s true that he intentionally wore out his vocal cords just to roughen up that recording, but it’s more than that. He seems to hint at the falling out between the members when he sings, “When you told me you didn’t need me anymore, well you know, I nearly broke down and died.”
You completely escape the pain when Ringo leads you under the sea in “Octopus’s Garden.” It was actually only the second Beatles song he ever wrote. George once commented that the song gets deep into your consciousness “because it’s so peaceful.”
Wade through the darker digression of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” and the blissful melody of “Here Comes the Sun,” is there to greet you on the other side. It soothes like sunshine, tenderly reassuring us that everything is going to be okay. The same feeling is absolutely heart-wrenching in “Golden Slumbers” when Paul sings, “Sleep little darling, do not cry, and I will sing you a lullaby.” As the conclusion draws near, “Carry That Weight” couldn’t be a more appropriate ode to the pressures bearing down on them at the time.
The whole album is unforgettable and hard as a diamond. And when you hit “The End,” it’s really the end. The Beatles broke up shortly afterwards, making Abbey Road their final collaboration.