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Abbey Road
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Abbey Road

Abbey Road
LP by The Beatles
Released September 26, 1969
Recorded July, 1969 at Abbey Road Studios
Genre Rock
Length 44 min 09 s
Record label Apple Records
Producer George Martin
Professional reviews
Q 5 stars out of 5 November 2000
AMG 5 stars out of 5 link
Beatles Chronology
Yellow Submarine
Abbey Road
Let It Be

Abbey Road is the last album recorded by The Beatles; it was released on September 26, 1969 in the UK and (October 1, 1969 in the US). It was produced and orchestrated by George Martin, for Apple Records. In November 2003, Abbey Road was named the thirteenth best album of the rock era by a Rolling Stone poll of critics, journalists, and others in the industry.

After the near-disastrous sessions for the Get Back album (later retitled Let It Be for release), the Beatles decided to get together and make an album that they would be more happy with. The two album sides were quite different in character; side one was a collection of singles, while side two contained several medleys of short compositions that segued together.

The album is especially notable for George Harrison's songs "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun", which fully established him with the public as being capable of writing songs comparable to those of to Paul McCartney and John Lennon. The song "The End" features the only Ringo Starr drum solo to make it to tape, as well as alternating blistering lead guitar solos from Lennon, McCartney and Harrison.

The song "Her Majesty", tacked on the end, was originally part of the "side 2" medley. McCartney did not like the way the medley sounded with "Her Majesty" included, so he had the medley re-edited to remove it. However, engineer Geoff Emerick had been instructed never to throw out anything the Beatles created, so he placed it at the end of the medley after 20 seconds of silence. The Beatles liked this seemingly random effect and left it on the album. On most copies of the LP jacket, "Her Majesty" is not listed. It is, however, on the record label. If you listen closely, you can hear the last note of "Mean Mr. Mustard" at the start, because "Her Majesty" was supposed to follow it in the medley.

"At one point the album was going to be titled Everest, after the brand of cigarettes I used to smoke," recalls Geoff Emerick. The idea included a cover photo of The Beatles in the Himalayas, but by the time the group had to take the photo, they decided to call it Abbey Road and take the photo outside the studio during a coffee break from recording. That cover photograph has since become one of the most famous and most imitated album covers in recording history. The cover also supposedly contains clues adding to the "Paul Is Dead" phenomenon: Paul is barefoot, out of step with the others, and holds a cigarette, and the car license plate "281F" supposedly referred to the fact that McCartney would be 28 years old if he was still alive. (While the "I" in "28IF" is actually a "1," it is hard to tell on the cover. As an aside, Paul was only 27 at the time of Abbey Road 's release. The man standing on the sidewalk in the background is Paul Cole, an American tourist who was unaware that he was being photographed until he saw the album cover months later.

One imitation cover came with a unique tribute. Booker T. & the MG's;, famed soul combo, covered most of the songs on the Abbey Road in their 1969 album McLemore Avenue, named after the street address of the Stax records studio. The Red Hot Chilli Peppers have also imitated the album cover, on their Abbey Road EP, with the band appearing nude, apart from strategically-placed socks.

Track listing

Songs by Lennon/McCartney, unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Come Together"
  2. "Something" (Harrison)
  3. "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"
  4. "Oh! Darling"
  5. "Octopus's Garden" (Starkey)
  6. "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"
  7. "Here Comes the Sun" (Harrison)
  8. "Because"
  9. "You Never Give Me Your Money"
  10. "Sun King"
  11. "Mean Mr. Mustard"
  12. "Polythene Pam"
  13. "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window"
  14. "Golden Slumbers"
  15. "Carry That Weight"
  16. "The End"
  17. "Her Majesty"

External link