Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Wandering Down A Familiar Road

I've been listening to The Beatles again. Yes, not that I ever really stopped listening to them. They are unabashedly my favourite group of all time and listening to Abbey Road has re-iterated why they are not only my favourite, but also the legitimit greats of the twentieth century. It's so innovative musically and this probably their strongest rock album. Songs like "Get Together" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" are legendary and oft imitated for their strong rock progressions and classic sound.

The album is fantastic thematically, and this for me is some of my favourite stuff. "Mean Mr. Mustard" through to "The End" is a fantastic stretch, that I could listen to over and over again. "Golden Slumbers" is majestic to the point that it brings tears to my eyes to hear it and think that this is one of the last things that the group recorded together. Some of the strongest stuff is Harrison's "Something" and "Here Comes The Sun." I also just can't get enough of "Oh! Darling." It's almost pure classic rock perfection.

Abbey Road was the last Beatles album recorded and it shows that the boys from Liverpool went out with a bang. I'm just thankful that we got what we did.

9 Comments:

At 10:52 PM, Blogger cait said...

I've always kind of wished that "Abbey Road" was the last album the Beatles released; there would be an amazing poeticism if the last song on their last album was "the End," (excluding "Her Majesty," of course) not just for the title, but for the sentiment. The band dissolved in such a hostile way, it would be irony and a sort of cautionary tale to lesser bands.

I've always thought of the second side of the album as one unit; as if it's a mini-opera, or something.

Bit of trivia (that you may already know): Paul McCartney wanted "Oh Darling" to have the feel of a standard (the kind his Dad played) so he played it over and over for a month, so that by the time it came to recording the song, it sounded exhausted and comfortable the same way a jazz or blues standard always does when you hear it.

 
At 11:26 PM, Blogger Ewan said...

Abbey Road's always been my favourite Beatle album, and therefore my favourite album period (rivaled by Magical Mystery Tour, Stevie Wonder's Innervisions and Talking Book). I think proof of this is that I love "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" which most people hate.
I don't think music gets much better from Because to the End, with You Never Give Me Your Money the standout track. I always considered it the last Beatle album (it was the last one they recorded) and that's the intent they had when they made it.

 
At 11:38 PM, Blogger Ewan said...

There's also a version of the Medley that has "Her Majesty" in between Mean Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam, making for a nice break between the two similar songs, and of course leaving the End for...well, the end.
The only thing i like about Her Majesty being last is that it sort of ends things with a bit of the Beatles whimsical humour.

 
At 7:14 PM, Blogger cait said...

Who are these people who don't like "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"? That song is my childhood along with "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite," and "8 Days a Week"; but then again, my childhood was one Beatles album after another with the occasional showtune and Led Zeppelin IV . . .

 
At 11:08 PM, Blogger Ewan said...

Most "critics" hate Maxwell's Silver Hammer, as does my most respected friend, when it comes to music, Sam. He and I have argued this point extensively.
I will however have to say that Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite is perhaps my least favourite Beatles song. I don't think Lennon does childish whimsy well, especially when the greatest whimsical song writer of all time is also writing songs for the same band.

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger cait said...

Well, to quote my old Shakespeare prof, "I liked it, the audience liked it; the critics were critical, but there you go."

Actually, "Being for the benefit . . . " was a major part of my childhood because my sister listened to it obsessively; she enjoys the gothic/Gorey-esque/Tim Burton feel of songs like that; but I quite agree with you. Songs suchs as "Fixing a Hole" and "Lovely Rita" are infinitely superior.

 
At 11:35 AM, Blogger cait said...

Oh, and of course, *amazing* (whimsical) Harrison originals like "Piggies" and "Savoy Truffle."

 
At 9:16 PM, Blogger Ewan said...

I too have childhood favourites that have a love based mainly on nostalgia, that in hindsight are not necessarily the greatest songs. Didn't mean to bash your tastes.

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger cait said...

Oh, no worries man.

 

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