This week we're gonna look at a classic album, the Beatles Abbey Road.
Released on September 26th, 1969 as the band's 11th studio album, Abbey Road is consistently considered the Beatles' greatest studio album. It is home of some of the most recognizable songs the band has ever put out. Songs like "Come Together," "Here Comes the Sun," "Something," and "Octopus's Garden." Upon release, the album sold 4 million copies in the first 2 months, and remained number 1 on the billboard charts for numerous weeks, the longest being in Japan where it remained for 298 weeks.
After turbulent recording sessions for a proposed movie titled Get Back, the band decided to come together and create one more album "they way they used to." The recording sessions were met with many technical advancements such as the use of an 8-track reel-to-reel tape machine (from the 4-track on all previous albums) and a solid-state transistor mixing deck (from the earlier thermionic electron vacuum valve-based deck.
My relationship with this album is pretty standard to every other Beatles fan: it's a very good album, not my favorite but a good one nonetheless. The personal connection I have with this vinyl is the way that I got it. In my Junior year of undergrad, I got the opportunity to Study Abroad in London during the winter session. TL;DR, it was an incredible experience and I would love to got back someday. Anyway, I did what any reasonable Beatles fan would do and visit Abbey Road Studios and cause traffic stopping in the middle of the crosswalk for *the photo*. A few days later I went to a flea market and saw someone selling imported records. Among the stacks there was this Australian copy of Abbey Road, pressed on this amazing transparent green vinyl.
So now I am faced with a conflict, because when I visited Abbey Road Studios a few days prior I literally just purchased a remastered copy of Abbey Road; nothing special, just remastered. After weighing the pros and cons, I caved and decided to buy this flea market copy solely for the fact that it was a green vinyl. In hindsight, I'm glad I did this because the turntable I owned at the time had problems playing the remastered copy, but the Australian copy played fine. The album jacket is also pretty standard, the front bearing the iconic crosswalk photo and the back showing the road sign and track listing. Nothing unique inside, most likely because this was a pre-owned imported copy
Back to the contents of the album. Even though I said this wasn't my favorite Beatles album (that honor goes to Revolver) I still very much enjoy this album as a whole. From start to finish Abbey Road is well balanced, beautifully mixed, and an important piece in music history. Aside from the hits, my favorite deep cuts include the quirky "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," a 7-minute piece that ends in a cacophony of sound that suddenly cuts out (literally because they ran out of tape) and ties together the first side of the album. I think my favorite aspect of this album is the unofficially named "Abbey Road Medley," which consists of the run of songs from "You Never Give Me My Money" to "The End."
Regardless of whether you like the Beatles or not, I believe that everyone should listen to Abbey Road at some point in their life, It's a landmark album in the grand scheme of music history, and it went on to influence many more iconic bands and albums.