In honor of the 51st-anniversary reissue of the Beatles’ iconic masterpiece, let us come together and celebrate Abbey Road, the album that marked the end of an unforgettable era in music (though Let It Be came after, it was actually recorded before Abbey Road).
Before The Beatles, no one imagined that a picture of four lads crossing a street in London could create such an overwhelming sensation at every corner of the globe. But as with everything else they did, this final attempt to create some sincerely good music led to one of the most mesmerizing and legendary musical achievements in the history of mankind.
Need I remind you that this album includes a song like “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” right after “Something”? There is a phenomenon (which I creatively call “The Beatles Phenomenon”) where some things that really shouldn’t work together with works so well that in the end, you just can sit and gapingly try to grasp the situation. This is also true for most of the songs themselves.
After its original release in 1969, the album got mixed reviews. Even within the group, there were many disputes over the quality of some songs. John Lennon started his antipathy for “Maxwell” many times; and often, Paul McCartney struck back by saying “Polythene Pam” wasn’t exactly Proust. Rolling Stone magazine had called the Side Two “a disaster” while New York Times’ Nik Cohn called it a “triumph”. Maybe the best was said by Harrison himself, who nobly declared the album as “pretty good”.
Maybe the most important aspect of Abbey Road is that it was the last time the Beatles acted like a whole band. Outside of the studio, they were drawn apart by lawyers and legal disputes; but inside the Abbey Road studios, they were “the Beatles”, who taught a whole generation love, peace, and exactly how important music is in our lives. Abbey Road was their final message, one that we should go ahead and listen again in its 51st year.