Abbey Road – The Beatles (1969)

****

Arguably The Beatles’ most prolific (and one of their most beloved) albums, Abbey Road is an enjoyable collection from a veteran band of hitmakers reaching one last peak before heading separate ways. Rather than phoning it in, though, The Fab Four delivered an excellent set filled with hits, trippy ballads, and sunny harmonies without any of the low points of previous work like Rubber Soul and Revolver. The result is one of the greatest albums in The Beatles’ legendary catalog.

It’s unlikely that anyone would wish to actively seek out some of the most famous songs ever recorded like “Come Together” or “Here Comes the Sun.” Luckily, Abbey Road is full of satisfying deep cuts like the extended, apocalyptic jam of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” the classically lovestricken “Oh, Darling,” and the eerie, harmony-laden “Because.” Even when it sounds like The Beatles are just messing around like on “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” they craft a song worthy of its inclusion. Not to mention, Ringo’s “Octopus’s Garden” is an astronomical improvement over “Yellow Submarine.” But the real star of the show is the extended, eight-movement climax that starts with “You Never Give Me Your Money” and ends with the epic guitar dueling of the aptly titled “The End.” This vaunted Abbey Road medley is worth the price of admission alone, an over-the-top reminder of what the world would be missing when The Beatles exited the studio for the final time.

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