Sunday, July 24, 2011

The #17 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era--"Abbey Road" by the Beatles

Inside the Rock Era presents the first major feature since the blog went live on March 1 of this year.  We started in May, featuring one album per day and we're up to #17.

Abbey Road was the 11st studio album from the Beatles.  Although it was unsaid, the members of the group believed this would be the last album as a group.  They decided to put aside their personal differences and concentrate on going out on a high note.  The album reached #1 for 11 weeks, #2 for seven and #3 for two weeks.  It spent 27 weeks in the Top 10 and 129 total.  Abbey Road has sold 12 million copies and has an outstanding Track Record* of 9.15.  "Something" and "Come Together" were the only singles from the album and both reached #1.  It still is an album that can be tracked through for most listeners.  "Here Comes the Sun", although not released, is arguably the top track from the album. "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", "Octopus's Garden", "Because", "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" and "Golden Slumbers/Carry that Weight" are all excellent tracks and have received considerable airplay.

Abbey Road:
(All songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney unless otherwise noted.)

Side one
1.   "Come Together" --4:20
2.    "Something" (George Harrison) --3:03
3  .  "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" --3:27
4  .  "Oh!  Darling" --3:26
5  .  "Octopus's Garden (Richard Starkey) --2:51
6.    "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" --7:47

Side two
1.    "Here Comes the Sun" (Harrison) --3:05
2.    "Because" --2:45
3.    "You Never Give Me Your Money" --4:02
4  .  "Sun King" --2:26
5.    "Mean Mr. Mustard" --1:06
6.    "Polythene Pam" --1:12
7.    "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" --1:57
8.    "Golden Slumbers" --1:31
9.    "Carry That Weight" --1:36
10.  "The End" --2:05
11.  "Her Majesty" --0.23

The Beatles were:  George Harrison on lead, rhythm, acoustic and bass guitars, Hammond organ, harmonium, Moog synthesizer, handclaps and assorted percussion, lead, harmony and backing vocals, John Lennon on lead and rhythm guitars, six and twelve-string acoustic guitars, electric and acoustic piano, Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer, white noise generator and sound effects, tambourine and maracas, lead, harmony and backing vocals, Paul McCartney on lead, rhythm, acoustic and bass guitars, fuzz bass, electric and acoustic pianos, Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer (ribbon strip), handclaps, assorted percussion and sound effects, lead, harmony and backing vocals and Ringo Starr on drums, percussion, timpani, anvil, handclaps, lead vocals on "Octopus's Garden" and "Carry that Weight" and backing vocals.

Billy Preston played Hammond organ on "Something" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and George Martin played piano, electric harpsichord, organ, harmonium and percussion.

George Martin orchestrated and conducted several songs on the album with help from George Harrison and Paul McCartney.  Abbey Road was recorded by Geoff Emerick and Phil McDonald from February 22 to August 20 of 1969 at EMI, Olympic and Trident Studios in London.  Martin produced the album with assistance from the Beatles. It was mixed by Emerick, McDonald, George Martin and the Beatles.   Emerick was the engineer and Alan Parsons landed a great job as the Assistant Engineer for the album, which catapulted him to an outstanding career.  The album was released September 26, 1969 on Apple Records.

The superb Abbey Road by the Beatles comes in at #17.

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