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The Abbey Road Medley
23 February 2012
9.11pm
cool.story.mum.
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BornInThe80s said

Ah the medley. It is brilliant. Polythene Pam, Golden Slumbers, and The End being my favorites.

 I used to skip 'Sun King' all the time. It took one time listening to the album in the woods, not particularly sober, that I realized how AMAZING that song (and the entire medley) is. It truly is a wonderful end to an album, the best I've ever heard.

 a-hard-days-night-ringo-8are you kidding me?! tell me - why?a-hard-days-night-ringo-6 mm... I find the intro (I mean first seconds of the song) really relaxing and pleasent kind of a warm up to what's coming next - they aren't heavy or annoying, whatever. just fills you. so, you, why? a-hard-days-night-ringo-15

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25 February 2012
1.46am
RevolvingPiggies
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 exactly how I feel! It coaxes the soul. And the singing is warm as well

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25 February 2012
3.55am
BornInThe80s
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I will blame it on my age at the time! I felt it was a little slow and took to long to get to the point. Also, at that time, I never listened to an album all the way through! My first listen of Abbey Road (on my own) I skipped songs and wondered why the 2nd half seemed so short and abrupt in places a-hard-days-night-ringo-6It took me a while before I played it through and realized it was a medley! I'm actually kind of ashamed of admitting that. I was 20. Just a little boy!

 

Come to think of it my  Beatles obsession started a bit rough. I remember Sgt. Pepper was the 2nd album from them I bought, listened to it twice, hated it and didn't pick it up for years.

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19 February 2013
4.03am
exarctly
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You know, I have a hard time calling all the tracks from 'never give me your money' to 'the end' one medley. Seems to me that the medley already completely resolves and dies after She Came In Through The Bathroom Window. Then a second medley from Golden Slumbers to The End happens.

Maybe I am too picky. I get the point. But anyone else ever think this?

Also, what do you think of the medley. I like it, but it is kind of true that it is mostly a bunch of snippets and pieces without a lot of rhyme or reason. That a lot of those songs could have been better or ignored, perhaps had Lennon been more focused and in to the group at the time. So maybe the medley was like the best possible thing they could have done to get the most out of what they had left in the tank (and actually go out playing and jamming a bit), and to try a completely different idea (even at that point in their career) than anything they had done before. So I like it. But I wonder if it is over rated.   

 

19 February 2013
3.05pm
Long John Silver
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One question, who plays 2:48 guitar part:

 

sorry for off topic but i found it silly to open a topic just for this part.

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19 February 2013
4.43pm
vonbontee
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I know what exarctly means - I occasionally have a problem with considering it a medley rather than medleys, plural, for the main reason described. I wish they'd used a cross-fade or more of Paul's tape loops or something else as a sonic bridge between "Bathroom Window" and "Golden Slumbers".

But I don't agree fully that the medley resolves itself by the end of "Bathroom Window". "Carry That Weight" has those vocal parts and closing guitar arpeggios that harken back to "You Never Give Me Your Money", so that by the time the opening chords of "The End" come around, there's a bit of a deja vu effect, we've gotten a kind of musical closure, and we're into the homestretch. So we do get our musical resolution after all, and then as a bonus everybody gets a solo as we celebrate the swan song of a great band, the greatest band ever.

And then, oddly, Paul gets the last word (kind of annoyingly so.)

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
19 February 2013
9.38pm
Egroeg Evoli
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I think the silence between SCITTBW and Golden Slumbers is kind of like a bridge, in a way. The end of SCITTBW is kind of quiet, and then there's some more quiet, and then the quiet beginning of Golden Slumbers, and then it slowly gets louder and picks up the pace, and then we get to The End. The quietness is sort of like a deep breath, and then Carry That Weight gets a little faster and louder, warming the band up for the amazing The End.

vonbontee said
So we do get our musical resolution after all, and then as a bonus everybody gets a solo as we celebrate the swan song of a great band, the greatest band ever.

And then, oddly, Paul gets the last word (kind of annoyingly so.)

Exactly how I feel, yet it just wouldn't be the same without Her Majesty.

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19 February 2013
9.56pm
vonbontee
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I prefer "Her Majesty" situated between "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam", the way it was supposed to be originally!

I don't care for the idea of huge clumps of Lennon or McCartney songs all bunched together in a row. Placing "Her Majesty" back in its original spot alleviates that somewhat.

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
20 February 2013
12.21am
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I find the space between Bathroom Window and Golden Slumbers to be a touch of genius: its gives me a moment to get a fresh gasp of air before being sucked back in for the breathtaking finale (Her Majesty being the ditty as the curtains raise).

Was recently asked what my favourite Beatles album was and after some thought i opted for Abbey Road. The first 8 songs (ending with Because) are so excellented placed and paced i would applaud it for being superb for those alone but then the medley comes in and it takes to another stratosphere. It is so brilliantly put together that at the end im always blown away, so much more than Pepper and that stuns me every time i play it thru. Somehow these 8 songs (Her Majesty isnt part of it) work amazingly well together, far greater than the individual parts and probably would not do if not worked out by mainly George Martin and Paul, tho John had input. 

As for Her Majesty's placing for me it doesnt work if between Mean Mr Mustard and Polythene Pam; the pace slows for 30 seconds and you lose some of the momentum whereas Pam and Mustard work together effortlessly, the nod to Pam in Mustard certainly helps as do the stabbing guitar swipes.  You keep being swept along this wonderful ride that you dont want to ever stop - tho you do need that gasp of breath (well i do)

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20 February 2013
1.04am
Egroeg Evoli
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meanmistermustard said
I find the space between Bathroom Window and Golden Slumbers to be a touch of genius: its gives me a moment to get a fresh gasp of air before being sucked back in for the breathtaking finale (Her Majesty being the ditty as the curtains raise).

That's a good way of putting it.

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20 February 2013
4.02am
LongHairedLady
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vonbontee said
And then, oddly, Paul gets the last word (kind of annoyingly so.)

I remember reading this before, but I grabbed the quote off wikipedia to be sure:

"The song was originally placed between "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam"; McCartney decided that the sequence did not work and the song was edited out of the medley byAbbey Road Studios tape operator John Kurlander. He was instructed by McCartney to destroy the tape, but EMI policy stated that no Beatles recording was ever to be destroyed. The fourteen seconds of silence between "The End" and "Her Majesty" are the result of Kurlander’s lead-out tape added to separate the song from the rest of the recording."

Paul didn't ask to have the last word.  You might not have been implying that, but in case you were.. yeah.  ahdn_paul_02

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20 February 2013
4.48am
unknown
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8And even so, he kind of would have had the last word anyways; The End was mostly his song.

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20 February 2013
5.22am
LongHairedLady
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unknown said
a-hard-days-night-ringo-8And even so, he kind of would have had the last word anyways; The End was mostly his song.

True that.  Speaking of that, I love this quote:

In his 1980 interview with PlayboyJohn Lennon acknowledged McCartney's authorship by saying, "That's Paul again ... He had a line in it, 'And in the end, the love you get is equal to the love you give,' which is a very cosmic, philosophical line. Which again proves that if he wants to, he can think."[3] Lennon misquoted the line; the actual words are, "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

Oh, cheeky Lennon.  a-hard-days-night-john-1heart

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

20 February 2013
6.06am
vonbontee
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unknown said

a-hard-days-night-ringo-8And even so, he kind of would have had the last word anyways; The End was mostly his song.

He wrote it, yes. (Somebody had to!) But it feels more like a full band effort, since everybody gets their turn in the instrumental-solo spotlight. An unprecedented and remarkable occurrence in the band's recorded legacy! And finally, the final lyric is sung by Paul, John and George harmonizing together, instead of just Paul alone. exceptthefinaltwowordsyoumakewhichareindeedsungbypaulaloneyeahiknow

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20 February 2013
8.53am
meanmistermustard
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Right after that line in The End there are harmonies by all 3 so Paul gets the two words but you end with John, Paul and George and their glorious harmonies, a part of their music that still capture onhearers.

There is also the case that Her Majesty wasnt listed on the cover so The End was at the end of the tracklisting, Her Majesty being a hidden track to listeners who would get the shock of their lives hearing that crashing guitar chord after fourteen seconds of silence.

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21 February 2013
2.18am
robert
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Regarding the use of the word "medley" I think calling it a "suite" is a better and more accurate term.

Regarding Her Majesty, if memory serves correctly, (as accurately described above) the song was cut, not to be thrown out (per EMI) and tagged onto the end lead tape. When it was played back McCartney was there, the engineer said, "I'll remove that" McCartney told him not to remove it but to leave it. The rest of the Beatles did not know it was there until after everything had been done (including the back cover song listing) and they were pretty pissed off about it.

So Paul, knowing this was their last record, did purposely give himself the last word.

That's how I recall it, can't site where I learned that - but I'm fairly sure that's accurate and it explains why Her Majesty wasn't listed at first.

 

 

 

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21 February 2013
6.45am
vonbontee
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That's interesting...I knew how "Her Majesty" came to be excluded and reinstated by Paul, but I never read anything about the other three being pissed off.

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
21 February 2013
12.38pm
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Long John Silver said
One question, who plays 2:48 guitar part:

 

sorry for off topic but i found it silly to open a topic just for this part.

I always assumed it was George. It has the same sound as that found in 'It Don't Come Easy'.

 

BOT: To me, the medley begins with 'Because' and ends with 'The End'. I do find the theory of two separate medleys interesting, however.

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21 February 2013
2.41pm
vonbontee
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In my more insane moments, I've imagined that "Here Comes The Sun" and "Because" feel sad and excluded - stuck on Side Two but not allowed to participate in the medley(s), and not allowed to cross the street to play with the bad kids on Side One either!

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
21 February 2013
2.59pm
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I always feel like Because is part of the medley. To me it feels like a prologue. Then you head into the medley proper, with its intake of breath at the end of Bathroom Window before the build-up to the climax. And then there's that funny little postscript at the end. One of the most sublime sides of music ever recorded.

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