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Side one prevents the album from being the Beatles' best
8 August 2019
2.47am
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The Hole Got Fixed
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I suppose now is a good time to say that I really like Mean Mr Mustard and Polythene Pam , and WDWDIITR too. I rarely listen to the medley, I've probably only done that once this year.
I've never understood why Abbey Road gets SO MUCH praise. It's a good album, sure. Their best? No! It does contain a lot of filler (I'm looking at you, last 4 minutes of I Want You) and some of it is fun, and some people love it, but I do understand what you mean. I guess us who do love Polythene Pam as a separate entity are few and far between...
There was a time last year (briefly) when Mean Mr Mustard just scraped into my top 10 Beatles songs, too...

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8 August 2019
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glazball
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The Hole Got Fixed said

I've never understood why Abbey Road gets SO MUCH praise. It's a good album, sure. Their best? No!

  

Afraid I can't disagree more.  Abbey Road is the pinnacle of everything great John, Paul, George and Ringo ever did together.  (Though I admit, Rubber Soul comes really, really close for me).  Abbey Road is simply perfection from beginning to end, and I consider it their "crown jewel."

8 August 2019
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I'm with @The Hole Got Fixed on this one.

 

My Beatles crown jewels are Revolver , Sgt. Pepper , White Album . While I love most songs (songs, not snippets, hehe) on Abbey Road , it never hooked me as a whole album. Like I said, I'd probably name up to fifty favourite Beatles masterpieces before coming even close to that medley.

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9 August 2019
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glazball said

The Hole Got Fixed said

I've never understood why Abbey Road gets SO MUCH praise. It's a good album, sure. Their best? No!

  

Afraid I can't disagree more.  Abbey Road is the pinnacle of everything great John, Paul, George and Ringo ever did together.  (Though I admit, Rubber Soul comes really, really close for me).  Abbey Road is simply perfection from beginning to end, and I consider it their "crown jewel."

  

Personally, I don’t count Polythene Pam or Mean Mr Mustard as anything close to perfection. I think if you take away either side of the album it’s worse for it, but even with both it’s not at all their best album. Now, if you said Rubber Soul or Revolver was perfection from beginning to end, I wouldn’t argue. john-lennon-salute_gif

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9 August 2019
11.36am
glazball
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Man, tough crowd!  OK OK fine, Rubber Soul is also perfect beginning to end.  Revolver is very close, with Sgt. Pepper and White Album close behind.  I just can't agree that there is any filler on Abbey Road .  There was no need for filler.  They knew this was likely their last hoorah and they had no one else to win over or impress.  They took the unbridled studio creativity of Sgt. Pepper , the strong and varied assortment of songs (and writers, even giving Ringo his finest song) from White Album , kept the production at an impeccable standard (so that it still sounds miles better than all of their previous albums), mixed it all up and unleashed it upon the world.

I knew it was a perfect album the first time I heard it.  It was just common knowledge amongst my friends and family.  Abbey Road was their masterpiece, and always will be.

It's just humbling and rather sad to think where The Beatles would have gone musically, had they stayed together (happily) and had all the tools and equipment (8-track, synths, etc) of the 70's at their disposal.

9 August 2019
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I think the reason Abbey Road is looked at so greatly isn't because it's the best (although it's up there) but more so because it's The Beatles farewell album. Sure, Let It Be was released afterwards but aside from I Me Mine and a few overdubs, it was finished before they started recording Abbey Road in February of 1969.

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9 August 2019
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Dark Overlord said
I think the reason Abbey Road is looked at so greatly isn't because it's the best (although it's up there) but more so because it's The Beatles farewell album. Sure, Let It Be was released afterwards but aside from I Me Mine and a few overdubs, it was finished before they started recording Abbey Road in February of 1969.

  

I get what you’re saying, but Abbey Road being a great album helps. If LIB was the true farewell album it wouldn’t have been as warmly received just for that reason. People don’t agree with the Spector mixing decisions and such. 

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10 August 2019
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Kaniffee said
You dare insult Polythene Pam ??? She Came In Through The Bathroom Window ???a-hard-days-night-ringo-6

Fact is both sides are completely amazing, making for a perfect album (their only one imo besides arguably Sgt. Pepper ).

  

I would say Revolver is kind of a perfect album, too. That is another one people often proclaim with high praise about. Also, if you ask me... Rubber Soul might as well be considered a perfect album. (NO BIAS INTENDED). a-hard-days-night-john-6

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10 August 2019
1.07pm
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Revolver is amazing too of course, and deserving of praise. Rubber Soul and Revolver seem to hit that sweet spot that all fans appreciate, since some people like early vs. later stuff.  Rubber Soul juuuust edges ahead to my ear.  I'd say A Hard Day's Night is perfect as a whole, as well.  It's certainly a 10/10 and there are no weak moments.  It speaks volumes that The Beatles can have an album as perfect as Revolver , yet still have other albums even "more perfect"!

There's just Something about Abbey Road that elevates it above all the others.  11/10 ahdn_john_08_gif

10 August 2019
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Richard
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I don't think Side One lets the album down.

I rate most of the Beatles' albums extremely highly, and if I had to pick just one of them (e.g. for a desert island) I would choose Abbey Road .

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10 August 2019
11.32pm
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I have to disagree with this topic respectfully, Abbey Road 's Side one and two are great and there isn't really one of those songs that people are just going to absolutely berate except probably Maxwell's Silver Hammer , but I love that song and there are lots of people who do too. 

 

The only problem I have is Her Majesty , it's such a bloody tease of a song, and the fact we don't get more of it makes me sick. It's one of the best 23 second songs ever heard but it just leaves me feeling kind of empty by putting it at the end of the album when we just finished the medley, with "Golden Slumbers /Carry That Weight /The End " which is one of McCartney's best compositions EVER. I think if there was a different song at the end of the album, much like Sgt. Pepper 's does with A Day In The Life coming after the reprise. I would feel a little better but that kind of defeats the purpose of it being called "The End ", just my opinion.

 

I wish there was more after Her Majesty but it's just nothing. It doesn't even end like a proper song would, the recording just cuts off.

 

Sidenote: You Never Give Me Your Money is the best song on the album. Thank you a-hard-days-night-paul-11

"Was she told when she was young
That pain would lead to pleasure?
Did she understand it when they said
That a man must break his back
To earn his day of leisure?"

- John Lennon, "Girl"

11 August 2019
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Richard
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knowhereman said
I have to disagree with this topic respectfully, Abbey Road 's Side one and two are great and there isn't really one of those songs that people are just going to absolutely berate except probably Maxwell's Silver Hammer , but I love that song and there are lots of people who do to. 

I think Maxwell's Silver Hammer tends to be highly underrated.

knowhereman said
The only problem I have is Her Majesty , it's such a bloody tease of a song, and the fact we don't get more of it makes me sick. It's one of the best 23 second songs ever heard but it just leaves me feeling kind of empty by putting it at the end of the album when we just finished the medley, with "Golden Slumbers /Carry That Weight /The End " which is one of McCartney's best compositions EVER. I think if there was a different song at the end of the album, much like Sgt. Pepper 's does with A Day In The Life coming after the reprise. I would feel a little better but that kind of defeats the purpose of it being called "The End ", just my opinion.

I wish there was more after Her Majesty but it's just nothing. It doesn't even end like a proper song would, the recording just cuts off.
 

In some respects, it may have been preferable to exclude Her Majesty altogether and have the album (and the main Beatles' experience) conclude with The End as a fitting finale!  There again, the Beatles liked to surprise: the crash of the starting chord (extracted from Mean Mr Mustard ) must have surprised millions of people the first time they heard it; and as Paul commented: "That was very much how things happened. Really, you know, the whole of our career was like that so it's a fitting end."

The recording of Her Majesty cuts off because it was originally intended to segue into Polythene Pam .

All things considered, I'm happy with it as it stands. 

knowhereman said
Sidenote: You Never Give Me Your Money is the best song on the album. Thank you a-hard-days-night-paul-11

It's a great song! I think my favourites on Abbey Road are The End and You Never Give Me Your Money .

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11 August 2019
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Richard said

In some respects, it may have been preferable to exclude Her Majesty altogether and have the album (and the main Beatles' experience) conclude with The End as a fitting finale!  There again, the Beatles liked to surprise: the crash of the starting chord (extracted from Mean Mr Mustard ) must have surprised millions of people the first time they heard it; and as Paul commented: "That was very much how things happened. Really, you know, the whole of our career was like that so it's a fitting end."

The recording of Her Majesty cuts off because it was originally intended to segue into Polythene Pam .

All things considered, I'm happy with it as it stands. 

  

And I don't hate Her Majesty , it just leaves me wanting more and I don't get it, which leaves me kind of bitter, but it is true that the Beatles always wanted to have the element of surprise in their music and that's one of many reasons that made them so entertaining to listen to.

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"Was she told when she was young
That pain would lead to pleasure?
Did she understand it when they said
That a man must break his back
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- John Lennon, "Girl"

11 August 2019
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I always saw Her Majesty as the Beatles one last giggle.  I can never begrudge their funnier songs because it shows even when they're making works if art they want to have a laugh too.

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11 August 2019
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Kaniffee said
I always saw Her Majesty as the Beatles one last giggle.  I can never begrudge their funnier songs because it shows even when they're making works if art they want to have a laugh too.

  

I guess that's one way to look at it. I didn't think of that. Perhaps, I was thinking wrong, the song is a bit ridiculous but you can tell McCartney is having fun with it, and that's the kind of stuff you really want to hear, because when a musician is having fun that's when their best stuff comes.

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"Was she told when she was young
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Did she understand it when they said
That a man must break his back
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13 August 2019
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My varied opinions on HM are pretty much unchanged since 2010...

https://www.beatlesbible.com/f.....ty/page-1/

...but I no longer think it would improve the medley by bridging Pam and Mustard. (The transition itself would work OK,  but to the detriment of the medley as a whole, methinks)

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13 August 2019
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vonbontee said
My varied opinions on HM are pretty much unchanged since 2010...

https://www.beatlesbible.com/f.....ty/page-1/

...but I no longer think it would improve the medley by bridging Pam and Mustard. (The transition itself would work OK,  but to the detriment of the medley as a whole, methinks)

  

Always, and always thought "The End " would have been just fine for it's placement at the end of the album basically finishing it off.

"Was she told when she was young
That pain would lead to pleasure?
Did she understand it when they said
That a man must break his back
To earn his day of leisure?"

- John Lennon, "Girl"

14 March 2020
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Side one prevents the album from being the Beatles' best???

Hogwash. 
The only thing that keeps Abbey Road from being the best is Revolver is better.

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20 March 2020
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Side One has solid standalone songs, while side 2 is medley with songs that aren't complete with one another(except the first 2 songs).  I think both are commendable in different ways.

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I just can't believe someone can actually say those things about Abbey Road . I believe is a perfect album.

Listen to this. If you like the White Album , then it comes as a surprise to me that you don't like side A of Abbey Road . I've always been a critic of the White Album 's nonsense variability, I think it would've been a better tighter single disc. The White Album has two types of songs (roughly generalizing): the Lennon type and the Paul type. That doesn't mean written by John or written by Paul. A Lennon White Album song is a seriously dark rock tune, examples would be Yer Blues , Happiness Is A Warm Gun , I'm So Tired , Julia and yes, Helter Skelter and While My Guitar Gently Weeps . And Paul type songs would be silly major clown songs, like for example Martha My Dear , Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da , Honey Pie and Rocky Raccoon , etc.

Abbey Road not only has those two types, but it also has some of the best tracks on that style, Come Together and I Want You (She's So Heavy) are better than a lot of rock tracks on the White Album , and if you like silly Paul songs, then Maxwell's Silver Hammer and Octopus's Garden should be instant likes.

The first half of Abbey Road sells the versatility the Beatles still had when writing those either very scary or very happy songs.

Come Together is hard as sh*t and Ringo's drums kill the verse.

Something is beautiful.

Maxwell's Silver Hammer is just as well produced and recorded as the rest of the songs. I see it just as another Martha My Dear , another Honey Pie , another Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da [and I think it's better than all of those]. The lyrics are consistently funny and well put together.

Oh! Darling is a fantastic 3/4 harmonic vocal performance by Paul. It has potential to be better, but it's sweet as hell, and very Beatlesque. It's a classic that grows on everyone eventually.

Octopus's Garden can be whatever you want, but if you defend an album that contains Don't Pass Me By , probably the worst song ever made, in it, to something as charming and melodic as Octopus's Garden , then you really have to put your thoughts together. George really turned it into a better version of Yellow Submarine . The hook is great, Ringo sings it great, and the instrumentation is just as good as everything on Abbey Road . Noted that Abbey Road is probably the only Beatles album where non of the songs have bad production. You know, there's always one, Abbey Road doesn't have any.

I Want You is awesome, I don't know what you're talking about, John called it "an attempt at minimalistic writing", which I adore as a concept. It's kind of like a challenge, like "how much can you make interesting a song with the same lyrics over and over", it is awesome. I don't know how much you are into long structured songs like jazz fusion or progressive rock and stuff, but I Want You to me has that kind of feel. Given that it changes between the verse and the chorus entirely, and the first and third verse are sang while the middle verse changes to blues entirely and it just contains the guitar lick. Every time I get to that point in the song I get goosebumps, you know, when Lennon is supposed to start singing but he doesn't, he just plays the guitar, I think it's awesome, like, listen to that part alone and try and understand what the listener expects versus what he receives. It is truly a golden price of a song. Also Preston's work on the harmonic organ is fantastic. And the long ending is just an attempt at building tension and then releasing, with the ending of side A. I like that idea of the Beatles fading into the instrumental and ending it abruptly.

Side B is also a masterpiece in its own right and I will agree it's better than side A, but side A deserves so much better than what you're givin it credit for.

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