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And in the end: 'Abbey Road,' the last album The Beatles recorded, was released 50 years ago today

Written by on September 26, 2019

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Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMeToday marks the 50th anniversary of the release of The BeatlesAbbey Road, the final studio album recorded by the band. Abbey Road found the Fab Four coming together to create a focused, sonically cohesive collection after the tense sessions that yielded the tracks used for 1970’s Let It Be album.

In an interview promoting Abbey Road‘s 50th anniversary reissue, producer Giles Martin notes how Paul McCartney had called Giles’ dad, Beatles producer George Martin, and told him that the band wanted make a record “how we used to do it,” at Abbey Road Studios with George at the helm.

“I think they realized they’d made great records in that way, and they want to make another great record,” Giles maintains.

The first side of Abbey Road begins with the one-two punch of John Lennon‘s gritty “Come Together” and George Harrison‘s beautiful ballad “Something.” The tunes were issued as a double single that topped the Billboard Hot 100. Other side-one gems include “Octopus’s Garden,” “Oh! Darling” and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).”

Side two begins with the Harrison classic “Here Comes the Sun,” followed by the harmony-laden “Because.” The remainder of the album is taken up by a unique 16-minute medley made up of eight short songs, including “Carry that Weight” “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” and “The End.”

Reflecting on what made Abbey Road a special album, Giles says, “It has the humor in it, it has the rock elements in it, has some rawness, has some simplicity.”

Abbey Road spent 11 nonconsecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200, and has sold over 12 million copies in the U.S., making it The Beatles’ second-best-selling studio album after 1968’s The White Album.

Here’s Abbey Road‘s original track list:

Side 1
“Come Together”
“Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”
“Oh! Darling”
“Octopus’s Garden”
“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”

Side 2
“Here Comes the Sun”

“You Never Give Me Your Money”
“Sun King”
“Mean Mr. Mustard”
“Polythene Pam”
“She Came in Through the Bathroom Window”
“Golden Slumbers”
“Carry That Weight”
“The End”
“Her Majesty” (hidden track)

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