the beatles abbey road
there is no musician who can really deny the awesome impact of the beatles on all genre’s of music so it was really a matter of time until i addressed the beatles in my great albums blog. i’ve many associations with this particular album many are quite old and it’ll be quite nostalgic for me to speak of them with you.
Track 1″ COME TOGETHER. a great rick & roll song, funky swampy and atmospheric. not surprisingly sir paul creates yet another godlike and memorable bass line and helps to give the song an almost dangerous atmospheric feel. what is great is the song doesn’t rush, doesn’t drag just struts with a dirty confidence and a swagger that can only come from 4 multi millionares from liverpool. there are very good reasons why so many people have covered this.
Track 2 SOMETHING this is the bass line that every bass player both wishes he could get away with as well as is willing to kill to have written. paul had to fight george like a tiger to get him to keep the bass line and paul also credits george with writing some of the most beautiful chord changes he’s ever heard. virtuosity aside it is a simple, beautiful and honest song that i think everyone who has really been head over heels for someone could relate to. i remember hearing this song when i was in the blissful stage of one of my love affairs when i really felt that this woman made all the love songs i’d heard true…. and it was true for a while at least. i’ve been studing this arrangement and it never ceases to amaze me. simply a beautiful piece of art celelbrating the greater moments of a love affair.
Track 3 MAXWELL’S SILVER HAMMER i’m not sure why but this song always reminds me of my high school chemestry class, i can even recall the bad faux wood veneers and the sadistically uncomfortable seats. i was a junior in high school when i bought this album on audicassette, and many surreptitious walkman hour was logged into this between classes. so catchy, so well arranged so psychotic a song i love it. this song also reminds me of a girl i had a huge, huge HUGE! thing for in high school named kimi lafleur. a drop dead gorgeous girl of vietnamese descent on her mother’s side french on her dad’s. she was a bit of a wild one, and i remember hanging out in her familiy’s asin decorated, opulent home, and seeing her dancing around the indoor pool in t shirt and cutoffs while singing along between bonghits… nothing ever really happened between us but it was fun while i thought i had a snowball’s chance in hell with her. i’m so glad high school is a distant and rapidly fading memory at this stage of my life.
Track 4 OH DARLIING holy crap this song is great. the beatles successfully approbated the musical vocabulary of doo-wop and added fantastic vocals on top of it, especially those delightfully gravelly touches on the bridge. this is yet another one of those songs i’ll oftem be found singing very loudly, very badly and very enthusiastically along with. every bit of the song is great and george’s great understated guitar fills really add entire dimensions to the piece. i always feel that george’s fantastic guitar talents have been obscured by the fact that he is a “Beatle” and therefore doesn’t tend to be looked at in the same perspective of his peers.
Track 5 OCTOPUS’S GARDEN every beatles song needs at least one ringo song and abbey road doesn’t disppoint. what i’d like to focus on is george harrison’s great country influenced arpeggiated chords and lead guitar fills. you can really see much of the johnny marr (of the smiths) playbook in the guitar on this song. the lyrics are also very fun and quite visual.
Track 6 I WANT YOU here the boys get a bit dangerous and dirty. it’s obvious they want to do more than “hold your hand”. the slinky bass line and guitar & organ fills set the textbook for pornography soundtracks for decades. the playing on this song is beyond most artist’s; it had an edge, it had a danger to it it’s musical sex it’s great dramatic auditory foreplay. to me it conjures up images of my first several passionate “make out sessions”, i think of the yellow glare of streetlights and reckless uncomfortable abandon in cluttered compact cars in the parking lot of the fashion mall, or on the roof of the sunforest apartment complex in plantation. good memories of seer ill concieved teenage passion.
Track 7 another beautiful and sensitive george harrison song, cting as the yinb to the yang of “i want you”. this song is considerably more innocent and optimistic. george harrison always made such wonderful “statements” on guitar, especially on the acoustic. when the keyboard comes in toward the end it really opens up the textures of the peice and helps to bulild the overall energy without diminishing the sweet & beautiful melody that it is anchored on.
Track 8 BECAUSE the next several song on the album (i believe that from here till the end is the side B) i always associate with the x-mas season; mostly because for years 105.9fm would always play this entire side as the holidays drew near and if i remember correctly the oldies station would have an all beatles new years day. i hear this & i’m driving home from a battering day of retail warfare and this would last me the entire way home. the vocal harmonies are almost tear jerking, this sort of grand and beautiful scope is where i relate to and absolutly love the beatles not their “hits”
Track 9 YOU NEVER GIVE ME YOUR MONEY this one i also associate with the aformentioned girl kimi i was so infatuated with in my high school years, it’s odd the associations. here is where the songs become stoner paridise mind opera. the piano is so spare and when the bass comes in it;s a run that just almost made me have a seizure at comprehending how fantastic it is. then it goes into the honky tonk feel then som george flavored country riffs. fress beautiful and still able to blow away almost anything recorded sice. this song is just one great idea after another. any one of the ideas in this song you could anchor a song on but this one has 7. there is a good reason why they klnighted these guys,
Track 10 THE SUN KING my associations here are my old room in my parent’s old house, cold weather and the feel of linolem on my bare feet. i remember just being swept away into the feel of this song, and i still am. in this song i can really hear how paul mcartney really influenced mike watt with his bass line. this song (much like this entire side of the album) has such a dreamy trancelike quality, if i could ver accomplish a fraction of this i’d die a happy man.
Track 11 MEAN MR MUSTARD talk about a shift of gears, one minute and 5 seconds of a cool groove and really interesting vilually associative vocals.
Track 12 POLYTHENE PAM shifting gears again, my personal theory is that it’s a bit of self parody, in any case a great fun song.
Track 13 SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW i love to sing this song, it again is great and fun. the lyrics are cryptic enough to make you really listen to draw a narrative from the song, the guitar fills really sing in this song. i absolutely love this song and can’t even really say why, i have to talk the boys into covering this one.
Tack 14, 15, 16 GOLDEN SLUMBERS/ CARRY THAT WEIGHT/ THE END there is no separating the songs in this arc. i freely admit that this song on many occasions has brought a tear to my eyes. to me it makes me think of love, from a selfless/fatalistic perspective. to me i makes me think of lying next to one of my first loves, watching her sleep and crooning this softly to myself. it was at that moment i had the heartbraking realiztion that this wouldn’t last forever, that love usually is finite and even though that moment we were happy things do nd. the last line, as cliche as it’s become, really is the entire message “and in the end, the love we take is equal to the love you make”, also i feel this in many ways was the beatles saying goodbye to the fans and each other. a band is a very emotional experience, it’s every bit as passionate as a love affair and often is just as painful to see disintegrate…as you all know i’m feeling now. these songs to me are what they were feeling, love, torture, nostalga. it was the conclusion of a love affair.
Track 17 HER MAJESTY 23 seconds, very sweet a musical kiss on the forehead before being put to bed.