• Beatle Song Profiles

    <span itemprop="name">Abbey Road</span>




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  • Abbey Road

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    Abbey Road is regarded as the most tightly constructed Beatle album- despite being recorded during the disintegration of the group as a functioning musical unit. It should have been their worst album- yet it was one of their best.

    Although a few tracks had been produced in the spring of 1969, most of the album was recorded between July 1st and August 15th. During that six week period the rest of the world were preoccupied with the American moon landing and the Woodstock music festival.

    Abbey Road is the last album the Beatles recorded- although it was the second last one that that was released- before Let It Be. Along with Let It Be, it was the only Beatles album to be recorded on eight-track reel to reel tape devices, rather than the four-track machines, and the first and only album to be entirely recorded through a solid state transistor mixing desk as opposed to the more conventional thermionic valve.

    Abbey Road is by far- the most successful Beatles album. It debuted at number one in the UK and remained there for nearly three month, and after a break of one week- was number one for another six weeks. Within nine months of its release more than 5 million copies were sold in the US alone. In 2001 it was certified 12x platinum by the RIAA in 2001. In 2010 it was the best-selling vinyl LP- selling more than 35,000 copies.



    The original intent of  “Something” was as a devotion to Lord Krishna as George was a student of “Krishna Consciousness” when he wrote it. His only comment on the track was:

    “They had blessed me with a couple of B sides in the past. But this is the first time I’ve had an A side. Big deal!”

    Engineer Geoff Emerick remembers the smugness on the face of George when he first presented the track to the band. Emerick recollects how he had the guts to tell Paul how to play the bass part of the song and that he wanted it to be performed in a simplified manner.

    Emerick writes:

    “It was a first in all my years of working with the Beatles: George had never dared to tell Paul what to do. For the first time, John and Paul knew that George had risen to their level.”

    Jonathan Gould described the track as a duet between Harrison’s voice and his own lead guitar. Through it gives the impression of being highly melodic, the tune in the verse is actually very narrow, moving in a range of five notes, which enables Harrison to sing it with great relaxation and force.

    George’s guitar solo is in counterpoint with McCartney’s jazzy, melodic bass. Yet the bass line somehow manages to still keep out of the way of the melody and doesn’t overtake it. Ringo comes up with an immovable backbeat and varied tom-tom fills.

    George supplies the entire vocal arrangement in a neat pattern of alternating sections of single tracking, double tracking at the unison, as well as singing in harmony with himself. The restrained string orchestra adds a pleasantly lush finish to the arrangement. Because the song is a ballad, it’s slow enough to create large spaces the musicians to fill in which gives the track a feel of aesthetic simplicity.

    The overriding theme of “Something”is doubt and uncertainty. The composition can be interpreted as an internal struggle within an individual who doesn’t love a woman- but lusts her. She entices him and essentially manipulates him. She knows he has nowhere else to go and that is leverage for keeping him in this relationship.

    Despite its elusive quality, the song stands as a supreme, affirmation of love, the attraction of the “Other.” Of the reality of that something that connects one with another in the universe

    The man really loves this woman that he is in a relationship with. But there is something wrong in it and he’s trying to decide whether he should end it and if by doing that- then if this will be the end of his problem. He is torn between his deep love for her the knowledge that his love for her can’t grow any more. 

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