Sunday, February 04, 2007

Abbey Road Thoughts

While being a lover of The Beatles for many, many, many...many years, I have woefully few of their actual albums on CD. Part of that is because they've always been at a relatively high price point and I'm a bit of a bargain hunter when it comes to my media, but I also think my familiarity with the music is/was also a factor. It's often hard for me to buy something that isn't new or that I don't own in another format. Still, when I saw 'Abbey Road' at the local Future Shop for $10 I couldn't resist not picking it up. It's always been one of my favourite of their albums and the price was certainly right.

Anyway, I've sort of been rediscovering the music since then. Sure I know all the songs, but lately I've been really listening to them and letting them soak in. I've also been doing some reading on the making of the album and have run across a few quotes from the band on what they thought of the songs and the project. The band and the music has taken on an almost mythic quality over the last 30 years so it's a bit jarring sometimes for me to look at it as just four guys and a studio recording some songs at the end of their career as a group. The historian in me, however, is a big sucker for that sort of stuff, so I grounded myself and got over the awkwardness pretty quickly.

It's interesting to find out that John and Paul split the album, in a way, with John's desire for single tracks being used on the first side and Paul's desire to construct a medley being used on the second. Reading some of their thoughts on this was illuminating. Paul said some flattering things about John and the others while John was downright snarky when speaking to some of Paul's work. I did note that most of John's comments were from 1980 and I'm not sure what kind of a headspace he was in at that time so that may be a factor, but it disillusioned me just a smidge. I love the medley and always viewed it as a fond farewell by the band - a love letter, almost, to the end of an era, a partnership, and the fans who supported them for as long as they did. It always had great weight for me so it was just a bit surprising to hear John poo-poo the whole thing, including his contributions to it.

Snarkiness or not, it doesn't diminish it any in the end. I still think it's some of the best 16 minutes in music history, so I guess that's all right.

So, to close off, I'm going to link to the quote site that I took some of my info from as well as the Wikipedia entry I checked out. Click through if you're interested.

To close off in the words of Mr. McCartney, 'And in the end, the love we take is equal to the love we make'.


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