With me as their father, it’s impossible for my girls to have escaped The Beatles during their formative years. I sang both of them to bed with ‘Blackbird’ and ‘In My Life,’ regaled them with the A Hard Day’s Night soundtrack, and just this year took them to the Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil performance of LOVE.
But Fiona expanded her Beatles education on her own through theme episodes of Glee, which she has streamed extensively on Netflix.
It’s weird to hear any song from Side Two of Abbey Road on its own (with the exception of ‘Here Comes the Sun’). ‘Because’ isn’t an official segment of the 16-minute medley that makes up most of Side Two, but it may as well be.
John Lennon said that the inspiration for this track came to him when he heard Yoko playing Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ on the piano. He ask her to play the chords backward and built the song around that progression.
Best Albums of the 60s – #13
Abbey Road – The Beatles (1969)
The second Beatles album on this list is similar to the first (Sgt. Pepper) in that its reputation and historic importance outweigh the quality of the actual songs.
They also boast the two most famous cover shots in the Beatles catalog (and perhaps in popular music history).
For my final Beatles song, or at least my final Beatles Weekend song, I’m going with not a single track but the medley that closes side two of Abbey Road. Technically, this medley probably begins with ‘Sun King’ or even ‘You Never Give Me Your Money’ — I don’t know if the band members ever clarified which songs are officially part of it — but this YouTube clip I found starts with ‘Mean Mr. Mustard.’
This is an odd little group of songs. It starts with sketches of Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam, an interesting brother and sister team… he shouts obscenities at the queen while she dresses in drag.
This weekend marks my 39th and 40th Beatles Weekend selections… five months of the Fab Four. And upon reaching that milestone, I’m going to give the boys a rest and shift my attention to another weekend theme. You’ll find out what that is one week from today.
For the final Beatles Weekend, I’m focusing on their final album, Abbey Road. Certainly one of their finest moments on record, Abbey Road features a combination of their heaviest (‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’), silliest (‘Octopus’s Garden’) and most enduring (‘Here Comes the Sun,’ ‘Something’) songs.
I’m sticking with the “quiet Beatle” this weekend.
George Harrison wrote 22 of The Beatles’ 200+ songs and they run the gamut from totally forgettable (‘Blue Jay Way’) to some of the best songs in the catalog (‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps,’ ‘Here Comes the Sun’). He introduced the sitar into the band’s tool kit, putting it to good use on his own ‘Within You Without You’ and ‘The Inner Light’ and making John’s ‘Norwegian Wood‘ possible.
Having started these Beatles Weekends with the first song on the band’s first album, I couldn’t resist following it up with the last song on their last album.
Now, as with all things Beatles, this isn’t as simple as it sounds. A strong argument could be made that Let it Be, not Abbey Road, is The Beatles’ final album. It was, in fact, the last album released by the band. However, I prefer to go by the last album The Beatles recorded, and that was quite definitively Abbey Road.
I suppose it’s easy for me to make that distinction, having discovered all of the band’s albums at once years after they were recorded and released. For somebody alive at the time, Let it Be must have felt newer than Abbey Road no matter when it was recorded simply by virtue of its release date. But time irons out those wrinkles.