The Beatles LP – Abbey Road

Abbey Road is the eleventh – and final – studio album released by the Beatles. Tension existed within the band existed for some time, but it was John Lennon’s quiet and unannounced departure six days before the album’s release that signalled the band’s end.

Beatles Abbery Road vinyl record rear

Musically, Abbey Road is a mix of blues, rock and punk styles. It was also the first time Ringo Starr had a drum solo on a Beatles’ album, appearing on the track entitled The End. Side 2 of the album features a 16-minute medley comprised of 8 songs. It was the creative idea of Paul McCartney and George Martin (the album’s producer) however in later interviews, Martin takes sole credit for the idea.

The album cover is unique in that it does not bear the name of the band nor the name of the album in the artwork. Apple Records was concerned the album wouldn’t sell without this information. Apple’s creative director Kosh designed the cover, explaining that the Beatles were the most famous musicians in the world, and it wasn’t necessary to name them. This proved to be true as Abbey Road became the band’s selling album. It sold four million copies in its first two months of release.

Despite its highly commercial success, originally the critics were not fond for the album. Some critics felt the sound was artificial, a sound that could only be produced inside the studio. Others felt the music was inauthentic and complicated, with songs that were nothing special.

However, with critics and the consuming public, Abbey Road has stood the test of time. Critics are now calling this the Beatles greatest album. Critics now see the album as innovative and timeless, foreshadowing the acts that would usher in the era of arena rock. The album continues to receive accolades, appearing on most ‘best albums of all times’ lists, while continuing to sell well, still in print since its release in mid-1969.

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