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Abbey Road

Abbey Road, the Beatles eleventh studio album, was released on 26 September 1969 by Apple Records. The recording sessions for the album were the last in which all of the Beatles participated. Although Let It Be was the final album that they completed before the Beatles’ dissolution, most of that album had been recorded before the Abbey Road sessions began.

For this album, to give the world something new, William (“Paul”) suggested connecting all of the songs on each side of the album so that the music would never stop–except to turn the album over. John strongly objected to the idea, wanting each song to stand alone. Ultimately, they compromised by having one side of the album with the traditional pause between each song, and the other side nearly all joined together with instrumental transitions between each song.

Signifying the end of the Beatles, the cover features the four band members crossing the street, walking away from Abbey Road Studios. It was their farewell album. Originally, the last song was “The End.” William (“Paul”) decided that this farewell song, in addition to including his best philosophical lyric, would have the band members contribute instrumental solo.

“The End” features Ringo’s only drum solo in the entire Beatles’ catalogue. Then, almost a minute into the song, there are 18 bars of lead guitar: the first two bars are played by “Paul,” the second two by George, and the third two by John, with the sequence being played three times. After John’s third guitar solo, the piano chords (by “Paul”) begin. The song ends with “Paul’s” brilliant line, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make,” which is followed by orchestration, a humming chorus, and one last guitar solo by George.

With the heaviness of such a dramatic ending calling for comic relief, after several seconds of silence showing again that the band was done, “Paul” added his 23 second track, “Her Majesty.” When first released, “Her Majesty” was a hidden track. However, this humorous ditty, featuring only “Paul,” was later credited on the cover as well. Thus, one may see that after the Beatles ended, “Paul” continued. 

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