The Beatles new “Abbey Road” box set includes 23 session recordings and demos to be released Friday, Sept. 27.
Many great albums came out in 1969 but I’ve yet to hear one that’s better than The Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” Same could be said about 2019. Today, listening to the new 50th anniversary edition of “Abbey Road” box set out Friday, I’m again struck by its awesomeness. It’s not great for then, like so many decades-old artworks deemed classics, it’s great now, judged against everything that has come in its wake. Eternally cool. Like the look of those four young men crossing the street on the cover.
There’s nothing creaky about John Lennon’s “Come Together,” that’s for sure, and love songs don’t get anymore sincere than George Harrison’s “Something,” especially with the sublimely candid couplet, “You’re asking me will my love grow / I don’t know, I don’t know.”
Paul McCartney’s psycho killer ditty “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” followed by the love song “Oh! Darling” that recalls Dion and the Belmonts by way of Little Richard and Solomon Burke. That’s impressive, too. And try not to smile when Ringo Starr sings about the “Octopus’s Garden” he found while tooling around in his Yellow Submarine.
“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” feels like Lennon responding to Vanilla Fudge and Deep Purple. It’s like he’s telling fans: Don’t bother with heavy metal Beatles cover songs, here’s our own. We got this. Just like we did last album with “Helter Skelter.” “I Want You” is raw and rather simple and I like it better with each listen.
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