My sons gifted me the fairly recent vinyl deluxe boxed set of The Beatles’ classic Abbey Road. And what a gift it is.
The main album seems remastered and every element of every recording is vibrant. The vocals work off the harmonies beautifully. The crisp capturing of the drums reminds us of Ringo Starr’s gift for simplicity and competence. McCartney’s playing is clear and energizing, and reminds us of exactly how smart a musician he was, laying down the perfect bass part, the emotionally appropriate piano part, and so on. The guitars demonstrate Lennon’s sense of fun and Harrison’s exquisite taste. Lastly, George Martin balances everything superbly, and has the uncanny knack for knowing exactly what each track demands, from just the foursome to strings, horns, or being cut together in a mesmerizing montage of incomplete pieces to form a truly moving sound experience.
If you don’t remember all the songs on this album it is time to revisit the masters at work late in their career as a band. Track after track, the album delivers what are now considered standards or top classic rock tracks or whimsical favorites.
But I would advise saving the main album for last in this collection. First, go through the double album of alternate takes, snippets, string or horn section recordings, and one gem McCartney demoed then handed off to Badfinger to become their first hit record.
A wealth of beautiful sounds, emotional audio riches, and, for many of us, fond memories are offered here.
Highly recommended. Enjoy.