Saturday, September 26, 2009

In The End, The Love You Take ...

This is a melancholy anniversary for Beatles fans. It was 40 years ago today that the Beatles released their final studio recording, "Abbey Road."

It's always been my favorite, which is saying something, I guess. Just about every Beatles album was great, in my opinion. For the true Beatles fan, it is quite a task to single out one as a "favorite."

But perhaps it could only be my favorite Beatles album because of the vinyl format. Today, it is great to be able to listen to an entire Beatles album from start to finish without ever having to change sides. But there was something special about being able to weave just about every song on the second side together, as the Beatles did on "Abbey Road," creating one long medley.

My friends and I agreed that it was technically perfect. It may not seem that way in the age of CDs. But it sure seemed that way when vinyl was still in vogue.

"Abbey Road" was not the last studio album that was released by the Beatles — technically speaking, that was "Let It Be," which was released just after the band broke up in 1970 (that is an anniversary that remains to be observed). But the songs on "Let It Be" were recorded before "Abbey Road." "Abbey Road" was the final studio effort by the Beatles.

So, as I say, it is a melancholy anniversary. But it is reassuring, in a way, because it comes in the same month that the Beatles are being introduced to a whole new generation of listeners, via a new video game and the release of remastered CDs of all their records.

What more evidence does one need to support Rolling Stone's conclusion that they were the greatest rock 'n' roll performers of all time?

Contrary to the final track on "Abbey Road," it was not the end for the Beatles. People will still be listening to them long after the rest of us are gone.