Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
It’s hard to think of a more iconic album cover than The Beatles’ last recorded album, Abbey Road. Yet ironically, the man in charge of the quintessential album cover, John Kosh, had never actually created a cover at all; at the time, according to an interview with Arizona Republic, he “just had to pay the rent.” Little did he know, he was constructing one of the most influential and parodied album designs of all time. The simple image of the four gods walking across one of Abbey Road’s crosswalks could not be more suited to the album musically speaking.
Abbey Road, although a penultimate album in regards to release date, was really the final cohesive product of the Beatles’ retirement. Paul McCartney actually called their old producer George Martin, known as the “Fifth Beatle,” and said in an interview with ABC News Radio that they wanted to make a record “how we used to do it.” From the rattling drum and bass riff introducing “Come Together,” to the classic Brit-rock guitar amp through tracks like “Oh! Darling, Sun King,” and more, there is a distinctive sound they establish that feels as classic as their unified sound found in tracks like “Twist And Shout” from 1963. “I Want You (She’s Heavy)” is hauntingly theatric as it enters the second part of the track, and yet the following track, “Here Comes The Sun,” takes the listener into an acoustic sounding bliss reminiscent of “I’ll Follow The Sun” from Beatles For Sale. Of course, they evolved in their time together, but bringing their old producer into the session created the old times.
Listening from start to finish, whether it be the original recording or the 2019 remaster, the record is undoubtedly classic in that it captures the sound that originally launched them to stardom and encapsulates the evolution of their singularly spectacular band. Unlike some of their final works after Sgt. Pepper, which featured various hits that weren’t necessarily connected with the rest of the album, Abbey Road was truly a testament to their collective talent, sonically and in writing. Visually, there is no better way to represent that unity than their crossing of Abbey Road.