The ending of the Beetles was inevitable, they had gone trough too much as friends and as people to continue in the manner that they had in the old days f “Love Me Do”, but their final album “Abbey Road” is a testament to the greatness of this band who had achieved so much in their past. Critically acclaimed as “the closest thing yet to Beetle free-form” and one of their best albums to date it would sadly be the last thing they would ever do together (Mend lesson 1 16).
Therefore, it is in Abbey Road that the Beetles give a lasting impression upon the fans that had adored them for so many years in their creation of their final medley and the “hidden” track at the end of the album. These two features in this album leave the listener with a better understanding of the FAA four’s group dynamic while also allowing the last album ever created by the Beetles to be a never ending story.
Though the medley was dismissed by John Lennox in Rolling Stone as merely a “junk” idea in which “none of the songs had anything to do with each other”, this song still manages to hold onto some meaning even in its seemingly chaotic subject content (roller-skating. Com). Though the topics of the songs do seem to vary quite a lot – going from Pall’s “money” issues with Allen Klein to a child’s lullaby – the lack of a lyrical thread to guide the medley Mathew represents The Beetles as a band in this stage of their career.
They too were no longer connected as a band and like the song fragments of the medley, were individual pieces of a whole that could no longer function together. Their friendships were tarnished and they were all tired of constantly being around each other and virtually the only thing that they had left in common was the mutual respect they had for each others’ musical ability. ‘”We were holding it together,’ McCarty said proudly. ‘Even though this undercurrent was going on we still had a strong respect for each other even at the very worst points”‘ (roller-skating. Com).
Much like the musical interludes that weaved the separate fragments of songs into one lovely medley, the Beetles were only able to work together because of the music they had always shared. The Abbey Road medley shows the seasoned Beetles bonded by their music for one final performance, even though everything else in their relationships had been lost. The idea of The Beetles coming together for one final performance in Abbey Road is completely embodied in the final part to the medley titled “The End” as it showcases the talents of each band member through alternating solos.
Finally being able to subside the animosity between each other, if only for this final piece, the Beetles were able to collaborate and develop this idea of one final jam session where all of them shine: The swapping of guitar solos in “The End” was a band brainstorm. Harrison thought a guitar break would make a good climax. Lennox suggested he, Harrison and McCarty all trade licks. McCarty said he’d go first.
Coming after Star’s first and only drum solo on a Beetles record, the scorching round-robin breaks ? with Harrison in the middle and Lennox at the end ? were cut live in one take, a last blast of auteur brotherhood from a band only months from splitting (roller-skating. Com). And it truly is a terrific jam between four friends that had shared so much of their life together because it is in this final performance that all animosities were forgotten and these once great friends simply played the music they were born to.
As Geoff Emeriti recalls “For the hour or so it took to play those solos, all the bad blood, all the fighting all the crap that had gone down between the three former friends was forgotten. John, Paul, and George looked like they had gone back in time, like they Were kids again, laying together for the sheer enjoyment of it” (Weinstein). Like the coming together of this medley the Beetles once again were reunited by the music they created together.
The good nature between the three guitarist in this final riff-off portrays the importance of this final recording session, also noted by the absence of Yoke Non who had been a constant fixture at all sessions. They knew that the end was coming and they wanted to finish their journey as they had began it, together with great music and insane talent. As the final lines of this song are sung out by Paul, “And in the end, the love o take is equal to the love you make”, the song ends and, so it seems, does the album.
However, “the long pause that succeeds “The End” is followed by a mini-tribute to “Her Majesty”‘, a song cut from the medley and added to the end of the record by an inexperienced studio engineer so as to not lose the track (Mann 122). By pure mistake the Beetles had once again stumble upon a bit of magic as this short fragmented song allows the album to actually not have an end. This is due to the fact that the song ends on an unfinished note, unfinished because the final key is hidden somewhere in the medley that it ad once belonged to.
It is this small delight after ‘The End” of the Beetles that leaves their career to be an unfinished story. Though it was obvious that their career was over and though it was impossible that the Beetles would ever reunite, the fact that their last album gives no end is a small treasure nonetheless. It seems to give hope to those who adored the four mop-top boys that greatly influenced the direction of music. Maybe not hope of a return, but hope that their legacy and final album would live on forever.
Though it is a sad fact, it is true that all good things must come to an end. In way, it is best that the Beetles ended their career at the top of their game because it would have been a shame to watch their greatness die on the stage. Rather the public be forever left with the image of the four boys that first started out on this “Long and Winding Road” than to have that image tampered with by a career that putters out at the end, leaving their greatness to be completely forgotten.
A testament to their talent, the medley gives its audience the best of the Beetles in a sixteen minute show. Though Paul, John, Rings, and George each went into their separate careers at this point, The Beetles was a separate entity from its individual members and it is that legacy that lives on in Abbey Road. Comparison: upon viewing the Beetles as they were in their early days of A Hard Days Night (the film), it is hard to make comparisons to the hardened spirits that one sees in the men that make Abbey Road.
It is in A Hard Day’s Night when the Beetles fame had seemed to hit top heights and in which they parody the ridiculous nature of such fame by way of their dry, British humor that people came to love and expect. But in Abbey Road one only sees four people completely worn from the life of a rock star, no longer filled with easy aught and only concerned with the business aspect of their music careers. In A Hard Days Night the public is given four optimistic boys laughing and frolicking in open fields, but at the end of their career one can only see four individuals going their separate ways.