Heard on Ann Delisi's Essential Music

The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” Turns 50

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Image credit: Iain McMillan

The Beatles entered the studio for one final time to create one of their most commercially successful albums selling over 30 million albums worldwide.

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Abbey Road brought The Beatles together one last time for the creation of “Abbey Road”, their eleventh album which was released 50 years ago this month. This album featured two songs written by George Harrison: ”Here Comes the Sun” and ”Something”, a song that was revered by all of the band members and has been covered by countless artists. Sir Paul McCartney and Sir George Martin created a 16-minute medley on side two, comprised of bits and pieces of songs that were never completed.

I Want You/She’s So Heavy”, an 8-minute John Lennon song with only 14 words, is one of the most unusual songs on the album. It was one of the last songs to be completed for “Abbey Road”.  The album closes with a 23-second hidden track that reveals itself after 17-seconds of silence.

Aside from the songs, the album cover itself had its own story. Shot by Iain McMillan, it fueled the flames of the “Paul is Dead” conspiracy that began with supposed “clues” from other album covers. Conspiracy theorists pointed out that for the “Abbey Road” album cover, Paul is out of step with the other band members, leading with his right leg instead of his left. The label’s official policy regarding inquiries about whether Paul was dead or alive was to neither confirm nor deny.

Click the audio player above to hear accounts from John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Sir George Martin, and music from Abbey Road.

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Ann Delisi, Host, Ann Delisi Essential Music

Ann Delisi will guide you through the “essential music,” both new and familiar, that’s shaping our culture and feature music made in Detroit every hour.

anndelisi@wdet.org Follow @anndelisimusic

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