The final studio album by The Beatles (though it was recorded prior to Abbey Road), Let It Be represents a band on the verge of breaking up, but one that is nonetheless committed to laying down one more solid record before parting ways. It was not always pretty — George Harrison walked out and briefly quit the group at one point during the sessions — but the band members pulled it together enough to create one of their most lasting albums.
Aside from the title track, Let It Be features classics such as “Get Back,” “Across The Universe” and “The Long And Winding Road.” Although the band’s four personalities were at odds with each other, John Lennon and Paul McCartney lead off the album with an up-tempo duet (“Two Of Us”) and later share back-and-forth vocals on the rocker “I’ve Got A Feeling.”
Let It Be was released Friday, May 8, 1970, and is No. 86 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.
Faced with the possibility of defaulting on a $1.49 billion loan, music company EMI has put Abbey Road Studios up for sale in the hope of a big-time payout.
Used as a sound studio since 1931, the Westminster landmark was made famous in the 1960s by The Beatles and producer George Martin, who recorded up to 90 percent of the band’s song output in the facility. From 1962 to 1970, Martin and The Beatles churned out 27 No. 1 hits, 13 albums and hundereds of other songs in between.
(UPDATE: The music label that owns Abbey Road Studios, Terra Firma, now says it will try to find a partner in order to pay for upgrades and, ultimately, to maintain ownership.)
The final album put together by The Beatles, Abbey Road was released in the United States on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 1969, and is No. 8 on VH1’s Top 100 All Time Albums.
From John’s repeated “Shoot me…” at the beginning of “Come Together” to George’s melodic “Here Comes The Sun,” from Ringo’s aquatic “Octopus’s Garden” to Paul’s succession of rockers on side two, Abbey Road shows a band on the fringe of breakup while highlighting The Beatles’ musical talents as individuals (much like the White Album did).
Though it was released about seven months before Let It Be, this was the last album the group ever recorded, and Abbey Road comes to a close with the most fitting of sendoffs from Paul: “And in the end…the love you take…is equal to the love…you make.”