Apple Music 100 Best Albums

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Abbey Road

The Beatles


The Beatles’ grand exit is also the ultimate entry point into their universe.

Giles Martin, son of legendary Beatles producer George Martin, once told Apple Music that Abbey Road is the perfect gateway into the Beatles universe because it sounds so contemporary. And it’s true: While other Beatles albums conjure a specific moment frozen in amber—the matching suits and mop-tops or the mid-period mischievous experimentation with pop form or the technicolor burst into psychedelia—Abbey Road sounds like nothing more or less than four extremely gifted humans playing one indelible song after another in the same room together.

“We hardly ever sat down and had nothing. There was always some sort of idea.”

Paul McCartney

The Beatles

The 11th and penultimate album in The Beatles’ historic catalog was the last on which all four members worked in the studio as a unit, all at the same time. And while singling out one album as their most impactful is a fool’s errand, 1969’s Abbey Road is indeed the most ageless, simply an immaculate, unmatched collection of songs by a world-changing band at their creative peak.

Following the sprawl of 1968’s White Album, Abbey Road is a relatively concise representation of The Beatles’ entire deal: wholesome (“Here Comes the Sun”), a little freaky (“Come Together,” “Polythene Pam”), macabre and wholesome (“Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”), first-wedding-dance romantic (“Something”), whimsical (“Octopus’s Garden,” “Mean Mr. Mustard”), and, with its album-closing eight-song, 16-minute medley, playful with form. The embers of pop music’s most dynamic collaborative force were dying out, but not before yielding one final and definitive document of unmatched creativity and camaraderie.