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Abbey Road (Apple, 1969)

There’s still some controversy over this, the Beatles’ eleventh studio album. The controversy is: Should Abbey Road be considered the Beatles’ last album because Let it Be was released in 1970. Abbey Road was the final album in which all four Beatles participated in its making. (For the record, both Abbey Road and Let it Be were recorded long before both albums release dates. Let it Be was recorded in January 1969, but not released until May 1970!) To further complicate the argument, the Beatles officially disbanded in April 1970. John Lennon had privately left the Beatles by the time Abbey Road was released in September 1969.

Despite the controversy, Abbey Road was an immediate commercial success that received mixed reviews. At the time, critics felt the album was “inauthentic” and didn’t like the album’s “artificial effects.” Abbey Road featured prominent use of Moog synthesizer and Leslie speakers, a combined amplifier and two-way loudspeaker that modifies and amplifies the sounds of instruments. Critics have since changes their tune and now consider Abbey Road one of the Beatles’ best albums and, in fact, one of the best albums ever. The cover of Abbey Road features the Beatles walking across a zebra crossing outside Abbey Road Studios and has become one of the most famous (and imitated) images of recorded music. Abbey Road remains the band’s best selling album.

Abbey Road went to #1 in Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Spain, the UK and the U.S. It also went to the top of the West German chart. It has reached Diamond certification in Argentina, Canada and the U.S. The singles from Abbey Road were Something with Come Together as the B-side.