It’s not hard to be a fan of The Beatles. I grew up with their songs so they are engrained in my subconscious to the point that being analytical about any of their work is almost impossible.
Over time, one thing that has become more obvious to me is just how incredible and eclectic their output was. They have influenced almost every genre of music since, which goes to show just how versatile their records were. Add to that the short seven year window that they released records in and it deserves nothing but respect.
It’s a feat that will probably never happen again because they capitalised on a massive cultural and technological change during that seven year window. They didn’t rest on their success but used it, with the help of George Martin, to experiment. They pushed the boundaries of popular music into areas it had never been before, and in turn opened the door for others to do the same.
Abbey Road came towards the end of the group recording together and marks some of their finest work, ending with a masterful collage of musical fragments that results in one of the best b-sides of all time. Before that, at the end of side one comes I Want You (She’s So Heavy); a mix of prog and heavy rock that has one of my favorite blues riffs. It’s loud, brash and addictively listenable, which is a good thing as it repeats over and over again until the track’s famous hard cut to finish. It leaves the listener in a state of bewilderment and unease; a perfect place to be in to get the full force of the joyous “here comes the sun” once you turn the disk over.
I Want you is a sound that most bands make a career out of. For The Beatles it was just another string to their bow. For me, it is also proof of their abilities, and an indication that if you only know them from a handful of singles its time to go through their entire catalog and see what you are missing.