Abbey Road Resurfaced (Side 2)
Here Comes the Sun – This, for me, is a stone cold classic. Like Harrison himself, it’s modest and sincere. My only minor quibble is the stereo placement, which makes it sound a little limp. It actually sounds a lot a lot more Beatles-y than many of the songs that John and Paul were writing at the time. However, that might be because they had moved ‘beyond’ recording three-minute long pop songs. Speaking of which…
Because – Another high-point of the album. It has an unusual song structure and sounds more like a hymn or a classical piece than a traditional pop-song. That’s to be expected, as it’s adapted from Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Paul Simon did something similar with his song American Tune: which just goes to show that you can adapt classical music without going all ‘Prog-y’. To my mind, this is the song that best illustrates Lennon’s worldview.
You Never Give Me Your Money – This song feels almost like a mini-medley in itself. It’s about the band’s financial difficulties with their record company. Boo-hoo! You won’t get much sympathy from me, especially when you sing about picking up your bags and getting into a limousine. I can’t help but think that this song, along with Taxman, were probably off-putting to their more blue-collar listeners. Again, it suffers from bad stereo placement: Paul’s vocals alternate between the right and left channels, for no good reason.
Sun King – This had the potential to be another great track, but the ending ruins it for me. That part always reminds me of The Blues Brothers movie, when Murph & The Magic Tones sing ‘Quando Quando Quando’.
Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam – You can usually rely on McCartney for the silly character songs, so it’s a bit of a shock to hear Lennon do a couple. Musically, MMM could be a children’s song, if it wasn’t for the lyrical content. Polythene Pam also has some lyrics which were probably a bit risqué for the time. These two songs aren’t unpleasant, but just seem like cupboard clearing.
She Came in Through the Bathroom Window – This one starts out really strong, with its catchy melody and strong guitar work, but descends into the usual McCartney character/nostalgia stuff. Although it’s about the same length as some of their earlier tracks, like And Your Bird Can Sing, it seems brief and unsatisfying.
Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End – Well, after an album of disappointing me, McCartney really pulls it out of the bag with this medley. Again, it feels like a bit of cupboard clearing, as it’s lots of little bits strung together, but I think it’s a fitting finale. Or it would be, if it wasn’t for…
Her Majesty – I really thought this was a mickey take when I first heard it. I only found out later that it was left on the album accidentally. It’s grown on me, and in weird way; I think it was a happy accident. It feels like its inclusion is somehow poking fun the idea of an emotional climactic finale. Overall, I think it makes for a fitting ending to the band’s career. It’s just a shame they released Let It Be afterwards, really.