(The Rewind Button is a group blogging project. Every Thursday, we review an album from Rolling Stone magazine’s Greatest Albums list.) Five of Rolling Stone’s 14 greatest albums are from the Beatles. I think it’s safe to assume that the magazine is trying to tell us something.
If you look at the way RS crafted this list, it compiled the votes of rock musicians, critics and industry figures, so there’s a little more credibility to this list than a pub discussion over a few pints.
That the Beatles were trailblazers and helped change and shape the music that followed is obvious. Yet, this list holds them responsible for a third of the top 15 albums of all time. It’s remarkably hefty praise.
Released in 1969, Abbey Road lands at number 14 on the RS list. It was the Beatles’ 11th and final recorded album. It’s considered one of the band’s tightest albums, despite huge turmoil among the members.
The trouble I’m having with writing this review is that I’m a little worn out when it comes to the Beatles. I definitely enjoyed this album. John Lennon’s Come Together brilliantly captured my attention right from the beginning. But the album is far from perfect.
Oh Darling reminds me of a song that Marty McFly might awkwardly slow dance to with his young mom’s past self. Sandwiched between Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and Octopus Garden it’s hard to take the song seriously. This seems to be a fundamental flaw to many Beatles albums that we’ve reviewed so far. There always seems to be a either a joke song or a song that causes the album to be slightly disjointed and this takes away from the album as a whole.
I want you (she’s so heavy) starts off like House of the Rising Sun and ends so abruptly that I had to listen to different versions to make sure I wasn’t listening to a flawed recording. I’m left wondering why they would end it this way. Granted the arrangement of the other songs didn’t exactly segue well either, from the darker I Want You to the undeniably bright Here Comes the Sun. Perhaps the abrupt ending is because I Want You comes at the end of the first side of the record, yet the second song on the B side (Because) seems to pick up where this song left off with a similar guitar formula.
Anyway, as I said, I’m finding it a bit of a challenge to write about this album. I don’t believe it makes sense to state that five of the 14 best albums of all time came from the same band. As varied as these albums were, it creates a homogeneity that runs counter to the thing I like best about music – it’s variety. Even within the rock genre, there are a vast differences between bands. While I believe that due respect must be paid to the Beatles for their contribution to music, at one point you just have to trust that you’ve properly genuflected in their regard and move on. That’s what I’m suggesting needed to happen for this list.
Alas, I wasn’t consulted.
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