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As someone who has heard Abbey Road more times than I care to know, I thought I’d recognized every aspect of the genius of that album, the last one the Beatles recorded. But one ingenious YouTube user is proving not just me, but thousands of other Beatles fans, wrong. An isolated vocal track of the entire medley on side two, from “You Never Give Me Your Money” to “The End,” shows the beauty of those voices coming together.
Abbey Road’s medley was the culmination of everything that the Beatles had done, blending the best elements of Please Please Me to The White Album. But by just listening at the vocals, we can hear how well John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney’s voices melded together.
The lyrics highlight the differences between the two, with John’s contributions featuring the bizarre “Mean Mr. Mustard” and “Polythene Pam” characters, while Paul’s whimsical words assured us that the future would be all right. “Golden Slumbers” remains one of his best moments and it’s hard not to listen to it without goosebumps.
Also, whenever I hear “The End,” I never think of it as just the end of an album, but rather the end of one of the greatest runs in music history. “Her Majesty” is always the nice little cherry on top.
JOSIV5 also has plenty of other videos that highlight different aspects of The Beatles songs. Check out this version of “Paperback Writer” with just the vocals: