THE SUN KING IS HERE TO GREET YOU AFTER YOUR GOLDEN SLUMBERS
Today marks the 40th anniversary of The Beatles' landmark Abbey Road being released in the United Kingdom. Few records can truly be called "essential" but this one rates and we've put together a "video album" to commemorate the occasion. Of course, John, Paul, George and Ringo are here, but we've opened it up to interpreters who've taken these songs and continued to breathe life and love into them since the collection arrived four decades ago.
We begin with John Lennon doing "Come Together" with his own band in the 1970s.
Next, a rare promo video for "Something" from the band that pioneered the notion of rock music with a visual counterpart.
Here's Paul teaching "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" to the lads.
Emily Elbert does a swell solo acoustic cover of "Oh! Darling."
Few band's work habits and rough takes have been more sorted over than The Beatles, and we wouldn't want to be remiss, so here's Ringo and George working on "Octopus's Garden"
Uncle Sam gets in on the action in this version of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" from Julie Taymor's most excellent Across The Universe.
Continue reading for Side Two of Abbey Road...
Sometimes it's a long, cold, lonely winter, but this lovely acoustic take on "Here Comes The Sun" should warm our bones nicely.
Maybe it's our current delight with new TV show Glee coloring our judgement but we think this acappella rendition of "Because" by the U Mass Dynamics rocks pretty hard.
Next, it's Wonderous Stories doing a spot-on version of "You Never Give Your Money" at B.B. King's. Well done, sirs.
It's truly amazing what grand music The Beatles continue to tease out of other human beings. Case in point, this stellar run through "Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard," "Polythene Pam" and "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window" by Bubble recorded at a sold out performance at New York's Symphony Space.
There's a particularly wistful quality to Paul's concert take on the last section of the Abbey Road medley ("Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight" and "The End") captured in Montserrat, Spain with a full string section and Mark Knopfler on guitar.
Tacked onto the album by sound engineer John Kurlander in an inspired mistake, "Her Majesty" was originally cut from the Side Two medley but once The Beatles heard the lacquer with this jaunty epilogue they decided to keep it. Easy to understand given that not smiling when this plays is a serious challenge. In the spirit of the tune, we close with several playful ukulele renditions that made us grin, starting Julia Nunes' charming clip that apparently caught on and became a bit of a Web thang. Ain't no telling what the power of The Beatles can do, eh?