Their last recorded album, Abbey Road is widely regarded as one of The Beatles' most tightly constructed albums, although the band was barely operating as a functioning unit at the time. Despite the tensions within the band, Abbey Road was released to near universal acclaim and is considered to be one of the greatest albums of all time.
After the near-disastrous sessions for the proposed Get Back album (later released as Let It Be), Paul McCartney suggested to music producer George Martin that the group get together and make an album "the way we used to", free from conflict. Martin agreed, stipulating that he must be allowed to do the album his way.
Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and long time Beatle producer George Martin talk about "Golden Slumbers" and recording at Abbey Road Studios:
In their interviews for The Beatles Anthology, the surviving band members stated that, although none of them ever made the distinction of calling it the "last album", they all felt at the time this would very likely be the final Beatles product and therefore agreed to set aside their differences and "go out on a high note".
George Harrison performs "Here Comes the Sun" at The Concert for Bangladesh on Sunday, 1 August 1971:
Abbey Road became one of the most successful Beatles albums ever. In the UK the album debuted straight at number 1, spending a total of 17 non-consecutive weeks at the top. Reaction in the US was similar. The album debuted at number 178, then moved to number 4 and in its third week to number 1, spending 11 non-consecutive weeks at the top. It was also the first Beatles' album to reach the 10-million mark in worldwide sales, in 1980.
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