The Beatles–Abbey Road/Alice Cooper–Killer

I was hoping to get to this post last Saturday, but time just got away from me. We’re on holiday today, being that it’s July 4th, so I’ve got a little extra time this morning, before we have to get busy preparing for this afternoon’s cookout.

There’s one more Beatles entry in Tom Moon’s 1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die. As the title suggests, it’s Abbey Road. The caption of the article for this album reads, “…In the End, the Love You Take Is Equal to the Love You Make.” “Could there be a better epitaph for the band that taught the world all you need is love?” Abbey Road is probably the best known of all of the Beatles albums. I have nothing to back that up with. But the number of radio hits that came off of this album is staggering. Moon’s key tracks are “Come Together,” “Something,” “Because,” and the ending medley on side two. Heh. “Side two.” Nobody understands that any more! “The sixteen-minute medley that closes Abbey Road is arguably the most resourceful act of scrap-scavenging in pop music history. A parade of discards and song fragments waiting to be finished, it presents the Beatles cleaning out the cupboards, and tossing anything once deemed workable–a neglected bit of Lennon psychedelia (“Sun King”), an unfinished music-hall production number by McCartney (“Carry That Weight”)–into one last meal.” I love Moon’s article on this album. The band had endured two previous recordings, both of which Moon calls “fractious,” the eponymous White Album and Let It Be, which was recorded before Abbey Road, but released after. “The breakup was a foregone conclusion, but somehow they were still ‘together’ enough to do justice to these short, cannily sequenced vignettes.”

The album begins with the enigmatic “Come Together.” Does anyone really know what this song is about? That is followed by what is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful songs the Beatles ever recorded, “Something.” I found this rare promo video on You Tube.

Next up is one of my favorites on the album, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.” I always loved that song, for some reason. What do I mean, “favorite?” I can’t name a favorite song on Abbey Road! The track list is magnificent! After “Maxwell,” you get “Oh! Darling,” “Octopus’s Garden,” “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Because,” “You Never Give Me Your Money,” “Sun King,” “Mean Mr. Mustard,” “Polythene Pam,” “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window,” “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight,” “The End,” and the punctuation mark, the 24-second “Her Majesty.”
Here is “The End,” featuring the epitaph mentioned above.

One side note…the album cover features The Beatles walking across an intersection. Only Paul is barefoot. This bit of trivia was yet another piece of fuel in the “Paul is dead” controversy. We had great fun with that one, let me tell you. I remember it well.

My latest vinyl that I ripped is the other album mentioned in the title. Yes, I have moved into my collection of Alice Cooper records. Killer was Alice Cooper’s fourth studio album, released in 1971.
The first single and first song on the album was “Under My Wheels.”

“Be My Lover,” also on side one, was the second single from the album. The album itself peaked at number 21 on the U.S. charts, and the two singles did not do very well. “Be My Lover” made it to number 49, and “Wheels” only made it to 59. “Halo of Flies” was released in the Netherlands as a single. The song was allegedly an attempt to prove that they could perform a more progressive “King Crimson” style song.
Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols was alleged to have said that Killer is the “greatest rock album of all time.” I don’t know if that’s a complement or not. Heh. Depends on how you feel about Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols, I guess. Anyway…if you have eight-plus minutes to spare, here is “Halo of Flies.”

I have to say that, while I’m a big fan of Alice, Killer is not one of my favorite albums of his. There are more to come, though. Eventually, I’ll get to a little more history of Alice Cooper. His story is quite inspiring, actually.

TTFN, y’all


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