All selections composed by Lennon/McCartney except as specified.
O.K., here is a question for you. What was the last Beatles album recorded? You probably would have said Let It Be. Well, Let It Be was the last Beatles' album. However, this question is kind of a trick question. The last Beatles album to be recorded by all four Beatles was indeed Abbey Road. The album Let It Be was recorded before Abbey Road, with the Let It Be sessions being conducted from January to May 1969. However, the project was shelved until early 1970.
During recording sessions for the White Album, tensions within the group were boiling over, with Ringo even walking out on the group for a few days. Sensing this, Paul McCartney decided to take the lead on the next Beatles project (the Get Back/Let It Be sessions). His idea was simple: to have the Beatles work on what they do best which was recording in the studio. Talk of a club-type tour was rejected by the other Beatles, so Paul thought maybe a film to go with the album. This was agreed upon, and so the film and album was recorded from January to May 1969. The results, however, were far from friendly with continued bickering and no real finished product to release.
It was after the Get Back/Let It Be fiasco was over, that Paul rang up producer George Martin, asking if George would help produce another Beatles album. George resisted the offer at first because of what had happened during the Get Back / Let It Be sessions, but did end up saying yes on the condition that the sessions would be like the way they used to be, with Martin in charge. Paul and the other Beatles agreed, and the Beatles went into the studio from July 1 to August 29, 1969 to record Abbey Road.
Like Sgt. Pepper two years earlier, Abbey Road met with some of the highest praise of any album in a while. The album basically was a John Lennon album on one side with a Paul McCartney album on the other side. Added into this mix was George Harrison's most heartfelt compositons (Something, Here Comes The Sun), as well as Ringo's little ditty Octopus's Garden. Ringo also performs a drum solo on the closing song The End, the first on a Beatles album. One single Come Together b/w Something was released from this album.
Tensions continued to grow worse for the Beatles as the '60's wore on. John, George, and Ringo wanted to bring in New York attorney Allen Klein to be the Beatles new business manager. Paul instead wanted Lee Eastman (brother of Paul's new wife Linda) to oversee the Beatles business affairs, but the other three Beatles refused. This confrontation was the icing on the cake with the band splintering apart, and fighting amongst themselves and lawyers would continue well into the '70's. Paul would officially file for a "divorce" from the group in May 1970, with his first solo album titled McCartney being released only a month earlier.
It's really sad because here were these four young men from Liverpool, who shaped and molded and turned rock music on it's ear with their blend of harmonies, songwriting and musical instincts they had. Yet here at the end of the '60's they were reduced to fighting amongst themselves in the London courts. As the 1960's gave way to the 1970's, the hope was there that maybe someday, somehow the Beatles would find a way to stop their in-house fighting and reunite for the benefit of Beatles fans everywhere. However, this was never meant to be, and on December 8, 1980, John Lennon was gunned down outside The Dakota in New York City. The dream indeed was over.
"If they (Yoko and Linda) split up the group, then they deserve all the credit."- John Lennon
"All this stuff about the Beatles being able to save the world was rubbish. I can't even save myself. It was just people trying to put the responsibility on our shoulders. The thing about the Beatles is that they saved the world from boredom."- George Harrison
"Yoko's taken a lot of shit, her and Linda (McCartney), but the Beatles break-up wasn't their fault. It was just that suddenly we were all thirty and married and changed. We couldn't carry on that life anymore."- Ringo Starr
"I didn't leave the Beatles. The Beatles left the Beatles but no one wants to be the one to say the party's over."- Paul McCartney