ABBEY ROAD – THE MAKING OF THE BEATLES’ FINAL MASTERPIECE
That year The Beatles’ first single, Love Me Do, was released and the band’s classic line-up was in place: rhythm guitarist John Lennon, bassist Paul McCartney, lead guitarist George Harrison and drummer Ringo Starr. Four lads that would conquer the world as a self-contained unit, having written their own songs. Not a big deal these days, but in the early 1960s it was unusual for a British pop group to write their own material…
The foursome were always seeking out new sounds and recording techniques. Anything that could help them grow as artists would be thrown into the mix. This need to always be moving forward dates back to when they were young lads in Liverpool trying to teach themselves guitar: “We used to travel for miles for a new [guitar] chord in Liverpool. We’d take bus rides for hours to visit the guy who knew B7!”
Paul McCartney once reminisced. “None of us knew how to finger it. We sat there and he played it a few times, then we said, ‘Brilliant, thanks!’ We already had E and A. The B7 chord was the final piece in the jigsaw.” Lennon and McCartney were the band’s main songwriters; George would blossom as a composer aer The Beatles quit touring in 1966. Early on in their partnership, John and Paul made the decision to credit any song they wrote to Lennon/ McCartney… even if one of them wrote a song without the other’s help.
Although well-researched books like Ian MacDonald’s essential Beatles bible, Revolution In The Head, now detail which Beatles songs were genuine collaborations and which were solo efforts, there were differences in John and Paul’s writing styles that would oen give the game away: “He [Paul] provided a lightness, an optimism, while I would always go for the sadness, the discords, a certain bluesy edge,” Lennon commented. A prime example of this contrast is the song Getting Better on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. While Paul’s verse and chorus lyrics build in optimism.