Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The End


The End paulmccartney.filminspector.com
"The End."



"The End" is the very last official track on their very last album of Beatles new material, "Abbey Road" ("Let It Be" was actually mostly recorded before "Abbey Road" even though it was released after). However, strangely enough, "The End" also has some Beatles firsts. The Beatles via Paul McCartney a) have Ringo perform their very first and only pure drum solo, and b) give us the greatest single-line lyric of the entire rock era. Not bad for one song. Not bad at all. Oh, in case you were wondering, it is Paul, then George, then John in the classic guitar solo, in that order. There is something fitting in the fact that John, the group's founder, has the final guitar solo despite later being displaced as the Beatles' leader by Paul.

The End paulmccartney.filminspector.com


Many people don't think of "The End" as a separate song because it concludes the extended medley on Side 2 of "Abbey Road." Such is the artistry of "Abbey Road" that it all sounds like one song with simple segues from one section to the next.

The End paulmccartney.filminspector.com


John Lennon liked "The End." He gave Paul a somewhat backhanded compliment for it some years later:
That's Paul again, the unfinished song, right? We're on Abbey Road. Just a piece at the end. He had a line in it [sings] 'And in the end, the love you get is equal to the love you give [sic],' which is a very cosmic, philosophical line. Which again proves that if he wants to, he can think.
For John at this stage of his life, this was a huge and somewhat unexpected compliment.

The End paulmccartney.filminspector.com


Paul hasn't had a lot to say about the creative process behind "The End," at least publicly. However, instead, when asked about it, Paul has focused on some of the technical issues behind its recording:
Ringo would never do drum solos. He hated drummers who did lengthy drum solos. We all did. And when he joined The Beatles we said, "Ah, what about drum solos then?", thinking he might say, "Yeah, I'll have a five-hour one in the middle of your set," and he said, "I hate 'em!" We said, "Great! We love you!" And so he would never do them. But because of this medley I said, "Well, a token solo?" and he really dug his heels in and didn't want to do it. But after a little bit of gentle persuasion I said, "Yeah, just do that, it wouldn't be Buddy Rich gone mad," because I think that's what he didn't want to do.
Regarding the closing lines, Paul has said:
I wanted it to end with a little meaningful couplet, so I followed the Bard and wrote a couplet.
You won't hear references to Shakespeare from too many rock musicians.

The End paulmccartney.filminspector.com


The Beatles did not know that "Abbey Road" would be their last album while they were in the process of creating it. However, compositions often reflect what is going on in the writer's mind, so "The End" indicates - at least to me - that Paul subconsciously knew things were coming to a close even if it would take another six months to get to that point. If there was a musical conclusion to the '60s, "The End" was it.


The End paulmccartney.filminspector.com

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