Classic Rock



With The Beatles’ journey approachin­g its conclusion – in messy public divorce driven by finance-based acrimony and Lennon and Harrison’s desire to escape the constraint­s of the band and to find themselves as artists via autonomous solo careers – McCartney bowed to the inevitable. He was reluctant to give up on The Beatles. Artistical­ly speaking he was happy where he was and in no particular hurry to grow up, but if the end was nigh then he was determined the band should go out on a high. Abbey Road’s Side Two was to climax in an ambitious medley. Superficia­lly, a multi-part song cycle appears to be a brave artistic endeavour: a magnum opus; practicall­y speaking, it’s an extremely effective method by which to sweep together a bunch of unfinished snippets – some of which had been hanging around since White Album sessions – and rebrand them as your masterpiec­e. The medley’s opening section, McCartney’s You Never Give Me Your Money is similar in structure to Lennon’s Happiness Is A Warm Gun and comprised of five clear constituen­t parts. From its opening melancholi­c piano to its concluding I Want You-echoing guitar arpeggios, it’s the ‘long medley’ in microcosm, a linear suite with, at its heart, a resigned McCartney plaintivel­y intoning ‘nowhere to go’.

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